Lando Norris, McLaren, Interlagos, 2023

Norris and Tsunoda reprimanded for exceeding maximum lap time

Formula 1

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Sprint race pole winner Lando Norris has been reprimanded along with Yuki Tsunoda for exceeding the maximum lap time in sprint qualifying.

With the exception of the the Singapore Grand Prix, race director Niels Wittich has applied a maximum lap time that all drivers must stay under between the very end of the pit lane and the pit entrance for all laps in qualifying and sprint qualifying sessions.

For this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos, the limit that drivers must remain under between those two markers is 74 seconds. Following Saturday’s sprint qualifying, Norris, Tsunoda, George Russell, Oscar Piastri and Esteban Ocon were all noted for having exceeded the maximum lap time.

After investigating, the stewards decided to take no further action against Russell, Piastri and Ocon, after determining that all three had exceeded the limit due to backing off to allow rivals on faster cars by and that they had not driven “unnecessarily slowly”.

However, the stewards determined that both Norris and Tsunoda “could have done more” to avoid breaching the maximum lap time after the pair had slowed from the start of their cool down laps in order to create a margin to Charles Leclerc, who had left the pit lane ahead of both. As neither Norris nor Tsunoda had to yield to cars on flying laps throughout their lap, the stewards determined that they “could have done more to manage the delta time in a better way.”

Norris and Tsunoda drivers were handed reprimands for failing to adhere to the maximum lap times – the first of the season for both. It is the first time since the maximum lap time was extended to apply to all laps in qualifying that any drivers have been penalised for breaching the rule.

The decision does not affect the grid positions for the sprint race, with Norris retaining pole position and Tsunoda starting from sixth.

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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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One comment on “Norris and Tsunoda reprimanded for exceeding maximum lap time”

  1. Hm, well, that is really clear now how drivers should drive then right? Honestly, I have little clue what Norris and Tsunoda did worse than the other guys, but then again, I was really starting to wonder why they even mention these “infractions” when we never see any penalties for them. I guess Wittich felt the same here so they managed to find two occasions to hand them out.

    I guess next round we are going to see grid drops for them, everyone will be enraged and they will change the approch but it won’t actually change anything. Like we’ve seen with the dithering into the last turn, then out of the pitlane, now between the pit exit and the 2nd SC line.

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