Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Monza, 2021

Norris clash shows stewards were too soft on Verstappen-Hamilton incidents – Stella

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McLaren team principal Andrea Stella says Lando Norris’ race ending clash with Max Verstappen was a result of the world champion not receiving harsh enough punishments for past incidents with Lewis Hamilton.

Norris was forced out of the race with a damaged car when he and Verstappen collided twice at turn three on lap 64.

Both suffered damage and punctured tyres in the clash and were forced to pit. Verstappen was able to continue and finish fifth, but Norris was unable to continue with the damage sustained. The stewards ruled Verstappen “predominately” to blame for the clash and handed him a 10-second time penalty.

Red Bull focused blame on Norris for the collision after the race, team principal Christian Horner claiming Norris “didn’t behave correctly”. Stella defended his driver and claimed Verstappen’s track record made it clear who was responsible.

“I see that the entire population of the world would know who is responsible, except for a group of people,” Stella told Sky.

“But the problem behind it is that if you don’t address these things honestly, they will come back. They have come back today because they were not addressed properly in the past, when there was some fights with Lewis that needed to be punished in a harsher way. Like this, you learn how to race in a certain way, which we can consider fair and square.”

Verstappen was involved in a series of incidents with Hamilton when the pair fought for the world championship in 2021. He was penalised for collisions between them at Monza and Jeddah that year, while another incident at Interlagos attracted no penalty, and Hamilton was held responsible for a tangle at Silverstone.

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Asked what example he was referring to, Stella replied: “There’s many episodes.”

“The fact is that we have so much respect for Red Bull, so much respect for Max – they don’t need to do this,” Stella continued “They don’t need to do this. This is a way to almost compromise your reputation. Why would you do that?”

After the race Norris said Verstappen had moved under braking more than once without attracting the attention of the stewards until their race-ending collision. Stella said all racing must adhere to the regulations and rules of engagement as understood by drivers and the stewards.

“I think the stewards found that Max was fully [sic] to blame in this episode,” Stella said “So it’s not about racing in a driver’s way, it’s about racing within the regulations.

“And the regulations must be enforced in a way that is effective, because when a car is out of the race, as a consequence of this accident, the punishment needs to be proportionate to the outcome. And we had, before that episode, twice [Verstappen] moving under braking.”

Fans were robbed of what could have been a thrilling battle between the pair to the chequered flag, Stella believes.

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“Even if Lando had passed Max, it could be that Max with the DRS effect here, which is very large, could have been in position to attack Lando again,” he said. “So actually I think we were prevented from looking at a pretty exciting final part of the race, because I’m not sure Lando would have gone away.

“I think the fight could have gone to the chequered flag. It’s a shame that we will never know.”

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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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82 comments on “Norris clash shows stewards were too soft on Verstappen-Hamilton incidents – Stella”

  1. We are going in a very wrong direction. Immediately F1 will be crying that we have a repeat of 2021 in the media. Shame the media is allowing this to happen.

    1. Refreshing. Max is entitled to what ever he wants to say, but the Stewards didn’t even punish Max. Disgusting behavior from the Stewards, just like in MotoGP when they were letting Marc Marquez punt riders off the track and almost kill people on cool down laps. Its just plain in the face of safety, hypocrites.

    2. I’m just gonna leave this one up here:

      Same situation, Sainz creeps to the left (which is logical for that righthander), Verstappen moves further on the blue. Stella’s driver could have avoided a collision, but in frustration decided he wouldn’t budge. The reality is that Norris acted like Verstappen did back in 2021.

      1. He was almost completely beside him, and he was trying to go around the outside, he was not in any way ready to cut behind him and make an easy pass from behind, which is what the bull could easily do before this year. completely different situation,

        Max drove in to Norris, while almost completely beside him to push him off track so he would lose track position and time. Because yes, he is a very dirty driver.

      2. You’re really going overtime here trying to put 100% of the blame on Norris while everyone in the F1 world bar Red Bull is saying it’s all Max’s fault. Even then, Max himself hardly seemed confident in thinking it wasn’t his fault so that might change.

        The simple rule is, Lando was alongside enough to warrant a car’s width. Max then moved into him and he no longer had a car’s width. Could Lando have moved over? Maybe. But that doesn’t suddenly make it his fault.

