Lando Norris, McLaren, Red Bull Ring, 2021

Norris two penalty points away from ban after Perez incident

2021 Austrian Grand Prix

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Lando Norris and Sergio Perez collected three penalties between them for a series of incidents during the Austrian Grand Prix.

The penalties, which were all issued for drivers being forced off-track, began with Norris and Perez’s clash on the third lap of the race.

The pair went into turn four side-by-side as they disputed second place after the restart, Norris on the inside. As the McLaren driver ran to the outside of the corner Perez was forced onto the gravel. The Red Bull driver lost seven places, falling to 10th.

Following a lengthy investigation the stewards announced on lap 20 Norris had been given a five-second time penalty, which he served at his pit stop.

The stewards ruled Norris “was judged not to give [Perez] enough room and [Perez] was forced off the track.” Norris was given two penalty points, putting him on a total of 10, leaving him two away from an automatic ban. The McLaren driver will have two points deducted from his licence on July 10th, prior to the British Grand Prix, putting him onto eight.

Perez was later involved in two similar incidents with Charles Leclerc, both of which led to the Red Bull driver being given five-second time penalties. Leclerc was furious after being forced wide at turn four and turn six on separate occasions.

Like Norris, Perez was given two penalty points per incident. In both the stewards also ruled he failed to give Leclerc enough room at the exit of the corner. Perez is now on eight penalty points.

Perez lost seven places after running through the gravel trap

This article will be updated

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2021 Austrian Grand Prix

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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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64 comments on “Norris two penalty points away from ban after Perez incident”

  1. The track is wide enough for two car widths, so Norris didn’t need to take all space away from Perez. He has to be careful until he loses some penalty points.

    1. The only way for a F1 car to leave space during turning is by braking. So Norris should have left Perez overtake him. But Norris was on the racing line and in front of Perez. Perez was the one who had to brake and back up. Norris did nothing wrong.

      1. Can also leave space by throttling less. Checo was infront before the corner but he should have let that one go. None of the 3 incidents should have been penalties.

        Reply moderated
      2. Broccoliface
        4th July 2021, 16:48

        They’re accelerating there so all he had to do is accelerate less, though the result is the same. And that’s assuming they’re on the limit of grip and not just turning the minimum for speed reasons. If it’s that then all he had to do was turn more and be prepared to scrub off speed. As they should, it’s a race, not a time trial.

    2. Norris didn’t take any space from Perez, that’s just the nature of the corner. The driver on the inside is always going to drift out wide naturally at turn 4.

      1. Sam (@undercut677)
        4th July 2021, 17:25

        They drift wide but they can leave space. There are many examples every race in Austria of 2 cars going side to side in that corner.

        Reply moderated
    3. Not really. He loses 2 points before we race again, so its a bit sensationalist.

      1. @eurobrun On the other hand, Perez just managed to get 4 points in the space of a single race session. Norris does need to be careful to at least avoid doing repeated offences during next weekend (he’s due to lose two more before Hungary, at which point he can more or less stop worrying about ban risks).

  2. He’ll lose 2 penalty points on 12th July. He’ll never drive an F1 session with these 10 penalty points.

    1. Yes. However the problem is that he won’t lose any more penalty points till November and there are a lot of races this season. He can’t afford to be careless again or he will be on the brink soon.

  3. Norris is effectively on eight since he loses two penalty points before British GP.

  4. Just goes to show how stupid F1s dolling out of penalty points is

    Lando’s one of the cleanest drivers out there, he barley puts a foot wrong

    The whole penalty points situation was to deal with dangerous drivers… I can’t remember who, maybe Maldonado?

    FIA really needs to deal with this ridiculous stewarding situation where untrained people make important decisions

    1. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
      4th July 2021, 16:29

      he barley puts a foot wrong

      Obviously not

    2. Broccoliface
      4th July 2021, 16:33

      Your point would have more gravitas if you didn’t have Lando/McLaren supporter in your bio.

      1. Yes I am a McLaren Fan, however I have taken this line for a long time, not just now because it’s Lando

        Yes, obviously Lando has been given points for a reason, but if you look at what they are for, none are for being dangerous or causing crashes

        My point is on track racing, Lando is very clean, he has never crashed into another driver. His points are for silly infringements of rules

        Points should be dolled out for being dangerous like what they were intended for. Minor incidents should be dealt with on track at the time

        Points lead to race bans. That is serious business and should be reserved for seriously as driving

        1. That’s supposed to say seriously BAD driving!

        2. Coventry Climax
          5th July 2021, 1:05

          I agree with you.
          Mr. Masi and his club will certainly have had a good day at the office; so much work to do! So much to invent and then act upon!
          Look at the second Tsunoda pitlane entry infringement, that must have been at least a 15 millimetre beyond the line! The Perez move on Lando was just plain stupid. Dumb enough to race someone you’re not actually racing, given the mission he undoubtedly had of keeping the Mercs behind, dumb enough not to wait for DRS to become available and dumb enough to just have to pass on the outside in a corner where you know there’s a very good chance of being squeezed and therefor a very good chance of picking up damage, no matter who’s fault it actually is. Unfortunately mr. Masi’s club of ‘racing experts’ takes none of this into account.
          Just look at the sheer amount of ‘incidents’ and penalties and you know something is not right. Combine this with the times where no, very late or plain whimsical action is taken, and you know something is very wrong indeed.

