Lando Norris has slammed the FIA over their handling of track limits rules after he was issued a five-second penalty during the Austrian Grand Prix. A string of drivers were issued penalties or warned for apparently leaving the track and gaining an advantage.
However, Norris blasted the FIA’s decisions after claiming he actually lost time during one of his infractions. It led the Briton to claim the FIA’s handling of track limits was “stupid”.
He said to Sky Sports F1: “You can’t see the white lines, it’s just guessing and I’m obviously not good enough at guessing. I think when I really had to be I could be, it’s just you’ve got to back off a bit, so it’s more about risk reward in a way.
“But even sometimes, like I got a warning from Turn 1 and it was just a complete mistake, I lost time, so when you look at it that way, I can say it’s a bit stupid. I’ve locked up, I’ve hit the exit kerb, I’ve lost like three or four-tenths. So it’s not like not punishing me for the last corner where you just commit to running off and gaining an advantage. This was just me making mistakes. So I don’t feel like I should be punished for it.”
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Norris failed to replicate the podiums he scored at the Red Bull Ring in 2020 and 2021, coming home in seventh position behind Mick Schumacher. However, McLaren did manage to secure a double points finish with Daniel Ricciardo moving up through the midfield to finish ninth.
Pierre Gasly and Zhou Guanyu were also hit with time penalties while others were issued an official FIA warning. These included Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton who appeared disgruntled at the rule. He shouted back at race engineer Marcus Dudley after Hamilton was issued the warning for crossing the white lines. After his first infringement, Hamilton screamed: “When?! I didn’t go off.”
Later on in the race, Hamilton received another track limits warning but snapped back instantly at the decision. He said: “That’s BS. I didn’t go wide.” Dudley responded: “A-firm, we will have a look Lewis.” Hamilton commented “Are other people getting it? There’s loads of people going off.”
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Max Verstappen also hit back at track limits rules after finishing second in Spielberg, claiming drivers should not be punished if their wheel runs slightly over the white line.
He said: “I think track limits debate this weekend has been a bit of a joke. Not only in F1 but in F2, F3. It’s easy to say from the outside, ‘yeah but you just have to stay within the white lines’.
“It sounds very easy but it’s not. When you go that quick through a corner and some of them are a bit blind. If you have a bit more understeer, tyres are wearing, It’s easy to just go over the white lines but do you actually gain tine, maybe yes, maybe not.
“To be honest it’s only like two or three corners where you can maybe go a bit wider. I don’t think we should have when you give one wheel over you have a penalty or whatever.”