Lando Norris, McLaren, Istanbul Park, 2020

Norris handed five-place grid penalty for yellow flag infringement

2020 Turkish Grand Prix

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Lando Norris has been moved back five place on the grid after the stewards ruled he failed to slow down sufficiently for yellow flags.

The stewards handed down the penalty despite acknowledge Norris did not intend to improve his lap time after passing double waved yellow flags during Q1.

“Car four [Norris] approached turn eight which was under double waved yellow flags for car six (Nicholas Latifi),” the stewards explained.

“Telemetry shows that car four slowed in the sector and resumed speed after the incident. Car four then asked his team if he should abort the lap, but was told to stay out because of the rapidly changing track conditions.

“Car four completed the lap, which turned out to be his fastest lap of Q1. While the stewards acknowledge that car four was not attempting to set a quick lap time, due to the changing track conditions he nevertheless did so and thereby breached the referenced regulations.”

Norris was one of several drivers who passed the scene of Latifi’s crash. Following a request from race director Michael Masi, the stewards examined the driving of all drivers involved and deemed them to be compliant with the regulations.

These were Daniel Ricciardo and Pierre Gasly, who passed single waved yellow flags at the scene, and Kevin Magnussen, Valtteri Bottas, Daniil Kvyat, Lance Stroll, Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton, who passed double waved yellow flags.

Stroll was also cleared of failing to slow sufficiently for single yellow flags during Q3.

Updated 2020 Turkish Grand Prix grid

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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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28 comments on “Norris handed five-place grid penalty for yellow flag infringement”

  1. ”due to the changing track conditions” – This wording contradicts the point of the penalty, though, as the track conditions simply nullified the impact of him heeding the yellows. What matters the most is if the improvement came directly from the relevant yellow-affected mini sector.

  2. So… He slowed down in the yellow sector and was still penalised? What a yoke…

    1. @miguelbento Agreed. What happens over the rest of the lap is irrelevant to the specific mini sector that is yellow-affected.

  3. Sucks, they let Stroll off.

    1. Jelle van der Meer (@)
      14th November 2020, 18:03

      Yeah so Norris clearly slowed down and gets penalized andStroll didn’t really slow down and also set the fastest lap and doesn’t get penalized.

      1. @jelle-van-der-meer and that’s when the rules is that the lap should be aborted..

    2. @icarby @jelle-van-der-meer @balue
      The difference is that Stroll’s case didn’t necessitate slowing down to the same extent as it was a single-waved yellow rather than double.

  4. There’s a bit of an issue here. The expectation is that a driver will abort their lap when faced with double yellows, but what is a driver with no lap time on the board to do if he wishes to remain on track for a further effort?

    To cross the line, if only for the purposes of beginning a new lap, by default leads to an “improvement”. But to be forced to box is unfair on such a driver also. A blanket rule forcing an “abort” has been found short in this set of circumstances. This penalty feels like an overreach.

    1. Why not just automatically delete any lap time when a driver passes double yellows? Removes any incentive to drive quickly past the incident and lets the driver try again immediately.

      1. Very good idea

  5. Seriously? He slowed sufficiently in the region where the actual incident was located, but continued on after passing the incident and therefore gets a penalty? The stewards seem to strive to be ever more ridiculous.

  6. This is a serious farce! Very serious. Michael Masi must Not make a mess!

  7. What has the lap time got to do with it. Watch what they did in the sector with the waved yellows.

    We have a seriously incompetent individual at the helm folks. What an embarrassment.

    1. Edit: reading up on this I think laps set under a double waved yellow should be abandoned (since the Rosberg fiasco) as did K-Mag. Watching his post-race interview, I take back my above comment, apologies.

      1. Well what about for those ahead of the double waved yellows because if the cars ahead decide to abort their laps based on spins or lock ups, then it is still possible for a driver who has observed the yellow flags to set a faster time even if they are not trying to.
        So long as double waved yellows dont mean you should pit then the interpretation of the stewards is rubbish.

  8. Does Norris still need a new engine before the end of the season? This would be a great time to fit it.

    1. Car is currently in Parc fermé.

      1. @john-h Engine changes are allowed under parc ferme.

  9. When did a rule stating they had to abort the lap come in? I must have missed that. It always used to be slow down and prepare to stop, then continue at race speed once you pass a green flag. Crazy. Norris seems to have been punished for doing the correct thing.

    1. 2016 after Rosberg.

      1. @john-h, what happened there?

        1. @miguelbento
          @john-h @Mikey
          It still is. The key point of double-waved yellows is to slow down significantly enough to be able to do a ‘full stop’ if necessary, which doesn’t necessarily require aborting a lap entirely.

  10. Brick brained stewards. Double waved yellows are for the zone and if he complied then he is not in breach. In such changeable conditions how can the stewards specify a faster time as indication of failure to adhere to the safety instruction.

    1. @OOliver I couldn’t agree more with you. Merely using a lap time improvement as a reference is impossible as improvements can come from elsewhere over a lap than the roughly 200-meter long mini sector affected by yellows. This track is, after all, 5.3 km long, so plenty of places where to gain time, especially on inconsistent track conditions.

  11. Stupid stewarding decision due to yet another poorly thought out rule. Common sense should have decreed the driver acted correctly and hence no penalty and the rule be amended to take this unique circumstance into effect.

    I do feel something should be done about drivers causing yellow flags in qualifying though through mistakes which cost others.

  12. Personally i feel the FIA should have investigated these prior to Q2 starting and just penalise them before the session.

    That way those who did back off in Q1 like Magnussen do not suffer. He could have progressed and who knows where he would have qualified.

    Basically you get penalised for following the rules.

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