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Lando Norris

McLaren defend Norris' actions after grid penalty

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl has criticised F1's stewards for the grid penalty handed to Lando Norris for a red flag infringement during qualifying for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Article
To news overview © McLaren

McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl has defended Lando Norris' actions during qualifying for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix which later landed him with a three-place grid penalty.

The Briton was penalised for the incident during Q1 when the session was red flagged due to a crash. Norris was on the main straight and could be heard asking his pit crew whether or not he should enter the pit lane. By the time a decision was made, Norris had passed the entrance and as a result completed another lap.

Whilst the stewards deemed that the penalty should only be a three-place grid drop rather than five given how close Norris was to the pits, Seidl has made it clear that the team do not agree with the penalty as they feel that Norris took the safest action possible.

"As Lando said, we clearly disagree," Seidl told RacingNews365.com and other select media. "Receiving a penalty like this, ruining our race [for] Sunday, for what actually happened.

"I don't know exactly why the stewards have no room to give a different penalty if they think they have to give a penalty. I think if you look at what actually happened, Lando had probably a second to decide in the high speed section of the track - when the red flag came out - what to do.

"In the end he decided to go for a, let's say, safe action, where he didn't put anyone at risk, he didn't gain any advantage. And then not having the possibility for example to receive a reprimand for that.

"If there needs to be a penalty, it's disappointing. But in the end it is what it is, no point wasting any more energy on it. We want to focus on tomorrow and get back these positions as quickly as possible on track."

Norris will start the race from P9 following the penalty and has also spoken of his disappointment over the decision. The 21-year-old was not only given a grid drop but also received penalty points on his licence.

"For certain situations they should think what it's like to be in the driver's seat for a second," Norris explained. "And what they have to react to at the speed they're doing, and the time you have to react to things, and so on.

"I think a reprimand or something is the right thing to do. But [also] to have a bit more understanding in some areas, and be able to, over-decide the actual ruling itself, and have a bit of a rethink on what's actually really fair for the driver, or the team, whatever went wrong.

"I didn't put anyone in harm's way. If anything, I took the safer option out of boxing or not boxing. And that makes even worse, I don't deserve three points on my licence for this. I didn't do anything dangerous."

RN365 News dossier F1 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

The latest news about the Azerbaijan Grand Prix straight from the Baku City Circuit.

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