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FIA insist "no ambiguity" between Norris and a six-year-old in karting over Baku penalty

FIA insist "no ambiguity" between Norris and a six-year-old in karting over Baku penalty

F1 News

FIA insist "no ambiguity" between Norris and a six-year-old in karting over Baku penalty

FIA insist "no ambiguity" between Norris and a six-year-old in karting over Baku penalty

FIA race director Michael Masi has countered Lando Norris' criticism of the penalty he received after qualifying for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

The McLaren driver was handed a three-place penalty for what the stewards deemed was a failure to observe red-flag regulations.

Norris was caught in two minds as the red flags appeared just as he was hurtling down Baku's long straight at 200mph, and shortly before the pit entry.

The 21-year-old ultimately opted to stay on track, explaining that he felt he made the right decision in the time available as there was no way of confirming if it was safe to enter the pits at such speed.

The stewards displayed a degree of leniency as the penalty for such an infringement should have been a five-place grid drop.

Frustratingly for Norris, he was also handed three points on his licence, which in conjunction with the grid sanction, he deemed to be "a bad decision or just an unfair penalty".

Asked whether there was any leeway with applying the points, in particular, Masi replied: "From karting, all the way through to Formula 1, when a red flag is displayed, the meaning of that is very clear - slow right down and come to pitlane immediately.

"It means there is no ambiguity from a six-year-old in their first karting event through to Formula 1. It's consistent across all circuit racing.

"With regard to the penalty points and the actual penalty itself, obviously the stewards can apply any penalty and any penalty points they see appropriate in an incident.

"Yes, they do have a guideline to use but in this circumstance, they saw it was fit to not apply what the guidelines said because of the mitigating circumstances, which was a harsher penalty.

"However, with the penalty points, they felt it was appropriate being it was a red-flag infringement."

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