Max Verstappen believes that Lando Norris should not have been penalized for allegedly forcing Sergio Perez off the track.
One of the most controversial moments of last Sunday’s Austrian GP happened in the opening stages of the race when Perez went to the gravel in the battle with Norris. The McLaren driver got a 5-second penalty for that as well as two penalty points, now being two points away from a race ban. The stewards’ decision was criticized by a lot of people in the paddock, including the race winner Verstappen.
“So if you would have six of these incidents, right, today [on Sunday], if you get that six, I don’t think you deserve a ban for what he [Norris] did today or whatever,” he said.
“I think it’s just not correct. I’ve been there myself, I was at nine at some points myself, and yeah… it’s how it goes but I don’t think with the things… actually, what you got the penalty points for, say you would get to 12, you don’t deserve a ban for that. So there’s stuff… I’ve said it before, myself two years ago, that we should look into that but let’s see.”
Norris himself was frustrated with the situation he was in because of the penalty.
“Why should I deserve penalty points today for someone going into the gravel? Yeah, nothing I’ve done is dangerous and I don’t feel like, maybe in some cases you deserve an on-track penalty because you’ve done something bad in terms of racing and you just made a mistake but then you have things that people do every now and then which are purely dangerous,” he commented.
“If you do genuinely overtake in a yellow flag and do something else that’s clearly a rule that will put people in danger then I understand penalty points for a driver and if that adds up you get a driver ban or race ban but for little things like this, it’s stupid in my opinion.”
“It’s not what Formula 1 should be. Yeah, I don’t know. I would expect and hope that other people would back me up on this kind of opinion.”