Lando Norris, McLaren, Silverstone, 2019

Race stewards aren’t tough enough in junior categories – Norris

2019 F1 season

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Lando Norris says drivers should be punished more severely in the junior categories to teach them discipline before they reach F1.

Norris, who raced in Formula 2, Formula 3, Formula 4 and Formula Renault Eurocup before reaching Formula 1, said less experienced drivers need firmer treatment from the stewards.

“In certain championships [there’s] been times where maybe people haven’t been punished enough,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans. “They’ve been punished but not in a bad way or enough for it to really have an impact. It’s been three-place grid penalty of five-place or something like that. Sometimes just a verbal warning.”

The McLaren driver believes the balance in the severity of stewarding drivers experience as they move up to F1 should change. “I don’t think it would hurt bringing them up maybe more strict,” he said.

“In Formula 1 we obviously want the rules to be opened up more and to race more and so on. But I think being not schooled properly and then being schooled more come Formula 1, I think it’s the wrong way.

“It should be schooled more in the lower categories and more free to do what you want in F1, knowing what you’ve learnt in the past than being more open and saying ‘oh yeah but they’re young and whatever’ and then being schooled more in F1 with more rules and everything. It should be the opposite. Start with a lot of rules and it kind of opens up come Formula 1.”

Read RaceFans in-depth interview with Lando Norris including why it took him so long to believe he could become an F1 driver, why he didn’t follow his hero Valentino Rossi into Moto GP, and why he’s doing less simracing this year

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2019 F1 season

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 4 comments on “Race stewards aren’t tough enough in junior categories – Norris”

    1. Consistency across disciplines might be more helpful. The current situation was partly sparked by young drivers looking at F1 drivers having more freedom than them and wondering why they could not have the same.

      1. Yep, I am inclinded to agree @alianora-la-canta; though Norris is right that less strict rules for lower categories might be a bad idea, as consistent and equal rules as possible throughout motorsport seems like a useful and good goal.

        1. Also not helped by people like Will Buxton who works for FOM claiming that F2 is a completely different sport to F1 and “run to different rules” when pressed about Sette Camara’s Retifillio penalty and Charles not getting one the next day after a black and white flag.

    2. I don’t follow any of the lower formulae closely enough – I assume he means entry-level, Formula Renault, national F3 and suchlike, rather than F2 which I do watch a lot of – to be able to comment on whether I see the problem too.

      But I can agree that in theory they should be stewarded in much the same way. If they’re FIA-sanctioned they operate using the same basic racing rules as F1 (International Sporting Code, circuit racing section)… the only issue I can see is that stewards at lower levels would not have access to the same data as F1 stewards. They might have one TV camera angle instead of the five or six their F1 counterparts have, which would (I think) make it more difficult to justify a harsher punishment.

    Comments are closed.