Norris Deems Steward's Decision That Helped Sainz 'Frustrating And Unfair'

Tuesday, 28 May 2024 at 14:09
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Lando Norris discussed the decision that put Carlos Sainz back into the race during the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix after losing all the positions.
The Spanish Ferrari driver started the eighth round of the 2024 season at Circuit de Monaco from P3, right behind Oscar Piastri and Charles Leclerc and ahead of Lando Norris.
His position in the pack was critical because, without him, his teammate would be left alone against two McLarens, who would then have a tactical advantage, and it almost came to that after the opening lap of the race.
The 29-year-old had the smallest touches with Piastri in the first corner, resulting in a puncture. He then locked up, going into turn number four, and passed by almost everyone, which would typically mean the end of the race for him.
However, the red flag was triggered on the same lap due to an incident between Sergio Perez, Kevin Magnussen, and Nico Hulkenberg ahead of turn number 3, and that put the Spaniard back in the race as he was allowed to restart the race from his original starting position.
This obviously didn't favor McLaren and Lando Norris, who would be automatically moved up to the podium position and could even help his teammate fight for the race victory. Speaking to the media after the race, the 24-year-old driver said:

"I don't think it's the most fair thing, but I'm sure there's been moments in the past where maybe I've been fortunate from it and they could have they fixed the car a little bit or something like that."

"When you think of it in just a blunt way, it is frustrating and unfair, that because someone makes a mistake and because of a certain amount of cars or whatever, whatever the rule is, didn't cross the line before the red flag and blah, blah, that he gets to undo that mistake and gets a free pit stop. It's unfair."

The team principal of McLaren, Andrea Stella, accepted and agreed with the stewards' decision as he explained his point of view:

"In terms of the way in which the restart order was determined, I think what the FIA did was the best thing to do. Also it is in agreement with the precedent, whereby you use the safety car line two when sector times are not available. I don't think using the mini sectors is a good way of doing that."

"Obviously, the whole point that saved Carlos was that Zhou had not crossed the sector time at the time the race was suspended. Lucky Carlos"