Norris Explains Why He Jump-Started Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Monday, 11 March 2024 at 01:30
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Lando Norris moved before the lights went off at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, and he explained after the race what really happened.
Drivers are penalized for jumping the start, so getting an advantage of a few tenths is not worth a multi-second penalization. Norris knows it, and that's why his jump-start at the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix wasn't intentional.
The British driver moved before the lights went off, but still, he wasn't penalized for his actions. The reason for that is simple. Although the video footage clearly showed he moved before he was supposed to, the transponder on his car didn't indicate the jump start.
And since the decision is made based on the transponder, the British driver got away with moving too soon, and as he assessed when talking to media after the race, he believes that he managed to "stop in time" to prevent transponder from recording the jump-start.

"I stopped in time. I've never done this before in my life so I don't know why I've done it. It was investigated and was cleared. Things happen so quickly, it was pure instinct, not an input. These times, you’re just reacting to something."

Norris analyzed the situation immediately after the race as it has never happened to him before, but he was not able to clearly pinpoint the reason for why he moved before he was supposed to.

"I don't know if I've seen another light, there are so many lights here. I don't know if I've seen something and my body just reacted to it, but you're just so pumped on adrenaline, you’re just reacting to anything."

The 24-year-old suggested that he may have seen a different light, which may have prompted him to press the gas pedal, but even after the analysis, he wasn't able to clearly indicate the reason for his decision.

"[Maybe] I’ve just seen something go off or another light come on or something and I've just gone on that, but I realised quick enough that I could avoid it. I got it stopped, there's been plenty of other examples of when people have gone and stopped and there's no penalty, so I'm happy with that."