    3. Debra Woodhall-James
      1st July 2024, 3:30

      Clearly for years stewards have gone easy on Red Bull drivers, first Vettel and now Verstappen. They seldom get punishment when they do its minimal. 10 seconds wasn’t enough. He should have been penalised for moving on braking twice, then for getting back in front after going off the track, had that been done and Norris told to go back into the lead, the crash wouldn’t have happened. It was clear Verstappen wasn’t going to let Norris go past, and was happy to unfairly move while braking and turned into Norris twice to cause the crash
      Enabling him to finish the race and gain points Inc fastest lap seems unfair. Any driver who specifically drives into another driver to prevent a pass causing a collision should be dealt the blow of termination of this event and points given to him to use in his next race.

    4. I am more of the view Peter Windsor has on this incident. I fear overall race fans aren’t really race fans anymore. Looking at the comments in various articles about this topic it seems also the race fans group is slowly turning into the Liberty desired consumers of the entertainment.

    5. Well, actually not

      Appendix L, Chapter IV, Article 2b:
      “More than one change of direction to defend a
      position is not permitted.
      Any driver moving back towards the racing line,
      having earlier defended his position off-line, should
      leave at least one car width between his own car
      and the edge of the track on the approach to the
      However, manoeuvres liable to hinder other
      drivers, such as deliberate crowding of a car
      beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal
      change of direction, are strictly prohibited. Any
      driver who appears guilty of any of the above
      offences will be reported to the Stewards.”

      Max made one defensive move going off the racing line towards the right (to cover the inside of the corner). Then he moved back to the racing line (his move towards the left) and left a car’s width. Seems correct to me if you look at the rulebook.

  2. So you should have raised this point at the time you weak, weak man.

    1. At the time he was an engineer in a midfield team, so who would have cared? Probably even he himself didn’t care much back then…

    2. A weak man to you, but a saint to McLaren fans!

    3. Andrea Stella had no status to complain at that point and neither did McLaren. The precedent was set in Brazil 2007 when McLaren tried to protest BMW and Williams allegedly cooling their fuel too much. They were informed by the Court of Appeal that only teams directly affected by the alleged offence could complain and they weren’t considered directly enough affected to have standing.

      If you’re saying McLaren should have said all this in today’s incident, this would also not have been permitted under FIA regulations as the stewards found in their favour. If the penalty levied was too lenient, the only recourse is the International Court of Appeal, which costs €15,000 and won’t accept evidence until it’s decided whether there’s any point in having the appeal in the first place (something that rarely happens within a week of the incident).

  3. Never mind 2021, we all saw how Verstappen “won” here in 2019. He failed time and again to pass Leclerc, who was great on the defense. So he ran him off. Job done.

    1. Yes, austria 2019 was a great race and leclerc was a deserving winner, I didn’t like that way of overtaking, he had always come back at verstappen until he was forced off.

    2. yep, The Stewards have orders to let the demi-god get his way, so that Red Bull can sell drinks. Thing is, if I were Lando, next race, I would jink in to Max’s front wheel and put Max in to the wall at 160 kph, and never apologize. Cause, thats what the Stewards are incentivizing. Just completely put him in the hospital and thank the Stewards for doing nothing about it.

      1. That would be very bad Max had luck he wasn’t serious injured back in 2021 but that luck isn’t keeping up all the time. Why would do Lando that? He is a Lewis ruthless no he isn’t.

        There is always 2 sides while i give Max the most blame just moving back to the racing line too much but the second part that isn’t Max fault as his rear was already gone.

        I didn’t understood why Lando drove so fast back to the pit destroying his car while Max went slow and could continue….

    3. Absolutely. At least this time Verstappen got penalized. But I doubt he’ll adhere more to the rules in future: he’s still the clear winner here (10pts vs 0 for Lando).

      1. Max did not get penalised. He retained the 5th position that he finished in. He has spent years performing maneuvers that other drivers have received penalties for. The FIA have really shown any intention of penalising Max, even Sunday was an insignificant penalty. Time for the FIA to see there is more than the colour orange in F1. I like good hard racing but Max knows he I’d above the law and will continue to behave that way until someone gets hurt.