    3. Lando has just showed he is a dirty driver, and today Lando showed his studs. Rather than letting Perez passed him, he tried to provoque an accident. Lando knew that if the case of an accident Perez would have got the worst part. Clearly, Perez had a better pace, and better car same as the previous race.

      Disappointing Lando and because of that Bottas is going to take four place (Lando 5th).

      Reply moderated
    4. @the-edge Stewards (at least, those who came through the system in the last decade and aren’t driver-stewards) are trained these days – they have to do two days of observation before getting their international licences, and another one before doing Grands Prix. There’s also a certain amount of continuous professional development required. Which is quite a lot of work for a volunteer role.

      Of course, they are working with a rule book thick enough that it’s a relief that it’s digital. None of us would want a full paper copy of the F1 rules to land on our toes…

  5. I don’t think any of the penalties for Lando or Perez were justified TBH. It was just close, hard racing.

    1. I agree about the one with Lando and the second one with Charles. But the first one with the Ferrari?! It doesn’t get any clearer than this. If that’s not a penalty, then they could just drive around however they like, without any rules whatsoever.
      It’s very easy to see from Perez’s onboard, that he delibaretly turns in on Leclerc (which Lando hasn’t done) to push him off track. That’s not good racing behaviour and needs to be punished. I think he even got away with it to a certain degree, because that move deserved a drive-through-penalty.

      1. Sam (@undercut677)
        4th July 2021, 17:28

        Of course Lando deliberately took that wide line. Lando turned into Checo with his throttle. I dont think any of the 3 incidents should have been penalties but its silly to say Lando didnt turn into Checo.

        Reply moderated
      2. I see it much like you do there @srga91. That penalty for Norris was a really harsh interpretation of the rules, since he did not at any moment move towards Perez, instead it was Perez who tried to go for a gap on the outside that was always going to close.

        Similarly that move by Leclerc around the outside of turn 6(or 7? whatever) was unlikely to work out, due to how the track flow goes.

        The first move showed Perez really barging into the front wheel of Leclerc under braking into turn 4 and then once again later during the turn. That was a clear cut penalty I feel.

        Then again, maybe the Stewards felt they had been too lenient after qualifying, where probably about a third of the field were involved in what resulted in Alonso’s Q2 lap being aborted and Vettel not even making it through to go on a lap, and getting a penalty on top for being overtaken and then having to slow down for cars that jumped ahead of him and did exactly what Masi warned them not to do during Qualifying.

    2. When was accepted rule, a driver can push other from the track?

      1. At least since 2019, same race, when VER pushed off-track LEC to take the lead.

      2. Hamilton also runs people off on the racing line. My take on it is if the driver is fully alongside they should be left the space. The Leclerc Verstappen one was about as close to that as you can get. Personally today I felt Lando should have left more room, but the Perez on on Leclerc was clear cut since he basically rammed him first @denis1304

    3. This has been the accepted norm for generations. There are also sound justifications for this.
      1. The racing line.
      2. momentum and downforce.

      Downforce is created with greater speeds, when a driver tries to overtake round the outside on a curve, the driver on the inside can not afford to slow down too much or he loses his downforce and drifts even wider or spins into the car on the outside. We have seen this happen so many times. For a driver to overtake safely round the outside, then he must posses a greater momentum such that he is already more than a cars length ahead and there must be multiple lines going through that corner.
      These recent video game drivers seem to expect the driver on the inside to suddenly disappear or change their orbit with ease.
      The FIA has made things worse because the driver on the inside can suddenly lose downforce and have nowhere else to go than into the driver passing on the outside, yet they go on to punish the guy who has suddenly lost downforce.
      In a regular road racing car it is not a problem but when what makes you go at those speeds around the corner is generated by wings or floors, it all changes.

  6. Hope we gets a ban

    1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      4th July 2021, 16:59

      If he does I just hope it’s after Pato O’Ward gets the superlicense berth

    2. Meanwhile Perez is on 8 points after picking up 4 for his 2 run ins with Leclerc… if he gets 2 more for this yellow flag incident, then he’s on 10 for silverstone!
      Albon will be watching with interest!

