Michael Masi admits that Lando Norris might have been handed a much stricter penalty for the red flag violation during the Azerbaijan GP qualifying.
Lando Norris qualified 6th for the Azerbaijan GP but started only 9th after getting a 3-place grid penalty. The reason for that was the fact that the McLaren driver did not go to the pit lane after the red flag was shown. The young Briton did not agree with the penalty and supposed that he had done everything right. However, the FIA race director Masi believed that Norris should have gone to the pits regardless of other circumstances and that in fact, the penalty could have been even worse.
“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 pit lane immediately,” he said.
“So that there, there’s no ambiguity from a six-year-old who is in their first karting event through to Formula 1. It’s consistent across all circuit racing around.”
“With regards to the penalty points and the actual penalty itself, obviously the stewards can apply any of the penalties and any penalty points that they see appropriate in an incident,” he added.
“Yes, they do have a guideline to use, but in this circumstance, they saw that it was fit to not apply what the guidelines said because of the mitigating circumstances, which was a harsher penalty.
“However, with regards to the penalty points, they felt that it was appropriate, being a red flag infringement.”