Lando Norris, McLaren, Silverstone, 2024

Norris admits ‘overreacting’ but queries why Verstappen avoided track limits penalty

Formula 1

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Lando Norris admitted he “overreacted” in some of the comments he made following his clash with Max Verstappen in the Austrian Grand Prix.

However the McLaren driver also questioned the stewards’ handling of parts of their battle for the lead which ended when the pair collided on lap 64. Verstappen was able to continue and finish fifth while Norris retired in the pits.

Norris said he was especially confused by their decision not to investigate whether Verstappen gained an advantage by leaving the track when the McLaren driver overtook him at turn three on the lap before they collided.

“I think Max could have made the corner, honestly,” said Norris in response to a question from RaceFans. “He didn’t try, which is probably the main fact of it in this part.

“I didn’t squeeze him. It wasn’t like I was side-by-side and almost pushing him off, that kind of thing. He took a very easy route out of it.

“It’s complicated, it’s not as simple as saying this happened, that happened. There should be a different outcome. But I’d out of the whole thing that was probably the little bit that I didn’t understand the most. And the gap he had out of the corner was bigger than what we had going into.

“So in a sense of him going off-track and gaining an advantage, he was actually the one that did it in that case. Especially with the fact that I didn’t even push him off.

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“I think there just needs to be some clarification on things. And there needs to be consistency from this point onwards, because if that’s clear what we can do then I think everyone’s happy.”

Norris was given a five-second time penalty for leaving the track on four occasions, the last of which occured as he tried to pass Verstappen four laps earlier. Norris pointed out he gave up the advantage gained by letting Verstappen pass him and believes that error should not have counted towards his four track limits ‘strikes’ which led to his penalty.

“We got five seconds for trying to overtake and it not going correctly,” said Norris. “I didn’t even know I had the five-second penalty, I didn’t even know why we served the five-second penalty before we retired the car.”

He said it would have been “common sense” not to penalise him for that off-track moment. “I tried to do an overtake, I’ve locked up, I’ve gone off the track – just. I had to then avoid the sausage kerb.

“But immediately I gave the position back to Max, so I probably lost a second and a half in doing that. I lost out in doing such a thing.”

Strict track limits rules such as these will discourage racing, said Norris, who wants the rule to be fixed. “If you don’t want us to race and don’t want me to try every overtake and you want a boring race, then these rules… I’m sure something has already been brought up because there’s a difference between going off-track and gaining an advantage, and it’s the gaining advantage bit which is the most important.”

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However Norris admitted he was too critical of some aspects of Verstappen’s driving in the heat of the moment.

“The more I’ve thought about those things, the more I just thought a lot of it was just racing. Yes I complained and said certain things on the radio and stuff like that – like every driver would, they say they didn’t, they’re probably lying. But every driver would do it, Max was doing it, I did it.

“But at the same time, I did come away from it just thinking it was good racing. It was tough, and at times I thought maybe a bit too far, but at the same time it was good, it’s what people want to see. And we wanted to do that all the way ’til the end. We want to do it until the last lap, that’s what we love to do.

“So we don’t want to take away the fact of just racing and going wheel-to-wheel and have too many rules in this case. So I definitely think I probably overreacted in some way.

“But it’s still like a new thing to me in many aspects too. So just clarity over certain things is what’s needed. Apart from that, I’m happy to race hard and do what we did last week.”

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2024 Austrian Grand Prix

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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...

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19 comments on “Norris admits ‘overreacting’ but queries why Verstappen avoided track limits penalty”

  1. His only mistake was to let it happen to prove his point. As he could avoid it by going to the left when it happened. Because Max wouldn’t get any penalties if the cars hadn’t touch and Norris’s race wasn’t ruined.

    1. True, but the hard racing part would have been lost. For me this really was nice racing on and just over the limit, with too grave consequences. 9 out of 10 times they would have touched and continued.

    2. Edvaldo Although, Max could’ve turned more sharply, so something both could’ve done differently for precautionary purposes.

    3. If he had given that extra inch or so on Sunday, max woukd then know he can take it next time they race hard. There is a dynamic to this that is largely unspoken.

      Mick learnt it in Silverstone, Norris thankfully put his foot down. As did Lewis. When both drivers put their foot down and then refused to budge, well then you get Monza and Silverstone 2021 Brazil 2022 Austria 2024 and so on.

      Max is perhaps the least compromising driver on the grid in this regard but especially when it comes to defensive driving, and especially when he is in a dominant position eg championship lead.

      To add, Schumacher could have put his foot down at least at one point, and he would have then been at least alongside into the final corner on the final lap. Arguably they had as much to lose as the other, so I do feel he lost more than just the possibility of gaining a position that day. Time will tell.