  7. Perez should’ve backed out of it, because there was no way Lando would give him that position. Norris gave him enough space initially and then just drove his usual racing line. There simply wasn’t enough space for the RB to pass. Perez should’ve realized that and try another time. He just ruined his own race and later Leclerc’s as well.
    This reminded me a little bit of 2013, when he would collide with Button every second race.
    Lando’s penalty was harsh and so are the penalty points on his license.

    1. Agree, and even Christian Horner saw it as a ‘racing incident’ when he was asked about it by the Sky crew shortly after it had happened.

  8. 8 points and no more point drops till November. That’s a little too close too comfort. Never thought of Lando has having so many points. He seems like a generally clean racer. May be I misremember.

  9. Norris’ statement – ‘[Pérez] tried to go around the outside which is a bit stupid, and he ran off the track himself.’ – doesn’t suggest he’s being very introspective after his penalty. If he keeps this up, a ban will force him to reconsider some of his moves, which is exactly why the penalty points were introduced.

    1. Did you not watch the race…? Even Christian Horner said it was a racing incident BEFORE Lando was even given the penalty

      1. Wow, that’s honest of him, I agree also.

    2. @cashnotclass Agree that comment from Norris did him no favors

  10. I honestly think personal bias goes into how viewers take these penalties. My friend is a big Lando fan and I’m supporting Checo so we saw the first incident completely opposite. Lando has done a good job and ruined Checo’s race 2 weekends in a row and I hope he get’s paid back later in the year in kind.

    1. I guess Christian Horner’s a Lando fan too then…? Because he said no penalty too

  11. I doubt RB pushed to have this examined as lando was helping being in between verstappen and Hamilton…

    Wonder if Merc requested it?

    1. Well, Horner literally said it was a racing incident and there was nothing wrong with it. If it was RB, I assume McLaren could’ve just turned around and said, hey they said it’s fine publically so it’s fine. Even if they couldn’t do that, I think it’s clear RB didn’t request it and the only other teams to benefit from Lando getting a penalty were Ferrari (for WCC P3) and Mercedes. I personally think it’s more likely to be Wolff than Binotto, but either are most likely in my opinion.

      Reply moderated
    2. Coventry Climax
      5th July 2021, 1:20

      Which was actually Perez’ job, which he ignored by racing Norris without waiting for DRS (and I hate DRS, but in this league, you have to use what you get), gambling and losing, by going for the outside in a corner he should know is very trick to say the least. It’s actually irrelevant who’s fault the incident was, as it was stupid of Perez to gamble in this way in the first place. That’s why Perez had such trouble going to a top-team: he’s unable to pick the right place and time for a fight, and let’s his sense of honor/pride cloud his brain.

    3. @captainpie It was too soon for anyone to have requested it, I suspect.

  12. Seb, Lance or George are all eligible for the McLaren substitution. Can’t include Nicholas for a reason though…

    1. Seb’s ineligible unless Mercedes buys out his (rather lucrative) Aston Martin contracts. (The plural is because Seb has a separate one for Aston Martin road car ambassadorship, something incompatible with racing for Mercedes even if technically the Contracts Recognitions Bureau would only require Mercedes to buy out the racing contract).

      1. So he isn’t now. Lance eligible though?

  13. Wishing Lando gets a race ban this season.
    That may be the only way to cancel such a stupid system, by getting the first ban to one of the finest drivers of the grid.

    This system was created for the stewards to issue softer penalties and avoid the team’s pressure, because of their lack of balls to wave a damn drive through, stop and go or black flag whenever necessary.

    If the penalty is not an automatic one (such as the one given when passing the white line in the pit exit), then they only know the +5 seconds (which, in turn, is served in a pit stop and even gives the team the chance of doing an easier pit stop).

    1. @sugoi From precedent, I think it’s more likely that the stewards will be increasingly reluctant to issue penalties as drivers get closer to the ban threshold, unless they do something truly, spectacularly ridiculous (the sort of thing that rarely happens in any case and probably isn’t affected by whether a penalty system exists or not).

  14. I don’t think the Norris one was worthy of a penalty. There are subtleties of difference between the 2 similar incidents that make them different contextually.

    Perez is already running in too deep on exit trying to go around the outside, i’m not convinced he was actually staying on track even if Lando didn’t squeeze him that hard, there was just enough room on the kerb and if Perez had lifted sooner, he’d have stayed on. He stayed in it trying to wall of death it around the outside and was probably off regardless, running out of grip. For me that was hard racing. Lando probably ends up with the penalty purely because Perez lost so many places with the off.

    The Perez penalty at the same corner was fair however, Leclerc was making the corner, in the corner and Perez squeezed him via a wheel bang onto the gravel.