  4. “Norris didn’t behave correctly”, said Horner. Oh yes, he tried to win the race, right?

    What a clown.

    1. He didn’t behave correctly because he went off-track at least 5 times prior to the crash (only one of which involved Verstappen). While I am not sure Norris was ever going to make the specific move he was attempting work, the penalty should have been losing a bit of time down the next straight (for the natural consequences of the failed overtake) and then serve the 5 seconds (for the track limits), not get his front wing and tyres damaged.

      1. Two involved Max. And Max would have gotten a five second penalty too for gaining an advantage by going off track to gain an advantage. Additionally, that’s not what Horner was even referring too.

    2. A clown, a hypocrite, a cheat and all-round horrible person.

  5. First time I have read that the stewards ruled that Verstappen was “predominately” to blame, which means that the stewards also put some blame on Norris. I could understand Stella’s position, if Verstappen was wholly to blame, but as it stands his focus should be talking to Norris why he was partly to blame for the incident.

    1. ady (@sixwheeler)
      30th June 2024, 17:25

      I really want to hear any suggestions as to how Norris contributed to this collision. Perhaps he should have driven off the road when Max turned left into him?

      1. There was space on the outside so he could’ve opened a bit more

        1. So Norris should move left over the white line and risk another track limits just so max can go wherever he wants?

        2. Davethechicken
          30th June 2024, 18:26

          Nonsense. The only space on his outside was over the white line.

          1. Well there is space behind the white line as well. And usually this is also used

          2. He did not mind driving off the track in his divebomb attempts. There was an opportunity to take avoiding action and hope for a Verstappen penalty yet he chose not to.

        3. Davethechicken
          30th June 2024, 18:49

          The space behind the white line is off the track, Patrick. You know this, right? You seem to be saying Max should be allowed to crowd Lando off the track? You know that is illegal.

          1. I was only giving a suggestion as was asked above.

            I think Max could be punished for it but so could Lando some time before.

            I like to see hard racing and sometimes that goes wrong. Unfortunately we live in the times of overreacting and over regulating.

          2. Davethechicken
            30th June 2024, 19:58

            Max broke the rules. End of story.
            No driver should be allowed to cheat.
            Making out Lando should have done more to avoid Max by leaving the track is nonsense. Was he to expect an illegal move by Max, his friend?

            Talking about the other times Lando tried to overtake is whataboutery. It is completely irrelevant as to whether Max caused this collision or not.

        4. typical bully fan nonsense

      2. The FIA ruling does not say. Alonso was “wholly” to blame for his crash at the same corner.

        “Wholly” or “predominantly” does not make a difference in the penalty (10 seconds and 2 penalty points). It probably should though.

        1. @uzsjgb In theory, it makes a difference if deliberation becomes involved. However, this does not appear to have been cited in this instance.

      3. @sixwheeler The move was never going to work at that specific corner, so Lando probably should have driven according. However, having made the decision to try, Norris conducted himself as far properly as could be expected.

        1. It wasn’t meant to work in that corner – being on the outside would give him a much better run down to turn 4 and should have put him alongside him, on the inside on the exit of turn 3 with DRS. And Max knew that…. So, he did his usual trick – the opponent backs off or there’s a crash.

          Nothings changed, he’s still just a petulant child.

    2. Of course ‘behaving correctly’ is something Christian knows all about, especially with the ladies.

    3. There is always 2 sides as Lando could do more to evade the accident as you know how accidents on water is solved both parties are guilty and both have to proof they did everything to evade the accident.

  6. Tell us something we haven’t already known… for years now.

    Max’s race craft is one dimensional when he’s under pressure.

    1. From a woman’s point of view, purely, I don’t watch F1 with my hubby anymore because of Red Bulls antics but especially the stuff that Max Verstappen gets away with. All other drivers would have got grid penalties for being late for driver briefings, moving about more than once when being over taken, forcing drivers off the track, but whatever hold Red Bull has over the head of the FIA it is about time the team were fined and Verstappen had his card marked and started losing points and places on the grid!! Then I may start enjoying the FAIR side of F1 again, Jesus

    2. Yeah, I was having a massive irony attack listening to Verstappen saying “He just dove into the corner!”, as if that wasn’t Max’s signature move in 2021.

