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"I do not deserve this, it sucks," insists Norris

NEWS STORY
06/06/2021

A furious Lando Norris insists that a reprimand would have been more appropriate for qualifying misdemeanour rather than grid drop and penalty points.

The Briton, currently third in the standings, was hit with a three-place grid drop and three penalty points on his licence after the Baku stewards deemed that he hadn't followed the appropriate procedure when qualifying was red-flagged after Antonio Giovinazzi crashed out.

The stoppage was one of four over the course of the hour, and in Norris' case the McLaren star was penalised for failing to stop at the earliest opportunity.

Norris' confusion arose because when he asked his engineer if he should pit, and was told "if you can, box", the Briton felt it was too late and consequently continued for another lap.

While the stewards understood the driver's confusion, they deemed the grid drop and penalty points were in order, making clear that under normal circumstances when a driver does not respect the red flag a five-place drop is the order of the day.

While the grid penalty drops him from sixth to ninth on the grid, the penalty points bring his 12 month total to 8, only 4 short of a race ban.

Norris isn't happy.

"For certain situations they should think about what it is like to be in the driver's seat for a second," said the Briton, "what you have to react to, and the speed you are doing, and the time you have to react to things and so on.

"I think a reprimand is the right thing to do," he added. "I did not put anyone in harm's way. If anything, I took the safer option out of boxing or not boxing.

"I do not deserve three points on my license, because I did not do anything dangerous," he insisted. "I did not do anything like because I did not know, or I was clueless or anything. It was nothing to do with that.

"I know what the rules are.," he insisted, "it is not like I have a lack of understanding or anything like that. It should not ruin my race for having to make this kind of decision. It should not ruin my Sunday for such a thing. In my opinion it is a bad decision or just an unfair penalty. An unfair ruling.

"I feel like what I did was exactly the safest thing to do. For all I know the pit lane could've been blocked, and then you're not allowed to enter the pit lane and it could have been a different story.

"I did not have time to talk to my engineer and say should I box or should I not. I did everything I thought I should've done.

"It sucks because in the end there is a rule, but sometimes there is more leniency to certain situations when a driver has still done the best thing that is possible to do in that situation."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Baku, here.

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