  2. Don’t hold back on me dear Lando, now that we have at last someone who fights Max and his gray tactics directly, you change the narrative? No way Jose, i hope you will keep doing what you successfully doing and all this are politics.

    1. Yeah, almost makes it sound like their chat was max being older brother and Lando listening. If it was intentional from lando to not drift onto the kerb to avoid contact then these comments don’t add up unless he is fooled.

      I assumed it was intentional especially because its usually instinct to avoid and driver regularly drift left on to that kerb and other similar especially if it’s to avoid contact.
      Makes sense to me that it was intentional, and by that logic this is just politics as you mention.

      A bit too far left in my opinion but let’s see how this plays out once helmets are on.

  3. I agree with Lando thay his track limits penalty did not make any sense. He tried a move and went off track withiut gaining an advantage so why pnealise him for that. F1 needs to clarify that bit.

    1. yes, exactly.
      And why there was NO penalty or enforced concession of the place on the lap before the crash when Verstappen
      left the track and preserved his lead by flooring it in the run-off area.

      1. PB I couldn’t agree more with you about the latter off-track advantage, not that it mattered in the end.

    2. I don’t think FIA needs to clarify anything, to be honest.

      There’s been a rule for quite some time now, if you break track limits 4(!) times, you get a 5 second penalty. Lando didn’t get a 5s penalty for a single incident. He got a penalty for going off of the track 4 separate times, only one of which was in that battle. Next time perhaps he needs to stop breaking the rule so many times. You can’t tell me he’s only now learning of that rule existing.

      What’s more is that he’s one of a low number of drivers that are pretty consistent in breaking track limits. So perhaps he needs to look into why that is, what’s different between him and the drivers that don’t have track limit infringements as often, and adjust his driving style a little to mitigate the risk of getting these penalties in the future.

    3. There isn’t really anything to clarify as the rules on track limits have been clear since the start of last year.

      If you put all 4 wheels over the white line then it’s classified as a track limits violation. You get 3 warnings are shown the black & white flag with a 4th violation been a 5 second penalty.

      The only time they will nullify a track limit violation is if a driver only went off track to avoid debris or a spun/crashed car thats blocking the track. Other than that if you put all 4 wheels beyond the white line it will be classified as a track limits violation.

      This was a clarification & alteration of the regulations that the drivers and teams apparently asked for. It’s a black & white rule now with no ambiguity. Anytime you put 4 wheels beyond the white line at any point around the track regardless of if doing so puts you onto a kerb, tarmac runoff, grass or gravel then you violated track limits.

      If you don’t want to risk a penalty then stay within the white lines at all times!

    4. It seems your knowledge of current regulations and the way they are uphold is not on par.
      Lando did not got a penalty for the leaving of the track. He got a penalty for leaving the track more then three times. After being warned he did it again and that resulted in a penalty. One of the few rules that is honored consequently.

  4. Lando already backing down like I knew he would. Expect the door to be firmly left open for Verstappen from now on.

    1. Yeah, very disappointed in Norris’ position on this, he was robbed of a potential win because of another drivers dirty antics and this was his opportunity to put his foot down, instead he’s signalled to Verstappen that he’s weak.

      1. It isn’t weak to be forgiving and sane. Imagine the grid was full of insane Sennas, Schumachers and Verstappens. Grand Prix racing used to be a sport with gentlemen but now you get the odd insane fool ruining it for years.

  5. Nah mate. You got taken out of the race by a driver still making the same amateur moves from his junior days. Your only mistake was handing the position back prior. If he was to be penalised anyway, he may as well have held the position and tried building a 5 second gap. Worst case scenario, he’d have finished 2nd!

    1. Before you wrote this you should think what your writing. Lando drove too fast back to the pits ruining his car and DNF not Max.
      And I find it funny that a forum reader can talk about a driver who almost raced his whole life telling he make amateur moves … So when can we expect you in F1 because if you find him amateurish you should be beter then Senna, Lewis and Michel together.

      Also not giving the position back would be a automatic 10 second penaulties as the increase those penaulties this year……….

      Norris would finish second that was for sure.

  6. The comment section is especially amazing today. I thought in 2021 things got a bit out of hand beyond content and contextual debate.. but just wow, such negativity and holding on to an issue that doesn’t even exist between the drivers. Maybe I was naive but I sincerely thought at we could to some degree have a discussion based on content and not just gut feeling preference. I mean it is all well, everyone is entitled to their opinion but it would be better to just own up to it and start with a disclaimer ‘I sincerely dislike this guy and therefore my entire narrative will be coloured by it’

    1. Are you new to the internet or something.

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