  7. And next weeks poll on here is guaranteed to be, by Keith ‘Should the stewards look at the result of a crash rather than the fact of the crash itself?’, with him of course saying yes.

    Yes this ‘objective’ person was all to happy to say in 2021 that Hamilton was punished fairly in the UK GP despite almost taking a life that day.

    1. Wing damage 5 second penalty, wing damage which results in affected driver losing positions 1 second per lost position, wing damage leading to a pitstop 10 second penalty, wing damage leading to a spin 5 second penalty, wing damage leading to a collision with driver injury 30 seconds, wing damage leading to angry radio messages 10 seconds extra on top.

      Floor damage 10 second penalty, etc. 10 seconds per lost wheel, etc.

      But the penalties for track limits must also reflect this, Norris wouldn’t have been close to Verstappen without his 4 track limit violations. So the consequences of those track limit violations lead to the crash with Verstappen and thus the punishment for them must take that into account

      The possibilities are just endless, what fun we could have.

    2. Hyperbole much? If you’re going to chalk up Silverstone as attempted murder, what about VER parking his car on HAM’s head at Monza or slamming on the brakes halfway down the straight at Jeddah? By the relatively lenient standards of the time, 10s was par for the course.

      People really seem to have lost all sense of perspective these past few years. Max has a habit of trying to bully his opponents on track and yet when people stand their ground or fight back in a similar manner, that’s somehow unacceptable.

      Andrea Stella is 100% right; what we’re seeing here is a legacy of the stewards’ prior leniency and inaction towards Max. If they don’t clamp down on it and Max continues to conduct himself like this wheel-to-wheel, it’s only to be expected that others will follow his example and the racing will continue to suffer.

    3. Yes this ‘objective’ person was all to happy to say in 2021 that Hamilton was punished fairly in the UK GP despite almost taking a life that day.

      1. The 2021 GB GP collision could have been totally avoided if Max had not cut right quite so sharply (just a few inches difference) Max made a rash move. A mistake, in fact.
      2. He was helicoptered to the nearest trauma centre as a precaution. They usually do that. Apparently the radiographers found evidence of a brain, with zero damage.

      The ‘attempted murder’ narrative from Horner was pretty typical. CH has a relationship with the truth that is best described as “distant”

      1. I’d call Horner’s relationship with the true being “distant” extremely generous.

      2. I think your first point is quite similar to saying that Verstappen was only “predominantly” to blame for this collision with Norris. Yes, hypothetically, he could have done something different to avoid the crash, but the main cause of the crash was Hamilton (at Silverstone) or Verstappen (here) putting his car in a place it shouldn’t have been. It might be “predominantly” to blame from the legalistic perspective of the stewards, but everyone sensible knows where to point the finger.

    4. The difference of course is Hamilton doesn’t make a habit of crashing into people when racing for the lead.

      1. Not sure how ling you arevwatching f1.
        Ham has a special move for that. Ask albon i e.

    5. Mark in Florida
      30th June 2024, 20:38

      The solution is easy, give no time penalties at all. If you are guilty of causing a crash you get a drive through penalty. These time penalties are stupid. They accomplish nothing to punish the guilty. Max still finished 5 but the guy he crashed into didn’t finish at all? Where’s the punishment, where’s the deterrent in the 10 second penalty? There is none. If Max or any other driver was given a drive through for causing a crash they would quit doing it or end up going a lap down every time. Now that’s a penalty.

      1. Stoo (@stewart51)
        1st July 2024, 16:49

        NO, it should be a disqualification if you take someone out of the race while driving either recklessly or deliberately pushing other drivers off the circuit.

        End of the problem as perpetrators of such behaviour would either learn the lesson or be fired.

  8. So Ver fianlly has some competition again on track and to nobody’s surprise we are back to 2021

  9. Max had to take evasive action twice after Norris messed up the braking. And Norris didn’t take evasive action even though Max left (just) enough space for Norris to not hit Max. Then he steered into Max’s back wheel after the initial contact. So I would say a reasonable amount of blame goes to Norris aswell. I thought Max’s defense was a bit over the line at times but nothing too questionable. Out braking yourself is actually worse. But no contact (because Max anticipated correctly) so Norris gets away with it. The should have penalized Norris for his driving too but then… A dnf is punishment enough. Sad to see it had to end in contact, I expected better from both of them.

