Formula 1 should be tougher on drivers who impede others because it has become rife in the sport and nobody seems to care enough, McLaren’s Lando Norris said on Thursday.
Red Bull’s runaway F1 Championship leader Max Verstappen received three summons to the stewards in Singapore last weekend for impeding in qualifying and was handed two reprimands but no grid penalty.
Norris, a good friend of Verstappen, said the Dutch driver should certainly have been penalised for impeding AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda.
“I think the blocking one on track was the one that should have been a penalty. He blocked someone,” said Norris. “I know the team got the fine in the end of the day, but it should be down to the driver as well to look at his mirrors…
“You’ve got nothing else to do the whole lap but look in your mirrors, and it seems like a lot of people struggle to do that.
“It should just be harsher penalties for blocking people, because so many people do it. It ruins your lap, it ruins your qualifying, it put Yuki out in qualifying,” the McLaren driver insisted.
Stewards reprimanded Verstappen for the offence after the representative of the Red Bull-owned sister team chose not to attend the hearing.
Verstappen told reporters separately that every case was different, he explained: “The only thing I can say about Singapore is that I explained what happened when I was sitting in the car, and the information that was given to me … and then it’s up to the stewards to make that call.”
The double F1 World Champion was also reprimanded for holding up rivals at the end of the pitlane as he waited to create a gap before taking to the track.
He was cleared entirely of impeding Williams’ Logan Sargeant after the American told stewards he did not believe the reigning Champion was at fault.
“Just no one seems to care enough. And it’s happened a lot this season, it’s happened to me quite a few times, especially with certain teams,” said Norris.
“I’ll probably block someone now this weekend and make myself look stupid,” the Briton, who finished second in Singapore behind Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, concluded. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)