McLaren lodge protest against Lando Norris decision

Lando Norris has struggled at McLaren for most of the season so far, amid their ongoing struggles.

McLaren has filed a petition for a right of review regarding the five-second penalty imposed on Lando Norris for “unsportsmanlike conduct” during the Canadian Grand Prix. 

Norris initially finished the race in ninth place but was demoted to 13th following the contentious penalty applied after the chequered flag. 

The stewards determined that Norris drove in an “unsporting manner” when a Safety Car was deployed following George Russell’s crash on lap 12.

During the race, Norris found himself behind his teammate Oscar Piastri on track.

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In order to avoid losing time when McLaren pitted both drivers on the same lap, Norris slowed his pace, taking advantage of the Safety Car conditions that prohibited overtaking. 

This allowed him to maintain his track position ahead of Charles Leclerc from Ferrari and Alex Albon from Williams, who were unable to pass the McLaren.

The FIA has confirmed that McLaren’s hearing will commence on Sunday morning at 8:30 am at the Red Bull Ring, preceding the Austrian Grand Prix, where the stewards are present this weekend. 

To initiate a second hearing, McLaren must provide a “significant and relevant new element which was unavailable to the party seeking the review at the time of the decision concerned.”

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Williams has exercised its option as a “concerned party” and will join the hearing, as they feel aggrieved by Albon being held up by Norris’ actions. 

Norris expressed his confusion over the stewards’ decision, stating that it didn’t “make sense.” 

McLaren team principal Andrea Stella accused the stewards of using the incident to “set a new precedent.”

In a statement released on Friday evening, McLaren expressed its support for the FIA and the stewards while acknowledging the complexity of their decision-making process during a race. 

McLaren stated that they were surprised by the penalty in Canada and sought an explanation from the stewards immediately after the race. 

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They further highlighted the FIA’s regulatory framework and the “right of review” process, emphasising their belief in allowing decisions to be reviewed in the best interest of the sport.

Following a thorough review of the case, including the examination of precedents, McLaren concluded that there is sufficient evidence to submit a “right of review” to the FIA, which they have now done. 

The team stated their commitment to working closely and constructively with the FIA throughout the process and accepting the outcome of the deliberations and decision.