Lando Norris thinks the driver penalty points system that leaves him at risk of a one-race ban is “stupid” and is lacking in common sense.
The McLaren driver will be four penalty points away from a ban when Formula 1 next races at the British Grand Prix, with his current tally of 10 points reducing by two before Silverstone. But he will be on at least eight points until the middle of November, and after picking up two for his battle with Sergio Perez early in the last race in Austria, Norris says the system is wrong.
“Well, just in case, Zak (Brown) is ready to jump in when I can’t… when something happens again,” Norris said. “In my opinion, they should be decisions about when someone’s done something dangerous and put someone in harm’s way, done something that they shouldn’t have done; and then you have racing and when people have to use common sense.
“Like the incident in Baku with the red flag and not boxing when I should have done — I didn’t put anyone in harm’s way. In fact it was the opposite and I did everything safely. Why should I deserve penalty points for that? Why should I deserve penalty points (from last Sunday’s Austrian GP) for someone going into the gravel?
“Nothing I’ve done is dangerous … maybe in some cases you deserve an on-track penalty, because you’ve done something bad in terms of racing and you just made a mistake; but then you have things that people do every now and then which are purely dangerous.
“If you do genuinely overtake (under) a yellow flag and do something else that’s clearly a rule that will put people in danger, then I understand penalty points for a driver and if that adds up, you get a driver ban or race ban; but for little things like this, it’s stupid in my opinion. It’s not what Formula 1 should be.
“I don’t know. I would expect and hope that other people would back me up on this kind of opinion.”
Max Verstappen did back Norris up, saying the fact that the Briton received two penalty points for a borderline decision about forcing another driver off-track means six close battles could end up seeing him banned.
“If you would have six of these incidents, I don’t think you deserve a ban for what he did or whatever,” Verstappen said. “I think it’s just not correct.
“I’ve been there myself — I was at nine at some points myself — and it’s how it goes but I don’t think with the things that you got the penalty points for, say you would get to 12, you don’t deserve a ban for that. I’ve said it before, that we should look into that.”