Lando Norris was left confused by the unsportsmanlike behavior penalty he received in the Canadian Grand Prix that dropped him out of the points.
The stewards handed Norris a five-second time penalty for slowing at the Turn 10 hairpin when behind teammate Oscar Piastri under the Safety Car early in the race; the decision stating that “in doing so he delayed the cars behind”, as overtaking is not allowed under those conditions. However, despite the stewards saying there was a significant speed difference between the two McLaren cars Norris said he was just regulating his pace to be able to accelerate to warm his tires later on.
“It doesn’t make sense for me,” Norris told Sky Sports. “I was three seconds or four seconds behind my delta, which everyone quite often is. It was too early to box from what we were planning to do, so I wasn’t planning to box in the first place, and then I got a call just before the pit entry. So yep, surprised. I didn’t know. It doesn’t make sense for me.
“Unfortunate. The rest of the race, I was very happy with. Good overtakes, good racing a lot of the time. I don’t think we quite had the pace but I made the most of it, some fun overtakes and I was happy with how it went.”
After being demoted from ninth at the flag to 13th, Norris believes a precedent has been set that could lead to more penalties in future.
“Of course you go slow and you go quick and you speed up – you want to keep the temperature in the tires, so everyone leaves gaps and opens up gaps,” he said.
“It wasn’t like I was 10 seconds behind my delta. So if it’s because of the delta difference, then most people should be given penalties for the last three years or four years. So I’m a bit confused.
“But I don’t know; nothing I can do. I slow down to warm up the tires a little bit, and then as soon as they told me to box I pushed and tried to go in as fast as I can.”
Norris later passed Piastri in the same corner with a lunge under braking and then ended his race with a side-by-side moment with Esteban Ocon. He admitted he enjoyed the action, if not the final result.
“I did (enjoy it) actually,” he said. “It was a struggle, nothing was easy. It was always making the most of one opportunity that I would have, even with Ocon on the last lap. So I did the best I could and it was good fun having those overtakes and wheel-to-wheel. A tough race, but I still managed to fight through a little bit, which was nice, it’s what I enjoy about it all.
“So I guess (the) positive, the pace was a bit better than maybe the last few weekends, so hopefully we can take some steps forward next time out.”