McLaren driver Lando Norris has insisted that the five-second penalty he received at the 2023 Canadian Grand Prix makes no sense.
Whilst running behind teammate, Oscar Piastri, the FIA stewards alleged that Norris had slowed down to create a gap so that McLaren could double stack both cars during the pit stops under the safety car.
Citing marshalling system data, video, telemetry, radio and in-car video, the stewards ruled that Norris had breached Article 12.2.1 of the International Sporting Code describing conduct in the interests of sporting fairness.
“I only got told to box like three seconds before the box, but by that time I had sped up,” Norris said to the media after the 2023 Canadian GP, “So it doesn’t make any sense to me.
“There’s plenty of times when you go slow under VSC so if I get a penalty today then I should get a penalty for the last three years as well.
“Especially when I was speeding but I didn’t do anything wrong so…”
What did Norris do?
Article 12.2.1 in the ISC outlines that, ‘any infringement of the principles of fairness in competition, behaviour in an unsportsmanlike manner or attempt to influence the rules of a competition, in a way that is contrary to sporting ethics’ and thus applied the time penalty to the British driver.
As Norris exited the hairpin at Turn 10, he backed off from Piastri and his delta increased by around three seconds.
The stewards found that he was 50km/h slower than Piastri between Turns 10 and Turn 13 at the end of the long back straight.
This is an action drivers take to generate heat into their tyres, but also to create the space for their team to service both cars without losing a position as there is no overtaking under safety car conditions.
Therefore, the stewards gave the British driver a penalty that dropped him out of the points at the chequered flag to finish P13 at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in what had been an encouraging race for McLaren pace wise.