Lando Norris, McLaren, Miami International Autodrome, 2024

Norris says Hamilton “obviously” to blame as stewards explain lack of penalty

Formula 1

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Lando Norris says it is “obvious” who was to blame for the first corner clash which put him out of the Miami sprint race.

The McLaren driver was eliminated from the sprint race on the first lap after being hit by Lance Stroll’s Aston Martin as part of a chain reaction started by Hamilton.

Norris was hit by Stroll after contact from his team mate Fernando Alonso, who appeared to only hit the sister Aston Martin as a result of contact from Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes. Hamilton had made an aggressive move at pass up the inside of the corner, later claiming it was because he saw a gap to the inside of turn one and had decided to attempt a pass.

The resulting contact put Norris out of the race on the spot, while Stroll suffered damage in the clash and returned to the pits where he also retired. Hamilton went on to finish eighth, but lost the final point after a post-race time penalty for speeding in the pit lane.

Speaking after the sprint race, Norris said it was “obvious” who was responsible for the clash.

“Lewis dived up the inside and caused the incident,” Norris told the official F1 channel. “Nothing I could do about that.”

Although Norris was unsure of the full extent of the damage to his car, he explained it did not seem worth continuing in the race.

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“Damage, I’m not sure – I think everything is okay,” Norris said.

“It looks like my rim was just gone. I thought it was just suspension damage, but, no point in trying to get the car back for a race where there’s hardly any points and damage anything further. So best just to jump out.”

However the stewards ruled the two Aston Martin drivers had already made contact before Hamilton touched Alonso’s car. They therefore determined no driver was chiefly to blame, which was why they decided not to issue any penalties.

“From the video evidence, it appeared that there were at least three collisions that occurred – the first between cars 14 [Alonso] and 18 [Stroll] and then between car 44 [Hamilton] and car 14 and
finally between car 18 and car four [Norris].

“While it appeared to us that the incidents began with cars 14 and 18, the sudden and fast arrival of car 44 contributed to the various collisions. However, we were not able to identify one or more drivers wholly or predominantly to blame for the various collisions or any one of them.

“Also keeping in mind that this was in turn one of lap one where greater latitude is given to drivers for incidents, we took no further action.”

Norris has been summoned to the race stewards for crossing the race track after the race to return to the pit lane. Hamilton was given a €50,000 (£42,925) fine – of which €25,000 was suspended – for committing the same offence during the 2023 Qatar 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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23 comments on “Norris says Hamilton “obviously” to blame as stewards explain lack of penalty”

  1. How else could’ve he returned to the pit lane?
    FIA should stop caring about drivers briefly crossing the track from T1 to pit lane when a race or sprint is SC-neutralized & all cars on a different section, meaning zero risks in doing so.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      4th May 2024, 20:06

      there is always a way back to the pits without crossing directly on the track at every circuit. Drivers usually get given a lift there. Norris should have climed over the barrier on the side of the track he was on and got back that way, even if it was longer. I believe hamilton has done similar to him quite recently too which is easy to avoid.

      1. Yes, in last season’s Qatar GP & coincidenntly, also from T1 towards the pit entry.

    2. It’s all part of this new generation of safety beyond common sense. I am surprised drivers aren’t forced to wear diapers now for their own safety.

      1. Johnny Five
        5th May 2024, 15:27

        That would not be for the drivers’ safety but for that of the pit crew and marshals who might have to extricate a driver after an exceptionally stressful incident.

  2. Obviously not or he would have got a penalty.

    1. So the stewards can never be wrong? That’s absolutely not the general opinion here, and for good reason.

  3. Reminded me of a PlayStation 1 F1 overtake in arcade mode LOL

  4. That’s a rubbish argument.

    Also they need to stop treating lap 1 as if this was Formula 4. This is the pinnacle of Motorsport. Some incidents deserve investigations… You can’t go all the way on the inside, on the dirty side, like a train without expecting bad consequences. Specially this corner tightens up…

  5. Can anyone explain to me what it means for an incident to be under investigation or not? During the sprint, the commentators said this incident wasn’t even being investigated, so if they aren’t investigated, why are they looking in detail about whether the AMs were touching before Hamilton joined the scene or not? And if that sort of investigation happens before an incident is officially investigated, what on earth happens during an actual investigation? And what does it mean when an incident is merely noted?!

