Lando Norris has been demoted to ninth on the grid for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix due to a red flag infringement in qualifying.
The stewards summoned Norris after he failed to pit when the red flag was thrown for Antonio Giovinazzi’s crash in Q1, with the McLaren driver approaching the pit entry and having two wheels either side of the line before deciding to stay out. The regulations require a driver to immediately enter the pits and not complete a lap under red flags, but the stewards have handed Norris a three-place grid penalty rather than the usual five positions due to the timing of the incident.
“(Norris) was just on the long start-finish-straight when red flags were displayed,” the stewards’ decision read. “Consequently, red lights were flashing on a panel on the left guardrail and on the car’s dashboard. During the hearing the driver admitted that he lifted the throttle, braked and was committed to and able to enter the pit lane. At that moment he was not sure what to do and asked his team over the radio. Although the team ordered him immediately to enter the pits, it was too late and (Norris) crossed the finish line one more time.
“The stewards assume that if a red flag is not respected during qualifying, a drop of 5 grid positions is appropriate. However, if you consider that the driver only had a very short time to react due to his position on the track, a drop of 3 grid positions is sufficient as an exception.”
The penalty demotes Norris from sixth to ninth place, promoting Sergio Perez to sixth, Yuki Tsunoda to seventh and Fernando Alonso to eighth.
Norris also receives three penalty points for the incident, bringing his total for the past 12 months up to eight. A driver receives an automatic one-race ban if they reach 12 points in that time.