Lando Norris offered Nikita Mazepin sympathy after the Haas driver was punished for blocking the Briton in qualifying although feels he still has a lot to learn in F1.
Following each of the four qualifying sessions this year Mazepin has been criticised, although this latest infringement is the first time his actions have drawn the attention of the stewards.
At previous races, the Russian was accused of breaking a 'gentleman's agreement' where drivers will not pass to start a flying lap if there is a traffic jam of cars.
Reflecting on the scenario Mazepin was faced with in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix, McLaren driver Norris said: “I went to the stewards and I saw all of the data so I saw exactly what happened.
"It was, to be honest, a difficult situation for Nikita because two of the cars that overtook him into the last corner so late on were both on their in laps.
“They had already completed their times so it didn’t give Nikita that much time to really figure out what to do but he could have stayed for a couple more seconds off the racing line and allowed me to go past before starting his lap.
“He was in a tricky situation to be honest because two cars passed him and just held him up so there wasn’t a lot that he could do but sometimes in Formula 1 it is like that and especially in qualifying. You can’t impede someone and it held me up quite a bit."
"Not all the blame was on him but he definitely could have done a little bit more."
Norris has revealed the hold-up and the resulting second run needed to escape Q1 cost him a set of the faster, soft Pirelli tyres, with the knock-on effect being he had just one set of fresh rubber to attack Q3.
"It put us on the back foot going into Q3 with only one set [of softs]," assessed Norris. "The first run in Q3 definitely looked better for everyone. I think only Charles improved and he went from old to new.
“It wasn’t ideal for us but there was nothing we could have done. I was just a bit unlucky with traffic.
“It definitely cost me a chance to maybe fight for around where Daniel [Ricciardo] was – fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh positions because it was very close.
“A bit of a shame but there was nothing we really could have done so just a bit unlucky really.”
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