Vasseur Calls Out F1’s Double-Standards Over Treatment of ‘Nice Guy’ Lando Norris in Sochi

Published 09/30/2021, 6:31 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – July 29, 2021 McLaren’s Lando Norris during a press conference ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix Pool via REUTERS/Florion Goga


The Russian Grand Prix was an eventful race, Lando Norris was moments away from his first victory, but a crucial mistake saw him finish seventh. However, Lando’s weekend could have gotten a lot worse, but instead of getting a penalty, the McLaren driver just got a warning.

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Team Principal of Alfa Romeo, Frederic Vasseur feels that a penalty for Norris’s action is not justified, and further states the rules need to be the same for everyone.

Alfa Romeo boss isn’t happy with the special treatment Lando Norris receives in F1

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As the 21-year-old was entering the pits to fit on intermediates, he crossed the white line, and did it again to enter the pitlane, Instead of getting a penalty by the FIA for his maneuver, Norris was just given a warning, which Vasseur found unfair.

As quoted from Motorsport.Total, Vasseur said, “Everyone thinks Lando is a nice guy, nobody in the paddock says anything bad about him. But we can’t just change the rules just because he’s a nice guy and the victory deserved.”

Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – September 26, 2021 McLaren’s Lando Norris is seen before the race REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

“If you cross the line, you have to get a penalty. That’s how it was in x cases, at Tsunoda in Spielberg or at Raikkonen in Mugello last year,Vasseur concluded. (Translated  via Google)

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A heartbreaking weekend for the Brit

The McLaren driver was on cloud nine after achieving his first-ever pole position in Saturday’s qualifying session. Norris put in a stellar lap around Sochi, that would see him lead the pack of drivers on Sunday’s race.

So, it was no surprise that Norris was optimistic about the Russian Grand Prix. Additionally, Lando was leading in the closing stages of the race, but at the same time, conditions around Sochi worsened.

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Formula One F1 – Belgian Grand Prix – Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium – August 26, 2021 McLaren’s Lando Norris in the FIA Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

McLaren advised Norris to pit for inters, but he stayed out – a decision that ended up costing him his first win. The 21-year-old spun as he zipped around the wet track, losing the lead to Lewis Hamilton, who would go on to win the race.

The British driver is certainly disappointed to have finished seventh but is hoping to bounce back in the upcoming Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul.

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What are your predictions for his race at Istanbul Park? Let us know in the comments below.

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Arpit Gomes

965 articles

Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.

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