Welcome at RacingNews365

Become part of the largest racing community in the United Kingdom. Create your free account now!

  • Share your thoughts and opinions about F1
  • Win fantastic prizes
  • Get access to our premium content
  • Take advantage of more exclusive benefits
Sign in

McLaren slams Monaco issue with 'catastrophic' impact on Norris

McLaren boss Andrea Stella was not happy after qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix as a "catastrophic" issue hampered Lando Norris.

Norris Quali Monaco
To news overview © XPBimages

McLaren boss Andrea Stella has blasted the potentially "catastrophic" effect loose advertising signage had on Lando Norris during Monaco Grand Prix qualifying.

In Q1, a section of an advertising banner came loose at Mirebeau, affecting the likes of Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz and Logan Sargeant before Norris ran over it, as it became lodged in his floor - costing nearly three seconds of lap-time.

He was forced to pit to remove it, falling to as low as 17th in the closing stages, raising fears he would be knocked out.

Fortunately, Norris got through and made it to Q3, where he took fourth on the grid, behind Leclerc, team-mate Oscar Piastri and Sainz. 

Reflecting on the incident, Stella was keen to see action taken to remove the banners from the affected areas as he described the "catastrophic" impact.

"What happened in Q1 is something that should not happen - and it is not up to the standards of racing circuits," Stella told media including RacingNews365.

"The car picked up what was a few metres of advertising banner, it was caught under the car and it lost as much downforce as equivalent to three seconds per lap.

"It has been there right from Free Practice 1 and not suddenly in qualifying we had the banners coming off, it's been every single session, and we need to fix it. 

"It affected Lando in a pretty catastrophic way and Leclerc as well as some other drivers. 

"So, what is exactly going to determine the race result? The luck as to whether you take the banners or not? Or do we want this to come as an outcome of the quality of the drivers, the car and the teams?

"Something needs to be done."

Norris's luck

RacingNews365 understands that no changes have been made to the signs from the 2023 race, although the situation will continue to be monitored by F1 and the FIA, with some signage due to be removed from the most troublesome places ahead of the race.

World champion Max Verstappen expressed his surprise that the session was not red-flagged to remove the debris, as Norris admitted his luck that he had enough time to pit and re-join to post a lap to get in Q2.

"It was a bit of a mess, and it shouldn't happen in Formula 1," he said.

"It could have cost me my whole weekend.

"It is a bit silly in my opinion and we said [in the drivers' briefing] that it was going to happen, and they said they were going to fix it, but obviously it wasn't.

"So it is a shame that you just have to get lucky and I was lucky that I had enough time otherwise, it would have ruined my qualifying. 

"They need to come up with a better solution than stickers because we're touching the wall and it is just not acceptable that you can ruin your whole weekend because of some stickers. They need to find a better solution."

Join the conversation!

EXCLUSIVE Haas to confirm first driver for 2025