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Lando Norris

Why Norris' Sprint pole lap was reinstated by stewards

Lando Norris retained his Sprint pole following a quick u-turn by the Chinese GP stewards.

Norris sprint China
To news overview © XPBimages

McLaren boss Andrea Stella has explained why the F1 stewards elected to reinstate Lando Norris' Chinese Grand Prix Sprint pole position.

In a wet-and-wild SQ3, Norris pumped in a superb time of 1:57.940s in the treacherous conditions, only for the lap to be quickly deleted for exceeding track limits on the final Turn 16 before he then started what proved to be his pole lap.

This appeared to hand Lewis Hamilton a first Sprint pole for Mercedes, yet the seven-time F1 champion was bumped down to second as the stewards elected to reinstall Norris' lap, giving him his second F1 Sprint pole after initially achieving the feat in São Paulo in 2023.

Track limits are being monitored at the Turn 16 left-hander to end the lap, with a gravel trap now in place, but Stella believes time lost and a slower exit onto the pole lap was the reason why Norris received the reprieve.

"We think it might have been because on the lap before, he went off at the last corner, and they might have thought that in this case, having been off at the last corner [it] has implications for the following lap," Stella told Sky Sports F1.

"The pole lap was completely clean so there is no problem.

"It was reinstated by the FIA themselves, and because you go off at the last corner, you launch off at a much lower speed, and effectively Lando lost three-tenths because he's been off at the last corner.

"We can enjoy the pole position that is deserved by Lando and I hope everyone at McLaren can enjoy."

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