Verstappen Backs Norris in Slamming ‘Stupid’ FIA for Harsh F1 Penalties After Austrian GP

Published 07/04/2021, 4:46 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 18, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and McLaren’s Lando Norris after finishing in first and third respectively Pool via REUTERS/Bryn Lennon


If there was one word to describe the Austrian GP, it would be penalties. The FIA seemed to be in a very giving mood as drivers faced five-second penalties for almost no reason. It started with Vettel’s three-place grid penalty, which then tallied up to a total of 7 penalties during today’s race and 11 drivers summoned to the stewards’ post-race. Lando Norris’s penalty is borderline ridiculous. he even let out a shocked “What?!” at receiving the news.

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As a result of the incident with Checo, Norris has an additional two penalty points to his name. Even though he loses the two penalty points he collected during the Styrian GP last year, the number is outrageous. The 21-year-old driver has the reputation of being the baby of the grid- the least harmful or aggressive.

So even the potential 10 points, seems questionable. Max Verstappen, the victor of the race, stands by Norris. ” I don’t think with the things you got the penalty points for, let’s say you would get to 12, you don’t deserve a ban for that. We should look into that [system].”

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Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 4, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, and McLaren’s Lando Norris celebrate first and third place on the podium with Honda F1’s Technical Director Toyoharu Tanabe REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

What is the super license penalty points system?

The FIA introduced the super license penalty points system in 2014. A driver requires a user license to compete in F1. once this license has reached a maximum of 12 points, action is taken against the driver. The FIA can ban repeat offenders for the accumulation of on-track offenses over a period of 12 months. After this period, the points are removed.

If a driver meets the twelve-point limit, the super license gets suspended for the following event, forcing a one-race ban on the driver. The points are removed once the driver returns. So far no drover has reached the twelve-point maximum. However, a lot have come close. These points have also come under a lot of scrutiny from the drivers.

Why is Norris close to a ban?

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The young driver has got 3 points each last year in Turkey and this year in Baku. He also has 2 points from Sunday’s race and also from the Styrian GP last year. If one looks closely at these incidents, there is nothing that’s explicitly wrong. Norris argues that in racing, one must use common sense to decide what’s safe at the moment. He adds, “But for little things like this is just stupid in my opinion, it’s not what Formula 1 should be.”

Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 4, 2021 McLaren’s Lando Norris during the race REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

After the two points from last year get deducted, Norris still has to race till November knowing that he is just four points away from a race ban. The FIA must look to revise its rules when it comes to penalties. While small on-track penalties during the race are considerably fair, big moves like a ban, may not be the right solution for smaller incidents.

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Watch story: Mad Max: Verstappen’s Angriest Rants on Team Radio

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Shreya Sanjeev

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