‘Crap rule’: Norris suggests changes to red flag procedure

McLaren's Lando Norris has called for less words and more action over tyre changes during red flag periods.

Lando Norris in 2021 with McLaren F1 Team.v1

Lando Norris has criticised the rule allowing drivers a free tyre change during red flags after he was hindered by thus during the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

The Briton was unhappy after drivers in front of him were given track position and fresh tyres as a result of a red flag during the penultimate round of the season.

“[It’s] probably the worst rule ever invented by someone, being able to change tyres under red flag,” Norris told Sky F1.

“We said it last year already – not to take anything away from Pierre [Gasly] because people would probably say that’s what I’m trying to do, but with their Monza race last year Pierre got to change tyres for free.”

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Time for a change

Now in a calmer mood, away from the chaos of the paddock, Norris explained his comments.

“I don’t think the current regulation is right. Fans like it because it gives drivers victories or podiums, which, quite frankly, they don’t deserve. These results do not come because you drive well or badly, but only because you have had luck or bad luck,” the McLaren driver explained.

Lando Norris in Abu Dhabi.v1

He then went on to suggest possible alterations to the rule in the interests of fairness.

“I believe that, if we are on slick tires, there must still be the obligatory pit stop, and with this, we must use two different types of tires. You can change the tires with the red flag, but then you still have to stop in the pits during the race.”

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‘Select it, right-click, delete’

The 22-year-old also reckons that there is too much hot air being blown, and that tangible changes must be made to the laws of the sport.

“[There are] too many discussions, we need to change it. They should give me access to the rulebook, the official PDF. I press edit, and I just erase it. Select it, right-click, delete.”

‘Crap rule’

He sympathised with his team, whose hard work was undone by a “crap rule”.

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“It sucks, because the team did a good job, I thought the car was pretty decent, but this crap rule ruins everything.”

Norris took sixth in the championship in 2021, claiming four podiums in the process.

He out-scored vastly more experienced team-mate Daniel Ricciardo by an impressive 45 points and was one of the standout drivers of the 2021 Formula 1 season.

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