Lando Norris, McLaren, Spa-Francorchamps, 2021

Qualifying red-flagged after huge crash for Norris at Raidillon

2021 Belgian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix has been red-flagged after Lando Norris suffered a heavy crash as rain fell during Q3.

Norris hit the barrier on the inside of the left-hander at Raidillon after losing control of his car while climbing the hill from Eau Rouge. His McLaren suffered heavy damage to the left-hand side and rear, though Norris was able to get out of the car by himself. He was taken to the medical centre for checks.

The McLaren driver had been quickest in both the first two parts of qualifying in wet conditions. However the rain began to fall more heavily as Q3 began.

Norris was quick to leave the pits on a set of full wet weather tyres. Others headed out as well, including Sebastian Vettel, who said on his out-lap the session should be red-flagged due to the volume of water on-track.

Norris also described aquaplaning after leaving the pits but continued on to begin a timed lap. However the car snapped away from him as he left Eau Rouge, and spun towards the barrier at the top of the hill.

The session was immediately red-flagged. Vettel was told of Norris’ crash as he approached the scene and made clear his unhappiness that the session hadn’t been stopped.

“What the fuck did I say?” Vettel fumed. “What did I say? Red flag! Unnecessary. Is he okay?” Vettel stopped by the crashed McLaren and exchanged thumbs-ups with Norris before proceeding. “He’s okay,” said Vettel.”

“Sorry boys,” said Norris on his radio. “We should have had a good one there. I let you down, my bad.”

The session is yet to restart. The beginning of qualifying had already been delayed by 12 minutes due to rain.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2021 Belgian Grand Prix

Browse all 2021 Belgian Grand Prix articles

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

13 comments on “Qualifying red-flagged after huge crash for Norris at Raidillon”

  1. Russell was almost aquaplaning on the main straight….. Ridiculous that Masi didn’t red flag the session before a crash happened……..

    1. the guy is just not fit for his Job

      1. He’s very dangerous. 100%.

        1. Agreed Dave

      2. Yep,i tend to agree with that…

    2. That’s a weird stance to me. It should never be red flagged, unless an accident happens. It’s up to the drivers to navigate the track depending on the conditions.

      1. Agree @losd. But some people will criticise Masi whatever he does. They’d prefer the Whiting era, when the Safety Car would be deployed in intermediate conditions, unless there was also a tractor on the track in which case full speed ahead.

    3. If he’s aquaplaning on the straight, why is he going with 300kph through Raidillon?

  2. The inconsistency is infuriating. They delayed the start of the session even though it wasn’t raining. But they let them out at the start of Q3 just after the heavy rain had begun.

    1. @carbon_fibre

      They delayed the start of the session even though it wasn’t raining.

      It was raining very heavily when the decision was made just before the session started. It then stopped raining & the worst of the standing water drained & overall track dried much faster than expected.

      I think how quickly the water drained/track dried initially maybe played into them opting to start Q3. The thinking maybe been that with the worst of the water seeming to drain fairly quickly to begin with due to the improvements the circuit has made in that regard the past few years that having cars on track would also help shift some of the standing water & that conditions would be manageable.

      Yes some drivers were raising concerns but that isn’t the only thing race control look at. They are also looking at the overall conditions, how quickly the worst of the water is likely to drain & what the radar is showing.
      It works the same the other way when in races you sometimes hear drivers saying its good to start but the race director be it Michael now or Charlie in the past keep the SC out as they can see things & have data the drivers don’t which makes them feel holding off on starting/restarting is the best thing to do.

      And lets not also forget that fans & drivers often criticise the decision either way. In this case Michael is been criticised for been too slow to call the red flag but in the past both he & Charlie have been criticised just as heavily for calling a red flag (Or opting for a SC start) too soon by many of the same people.

  3. Very Gutted that Norris crashed out at his Home GP.

    1. Yet Max took pole on HIS home gp

      1. Max’s home GP is Zandvoort and Norris’ home GP is Silverstone.

Comments are closed.