The recently concluded Italian Grand Prix was a hell of a race. The Italian track proved to be a well-scripted drama from the very beginning to the end. Lewis Hamilton was leading with Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris in tow.
However, Lando Norris missed the podium due to a specific red-flag rule. The racer was not at all pleased with the rule and he went on to criticize it with all his might.
Lando Norris infuriated over losing the podium
The FIA regulation allows teams to change tires when a red-flag is deployed. Therefore, Stroll got a free opportunity to change his tire without having to pit. The red-flag acted as an advantage for Stroll as he got a free pit-stop.
If there was someone who was unhappy with this incident, it was none other than Lando Norris.
“The only reason I think I was not on the podium today was because Stroll benefited from a free pitstop which is a bit of a stupid rule because they get it for free, and they don’t deserve it in many ways,” Norris told Sky F1.
Norris was significantly cross with the rule and demanded it should be scrapped. Referring to two incidents, Norris tried to present his case as to why it seems to be a loophole within the system.
“I think it should be taken out. I think we had the two examples, we’ve got Gasly who boxed before, and he was ahead with the red flag. And he was there, so that was fair, you can’t do anything about that.
“But for someone who just hasn’t boxed, they just gained 24 seconds doing nothing. He should still have to pit, it’s his fault they haven’t boxed yet. You can get lucky by doing by what Pierre did, but that’s I think just fair play.
“But the one of not having to box and getting to use that mandatory pitstop, which they didn’t really do, is a thing which I don’t think is right.”
Is the rule going to change anytime soon?
The existing regulation involving a free pit-stop while the red-flag is deployed is indeed a loophole. Incidents involving the deployment are very rare nowadays. It is purely coincidental if any racer gets hold of a free pit-stop while the red flag is out.
Therefore, even though it acts as a loophole, drivers rarely get to capitalize on the same.
However, all these factors worked in favor of Lance Stroll, and Norris’ frustration is justified. McLaren’s team boss has accepted the fact and believes the strong reaction from Norris was all due to the heat of the moment.
FIA’s Race Director, Michael Masi, directed that if changes are to be made, they will be made systematically while taking each team into consideration. However, changes, if any, will be implemented from the 2021 session and not earlier.