  15. FIA, consistency please.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cV0G1zN8kJU

    2 yearyeas ago, the incident of the video was deemed as a racing incident. Not the same situation, but same track and action: pushing a driver out of the track.

    1. @sugoi we get it – now, could you stop the spam attack on this site and stop copying and pasting the same post again and again on multiple different threads?

      1. (Video Assistant Steward blows the whistle, gives the VAR Check sign and runs to the monitor)
        Commentator: “The Video Assistant Steward is now running to the monitor screen and will judge the incident all by himself now.”
        (Video Assistant Steward checking the monitor, while the incident is replayed in so many different angles)
        Co-Commentator: “It’s hard racing.”
        (Check is done, Video Assistant Steward blows the whistle, gives the VAR Check sign and then gives the “No Penalty” sign, followed by loud cheers from Verstappen fans)
        Commentator: “He’s given the sign – NO PENALTY! Loud cheers from the Dutch! The Monegasque are very disappointed!”

  16. Whether or not any of the penalties was justified, I think 2 penalty points is a bit harsh. 1 would have sufficed for all of the incidents, maybe 2 for Perez’s second solely because it was the second, but I think 1 should have been fine.

    Imo, it should have been black and white flag for the first offence, then penalise afterwards for repeated incidents.

  17. I find myself rooting for Perez a lot but that was some wild NASCAR stuff from him today. You can take your line on the exit but he actually hit leclerc before the exit and the second time the Ferrari was ahead when he pushed him off. Leclerc was possibly ahead into the first time too. If I was him I would have had some red mist too after losing a possible p2 to Norris’ foul but I don’t get paid the big bucks to keep cool and bring results.

  18. I thought the leaving a cars width rule was for cars overtaking on a straight, the speed through a corner is dictated by the radius of the bend, to say Lando should of left a cars width would mean going through the corner slower so He could take a tighter line leaving a cars width.
    Look how Alonso when racing Russell tried an overtake into four around the outside, started the overtake then realised it wasn’t going to stick and backed off.
    Things like these penalties and DRS just make me think more and more that F1 isnt really a sport but just a form or entertainment.

    1. Exactly this. On a straight, it’s reasonable to leave space for a rival who is trying to pass, to protect against people being put into the wall at high speeds. In a corner, that’s just not practical – the racing line uses the full width of the track, and the defending driver arrives into the corner with a certain speed – they can’t just suddenly tighten the line to make space for a rival. Perhaps Michael Masi lacks the experience of high-speed racing to appreciate this, but Derek Warwick was there in the stewards’ room to give the perspective of the driver – none of those three penalties should have been given. I expect the drivers will express as much to the stewards in the briefing room next time around. After all, the drivers are there to race, and don’t want that to be taken away from them (any more than dirty air and fragile tyres already have).

      1. Sam (@undercut677)
        5th July 2021, 15:00

        Of course the inside car can leave space for the rival, they can take a sharper, slower line through the corner. There are many examples every race of the driver on the inside taking an inside line through T4 to allow space on the outside. Sure, taking the inside line makes it harder to stay ahead and this is where things get tricky. If the car the inside car is ahead going into the corner, then I think he can take any line, however, if the inside car is behind then that’s where it gets complicated.

        I suspect that they also want to promote overtakes and allowing the inside car to do whatever they want will hurt overtakes going forward.

  19. Why give penalties during the race AND penalty points for what were, ultimately, racing incidents? They were already quite borderline…

    I think they need to review the way they give these points. Because license points should be given for serious offences. Those resuting from wheel to wheel racing, even if one driver is clearly at fault, contradicts the “let them race” initiative.

    Speeding in the pitlane? sure. Crashing into someone? not slowing for yellows? sure… but for moves that were already penalized during the race? don’t think so

  20. In my years of watching F1, I’ve noticed passing can be quite dangerous. Is there a way we can use the rules to eliminate passing altogether?

  21. Terrible, terrible decision by the stewards to penalise Lando in the first incident. That should have been a P2 result for him.

    And that bad decision forced the stewards to make a second bad one – penalising Perez for Leclerc’s anger-move around the outside of turn 6.

    Perez’s shove on Leclerc in Turn 4 was the only one of the three outside moves that deserved a penalty.

  22. I hate that move, the squeeze on the exit. Having said that, I believe there is enough of a precedent that it’s allowed and therefore should not be awarded with a penalty here. The stewards were on them just a bit too much here but not where it mattered, in Q2 yesterday. They should have penalized the Vettel overtakers for slowing down

    1. RP (@slotopen)
      5th July 2021, 4:42

      My thoughts too, at least about hating squeeze on exit and lack of consistency.

      Also hate penalty point system. It doesn’t seem to do much to deter consistently dangerous drivers but does magnify whatever penalties are given

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