Lando Norris says he let his team down by getting both of his Q3 laps deleted for exceeding track limits in qualifying for the Qatar Grand Prix, despite support from Lewis Hamilton.
Multiple drivers had already had lap times deleted for exceeding track limits at Lusail, with Sergio Perez dropping out in Q2 as a result of one such incident. Norris had also had his first lap in Q3 deleted and on his second lap a slight snap of oversteer saw him run wide onto the exit curb at Turn 10, leading to another deletion with both laps costing him second place on the grid and leaving him starting 10th.
“I just had a correction on oversteer and I went off,” Norris said. “(The car) has been brilliant and the team did a good job and I messed it up.
“I know (there’s more opportunities to come) but I don’t think like that, I just think of the job I’m meant to do today which is put in good laps, don’t make mistakes and that’s what I did today, so not a good day for me.”
McLaren teammate Oscar Piastri was then being interviewed after having initially been promoted into third place by Norris’ deletion before his own infringement was then announced for going wide at Turn 14, leaving interviewer Naomi Schiff having to break the news to him.
“I didn’t know but this is fun isn’t it, not knowing who is in the top three…” Piastri said with a wry smile, before adding “wonderful” when informed he was starting sixth.
Hamilton feels there shouldn’t be such penalties given the types of curbs that have been recently installed at Lusail for this year’s race.
“I think these curbs are great,” Hamilton said. “When I went round the track yesterday on the scooter I thought the curbs looked quite big, but they’re actually really good and when you go beyond the highest point of the curb you lose time. So I don’t feel like at this track we need to have track limits. It’s something that the new steward brought in a couple of years ago.
“Lando should be up here. I think it’s a good learning, maybe we can take these curbs to a bunch of other tracks because obviously MotoGP are fine with these curbs and we can have these in Austria, for example. You should be able to utilize as much as possible, but when you go beyond them you lose time, so it shouldn’t be the white line necessarily. But anyways, it’s not for me to decide.”