McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl sees the benefits of Lando Norris’ penalty at the Austrian Grand Prix for track limits infringements
Norris, Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel and AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly were both given penalties during the race for crossing the white line four times in the race, with the third bringing about a black and white flag, before the fourth earns the driver a penalty.
The outer extremities of the circuit had been judged very stringently all weekend across every single seater series in Spielberg, and warnings were given out regardless of track position, which is a good thing after so much talk in recent weeks about inconsistency from race control.
“In terms of track limits, all teams and drivers were screaming for consistency, or more consistency in the past,” explained Seidl.
“In the end, that is why we ended up with the black and white rules, that you need to stay within track limits at any place on the track, which means you need to stay within the white lines.”
As a result, the German is pleased to see the laws applied correctly, even if it costs his drivers.
“To be honest, even though we had a penalty, I am quite happy with that because it’s easy to understand for everyone,” added Seidl.
However, Niels Wittich and his team were criticised when they failed to penalise Sergio Perez immediately after the Mexican had gone off at the end of Q2.
They were busy dealing with other incidents at the time, so they took too long to notice that Perez had illegally made it into the top 10 at the expense of Gasly.
They did delete his lap times in Q3 post session, while also invalidating his final run in Q2, putting him down to P13, where his lap in the second session was good enough for.
Seidl does not have a problem with the delay in applying the penalty, as long as they got there in the end.
“During the course of the session, with the time pressure as well, and there are other topics the race director has to focus on, it can happen that you don’t see straight away because you want to be sure when you make a decision,” he affirmed.
“So we have to accept sometimes it will be decided after the race or after qualy, which happened there.
“Regarding that aspect, I have no problem.”
Norris went on to finish the race seventh, while team-mate Daniel Ricciardo came home in ninth.
Esteban Ocon finished fifth for Alpine ahead of team-mate Fernando Alonso in 10th after the Spaniard suffered more horrible misfortune over the course of the weekend, but the result draws the French side level on points with McLaren in the fight for fourth in the Constructors’ Championship.
Norris’ podium in Imola earlier in the season is currently keeping the Woking-based side ahead on countback.