    1. I don’t like drivers dive-bombing in the hope the other driver moves off track to avoid a collision.

      1. I don’t like drivers dive-bombing in the hope the other driver moves off track to avoid a collision

        Not a fan of Max then? Signature Max move: “If you don’t leave me space, there will be a crash” – his words as near as I can recall.

    2. Max had to take evasive action twice after Norris messed up the braking.

      You may want to consider making a visit to an optician.

      1. Lap 59 and lap 63. Both times Lando overcooked the braking and Max had to evade. I’m not the one needing an optician.

      2. Nope, he is right. Norris was over the limit several times.

    3. delusional orange world

  10. A defence even KMag would be ashamed of!

  11. Shame that Max is still “racing”. I haven’t seen a single GP since the final farce of 2021, but I see that there is nothing new about Max in F1.

  12. By that metric: stewards were bad in Senna Prost era, so this clash between Max and Lando is all their fault

    1. @maxv No. The stewards post-Austria 2019 made it clear they were setting a new precedent on the basis on past precedent being unclear (part of the reason it took so long to decide that specific case). As a result of that “firebreak”, anything relating to this specific area of the regulations preceding Austria 2019 shouldn’t be a contributing factor.

  13. Does anyone have a link to this guys opinion on forcing a driver on the grass on a straight? LOL

    1. To be fair, Verstappen did exactly the same after the contact.

  14. BLS (@brightlampshade)
    30th June 2024, 19:32

    Todays coming together is exactly the sort of thing “F1” wants unfortunately. Look how much engagement it has caused, it’s why they never have and never will step in and stop it.

  15. I wondered how long it would take, and there we have it, it’s happened.

    The battles Max and Lando have had, have been very respectful up to now, but this is Max laying down a marker on him ‘Fight me but you need to be the one avoiding contact, i’m not scared to DNF in a battle’. Does it with everyone he battles with at some point, it’s a compliment in a backhanded way.

    Comes back to Spain IMO, where they were side by side down the straight at the start and Max felt Lando squeezed him just a bit too much onto the grass, always had a feeling the next time it went wheel to wheel, there was going to be contact. It’s what he, and it must be said, all the toughest racers as long as F1 has been a thing, do at some point.

    1. yep, Lando should be happy, he has a bachelor’s pad in Max’s head. Next store to Lewis.

  16. He couldn’t be more right.

  17. As Red Bull loses its competitive advantage Verstappen will need to crash more often.

  18. Bla bla bla… 2019. or 2024. who cares, the show must go on. Cash is the king!

  19. Nothing has changed practically since Masi left. I can’t believe it’s a 10 second penalty to just choose not to turn in a corner like that and force your opponent on the outside off the track, or a collision.

    10s penalty versus losing the lead? He’ll take that gamble any day of the week. It really shows his character that after dominating for so long and being so far ahead he still can’t accept anyone else beating him and letting them have their day.

    If he’s really so confident that they were faster he should have let Norris overtake and taken the position back under DRS and turn it into cat and mouse. But nope, just drivers into the other car rather than turn into the corner.

    His actions say everything you need to know.

    1. I quite agree from what I could see unfortunately Max could see that he now has an opponent who is able to match and close with him and possibly take the lead and win ,and I don’t think he likes the truth that their is someone who has the possibility of beating him on track in a fair race and so what does he do but take care of the problem

  20. When Horner said NOR didn’t act right, I think he thinks that everyone should do what HAM did in Brazil a few years ago when VER drove 4 car widths off the track. No penalty there.

    1. That incident in Brazil set a dangerous precedent: you can drive an opponent off track (several car’s width as you mentioned) and still not be penalized.

  21. Dirtiest driver ever – Verstappen. Biggest clown ever – Horner

  22. gogathejedi
    1st July 2024, 9:47

    One can’t help being soft, while standing on one knee.

  23. Evan Rogerson
    3rd July 2024, 6:28

    This all started way before Verstappen-Hamilton. If you go back to Spa 2016, Verstappen makes dangerous moves against Raikkonen. The stewards needed to make it clear that such driving would not be tolerated, but they didn’t and here we are.

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