Alex Albon, Williams; Lando Norris, McLaren; Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2023

Williams to attend hearing on McLaren’s attempt to overturn Norris penalty

2023 Austrian Grand Prix

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Williams will participate in an FIA hearing in response to McLaren’s attempt to overturn a penalty Lando Norris was given in the Canadian Grand Prix.

McLaren requested a review of the time penalty Norris was given for what the stewards called “unsportsmanlike behaviour.” They ruled he held up drivers behind him during a Safety Car period while following his team mate Oscar Piastri. Doing so would have reduced the time Norris lost to his rivals when both McLarens pitted while the race was neutralised.

Norris was three seconds behind his team mate at the moment the Safety Car was deployed. While all cars slowed to adhere to their Safety Car deltas, Norris reduced his speed more than his team mate did, allowing the gap to Piastri to grow to seven seconds by the time he entered the pit lane. Norris was therefore able to complete his pit stop without being hindered by his team mate ahead and retain track position.

The car immediately behind Norris when the Safety Car was deployed, Charles Leclerc, did not follow the two McLarens into the pit lane and stayed out. However Alexander Albon, who was behind Leclerc, did pit and rejoined close behind Norris. The Williams driver potentially could have gained 11th place from Norris had the McLaren not slowed to build a gap.

Later in the race Albon moved ahead of Norris when the McLaren driver made his second pit stop. Albon did not pit a second time, running a long stint to finish in seventh. Norris finished ninth on the road but was demoted to 13th after his penalty was applied.

The stewards deemed Norris had breached Article 12.2.1.L of the FIA’s International Sporting Code which refers to “any infringement of the principles of fairness in competition, behaviour in an unsportsmanlike manner or attempt to influence the results of a competition, in a way that is contrary to sporting ethics.”

However, on Friday, McLaren announced that they would exercise their right to a review of Norris’s penalty, stating their belief that “enough evidence exists” for them to challenge the decision. The Austrian Grand Prix stewards have now confirmed that the hearing for the review will take place at 9.30am on Sunday prior to the grand prix itself.

Both McLaren and Williams are required to attend the hearing, which will first determine whether there is “significant and relevant new element which was unavailable” at the time the penalty was assessed. Any other teams who consider themselves a “concerned party” can also ask permission of the stewards to attend.

Norris secured fourth on the grid for tomorrow’s Austrian Grand Prix in Friday’s qualifying, while Albon also reached Q3 and will start in 10th in his Williams.

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2023 Austrian Grand Prix

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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3 comments on “Williams to attend hearing on McLaren’s attempt to overturn Norris penalty”

  1. I was initially baffled about how is Williams concerned when I read the FIA document, but this article shed light, so not anymore. Nothing will probably change in the end.

  2. Rules should be clear. If he was outside the safety car delta, penalty is deserved. If not, no penalty should be imposed. Otherwise, judgement would be subjective and will vary from venue to another and we go into the inconsistency stewarding issue again.

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