Norris Insists Leclerc Should Have Overtaken Verstappen When He Was ‘Out Of Control’

Lando Norris said he had a “great view” of the incident and he believes he would have acted differently to Charles Leclerc.

Lando Norris and Max Verstappen at Imola in 2021 -

McLaren driver Lando Norris has said he believes Charles Leclerc should have overtaken Max Verstappen for the lead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix when the Dutch ace had a moment ahead of the restart.

In the final sector, just before the race was about to get underway again following it being red-flagged due to Valtteri Bottas and George Russell having a horrific crash, Verstappen momentarily lost control of his Red Bull RB16B and presented an opportunity for second-placed Leclerc to overtake him.

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However, the Ferrari driver decided to slam on the brakes and let Verstappen maintain the lead.

Norris believes this was a mistake and has said he would have acted differently.

“I had a great view of it,” Norris told reporters following the race, which he finished in P3 to score his second-ever F1 podium.

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“Quite funny actually. I think Charles could have gone past him in my opinion. At that stage Max was out of control and going left and Charles kind-of just hit the brakes and slowed down and stopped.

“At some point he has to go past Max because he was facing the barrier for a lot of the corner. I don’t know.

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“We have to maybe ask the guys in charge what the exact ruling is for going off, as off-track, all four wheels off the track and example of yesterday – but at the same time Max was going very slow, so it was like Leclerc… Charles could have driven past him at the point. I’m not sure.

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“I think if I was in P2, I would have gone for it, because you have a chance at winning then. It’s a risk worth it,” he added.

FIA race director Michael Masi later explained that if a driver loses his position due to a mistake on the formation lap – which is effectively what the drivers were on ahead of the race being restarted – he can reclaim it under certain circumstances.

“After a suspension, it is considered a race lap, but in the same sort of principles as a formation lap,” Masi said.

“So, if a car was out of position, it would be like a formation lap in that they can regain that position as long as it’s before SC1 [Safety Car line one] is the general principle, or at least the way the regulations are worded.”

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