Norris: Track limit rule 'silly when gravel is 1cm away'

© XPB 

Lando Norris was caught out by F1's white line track limit rule in qualifying in Barcelona on Saturday which deprived the McLaren driver of a spot in Q3.

Norris thought he had done enough to join teammate Daniel Ricciardo for the final Q3 shootout, but the Briton was told by his race engineer that his final lap in Q2 had been deleted for fractionally exceeding track limits at the sweeping Turn 12 leaving him 11th.

But given the presence of a gravel trap just beyond the corner's rumble strip and white line, Norris felt that the track limit rule, as applied to a corner bordered by gravel, was "silly".

"I thought I did the same as every other lap," he said after quali. "I didn’t really think it’s a corner you can get done for track limits.

"The rule is the white line, it’s the rule for everyone. It’s been the same rule all year. I mean, I feel like it’s silly.

"I know it’s the rule. The rule is the rule. But I also feel it’s silly when you have gravel which is 1cm away that you still have the white line, and you can’t just use 1cm more and use the gravel as the limit.

"I think it’s a silly thing, but it’s the rule, and it’s the same for everyone, and I was the only one who got penalised. So… my fault."

Norris also revealed that he's been feeling a bit under the weather in Barcelona this weekend.

"I've not been great all weekend, to be honest with you," he said. "It's not COVID. I'm just suffering with my throat and my eyes and seeing, which doesn't help.

"I've got many things, my sleep and everything and energy levels is probably the worst I've had in a long time. Definitely not my peak this weekend.

"I was so happy even to be into Q3, and to do the lap I did, with how this weekend has gone so far. I was quite surprised by it. It just makes me feel good."

Meanwhile, Ricciardo outqualified Norris on Saturday for the first time this season. The Aussie reported that his crews are still coming to grips with the raft of updates implemented in Spain on McLaren's MCL36.

"I think we're still kind of learning about the new bits," said Ricciardo who will line up P9 on Sunday's grid.

"With updates and new bits it's not kind of always as simple as just like bolting them on and sending the car.

"I think once you put them on you also need to figure out how to balance the car well with that. So I think we're still trying to figure out the best balance with the new bits.

"So I'm not yet sure if we've like really maximise the true performance of them, but we're still going through a learning phase, and I think to get into Q3 was solid.

"But we're still obviously trying to chase a bit of lap time. But as a whole it was not a bad result, because we hadn't been rapid all weekend, and I don't think Q3 was a guarantee by any means.

"It was like a target, and I think it was a solid job that we were able to get in there."

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