    1. An incident can be referred to the stewards by the race director for further investigation. But the stewards can also start an investigation on their own. This probably leads to some cases where the stewards don’t think the incidents brought to their attention by the race director warrant further investigation and penalties.

  6. Alonso: slightly brushed by Sainz during back-and-forth wheel-to-wheel racing with consequences only to his own race/car.

    Stewards: PENALTY!

    Hamilton: comes Daniel Kyvating into T1 and SMASHING into the side of Alonso’s car, ruining three drivers’ races on the spot with two unable to even continue.


    A certain vocal group of fans: It’s all in Alonso’s head!

    1. and in those of Ham anti fans like you. maybe alonso should have also gotten a penalty for crashing into Stroll first. Or your bias also leads to nonsense that he only did this to avoid Ham?

      1. I like Lewis. And besides Gasly and Ocon, I don’t dislike any of the drivers. So, shows how absurd your assumptions are. Unlike this new generation of polarized social media fans, I never saw the point in slavishly pulling against or for one driver.

    2. EffWunFan (@cairnsfella)
      5th May 2024, 3:48

      Nick. T You do make me smile with your oh so unbiased viewpoints. Alonso with is lower-case and slight actions, Hamilton with his all-caps red mist catastrophe. I was even imagining the sound tracks you would accompany each with. Perhaps some angelic string quartet over the former, and Highway to Hell over the latter.

      Incidentally, I am an LH fan, but I also believe he was rather optimistic with the inside move into turn 1, however it is clear (or perhaps in the spirit of things I should say, it was BLATANTLY OBVIOUS) that LS pushed FA further into LH’s path making it very difficult to know what the exact outcome would have been without that initial Aston to Aston contact, so I can see why LH was fortunate to escape penalty.

      I am surprised LN was so adamant in blaming LH given that LS was driving into FA anyway.

      1. You fail to see this has nothing to do with Lewis. I don’t blame Lewis for stewards’ bias. And I didn’t even really care about the incident itself. It’s just the sprint. My point was solely about the double standard some drivers have always been held to.

  7. Glad we have some veteran racers with lots of experience and skills to show the youngsters how real racers do it… Man, Hamilton is really out to make a point isn’t he? It was always the car… Because the man has serious skills issues.

    Okay, point taken Lewis, now can you please just drive around anonymously the rest of the season without screwing others drivers out of their chance to have a decent race? That would be lovely

    1. another anti fan. alonso crashed already, so maybe he should learn how to drive.

      1. He was a point though. Alonso this season has become a liability in terms of wheel to wheel racing and Hamilton comes across as a man who has mentally checked out and doesn’t car anymore.
        They were both great drivers and probably still are, but their last races were pretty underwhelming

        1. This is a bizarre take considering Alonso’s race in China was anything but underwhelming. Had the safety car not come out when it did, he was going to finish 5th in the 10th best car. And to call the lightest of kisses with Sainz an “incident” is laughable, unless you only want DRS passing. Hamilton’s incident was no big deal and has nothing to do with his age. Was Sainz blasting into the side of Alonso last season proof he’s a liability? I guess by your logic.

    2. EffWunFan (@cairnsfella)
      5th May 2024, 3:57

      I am reasonably convinced that almost every driver with ambition has or will try an optimistic dive at some point unless they are in a car that they know can cleanly overtake those ahead. Such is the nature of driving at the limit and trying not to cross the line. It’s making a habit of crossing the line that is the problem.

      Because the man has serious skills issues.

      Yes, like everyone is always saying. It’s a wonder her ever progressed past karting.

    3. Maybe look at the Stroll v Alonso crash before blaming Hamilton. They were having their own crash first, causing all the chaos.

    4. That would be totally out of character. The fake oversteeering of the overbrake divebomb which “accidentally” ruins the rival’s car is very much the character. There are d1rty drivers, then there are ch34t1ng drivers, and then there is… you already know

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