Norris frustrated with F1 drivers lack of concern with impeding

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McLaren's Lando Norris says too many of his F1 colleagues don't seem to care about impeding others and suggests the FIA should impose harsher penalties for blocking.

The topic came to the fore in Suzuka in the wake of the stewards controversial decision in Singapore not to punish Max Verstappen for several dubious moves in qualifying.

At Marina Bay, the Red Bull driver was handed a pair of reprimands for two separate incidents in the Saturday evening session.

Verstappen had blocked Yuki Tsunoda out on track while the Dutchman was also investigated for waiting at the end of the pitlane to create a gap before joining the track, a move that clearly impeded a queue of cars lined up behind the Red Bull.

In the first instance, the stewards let Verstappen on the hook, save for the reprimand, as they considered that the Red Bull pitwall was to blame for not informing its driver of Tsunoda's presence.

The decisions surprised several drivers who criticized the stewards for their lack of consistency, a long-drawn-out theme in F1.

"I don't want to say too much, because I'll just create controversy," commented Norris on Thursday in Suzuka.

"But I think the blocking one on track was the one that should have been a penalty. He blocked someone.

"It's not just down to the team. I know the team got the fine in the end of the day, but it should be down to the driver as well to look at his mirrors, and see if someone's there.

"You've got nothing else to do the whole lap but look in your mirrors, and it seems like a lot of people struggle to do that."

The McLaren driver argued in favour of harsher sanctions as a dissuasive measure against drivers who impede, but also called on his colleagues to do a better job preventing impeding situations.

"I think there should just be harsher penalties for blocking people, because so many people do it," Norris added. "It ruins your lap it ruins your qualifying, it put Yuki out in qualifying, and he was P1 in Q1.

"Just no one seems to care enough. And it's happened a lot this season, it's happened to me quite a few times, especially with certain teams.

"But it's also up to the driver to look in the mirror, like they got nothing else to do but hit the recharge button and look in your mirror and people seem to struggle to be able to do that and in F1, which is a surprise."

Lewis Hamilton said that drivers must continue their dialogue with the FIA and its officials.
"I obviously I was in the pit lane when everyone stopped, and I couldn't see what was happening up ahead," said the Mercedes driver.

"We always push and work as closely as we can with the FIA to have consistency and there is some variation, so we have to continue to work on it for sure."

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc was also surprised by the stewards' leniency towards Verstappen.

"I was a bit surprised. Especially the one in the pit lane, because that could open quite bad situations in the future," added the Monegasque.

"But again, as Lewis said, it's always an open discussion with the FIA, and trying to explain to them what our point of view is and, and improve. And I'm sure we'll have that discussion tomorrow evening at the briefing."

As for Verstappen, the championship leader says he provided the stewards with his side of the story.

"Every single instance is different," he said. "And the only thing I can say about Singapore is that I explained what happened when I was sitting in the car, and the information that was given to me, and that's the only thing I can do. And then it's up to the stewards to make that call."

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