Norris: Monaco track’s loose banner issues ‘not acceptable’


Lando Norris says F1 needs to come up with a better solution for Monaco’s guardrail advertising signage after a loose banner almost derailed the McLaren driver’s qualifying session.

The race weekend in the Principality has been marred by persistent issues with the banners and stickers lining the circuit’s Armco barriers.

In Monaco’s Swimming Pool section, the banners gradually deteriorated due to car contact with the barriers.

But at Mirabeau, a significant section of the banner was ripped away entirely by the sheer force of cars racing past closely.

In Q1, Ferrari's Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz made contact with the loose banner, further dislodging it. This was followed by Williams' Logan Sargeant driving over a portion of the debris.

Norris encountered the remaining section when he arrived on the scene and the banner became lodged underneath his car, forcing him to pit and jeopardizing his chances of making it into Q2.

The McLaren charger was understandably frustrated by the incident. The time spent in the pits to clear the debris threatened to eliminate him from the session altogether.

Thankfully, Norris managed to return and secure his spot in Q2. However, the incident highlighted the significant safety concerns posed by the loose banners.

“I had to pit for it to come off and it just shouldn't happen in Formula 1,” he said. “It is a bit silly, in my opinion.

“We said it [in the drivers’ briefing], we said it was going to happen again, and they said they were going to fix it. But it obviously wasn't fixed.

“They need to come up with a better solution than just stickers. We are touching the wall, but it is not acceptable that it can ruin your whole weekend. They need to find a better solution.”


Echoing his driver’s concerns, McLaren team boss Andrea Stella agreed that it was unacceptable for a car to be compromised by the issue. The Italian stressed the urgency of taking immediate action before the race to prevent a repeat incident that could potentially alter the outcome.

“What happened in Q1 is something that should not happen and is not up to the standards of racing circuits,” Stella said.

“We caught it [the banner] under the car and the car lost as much downforce as equivalent to three seconds per lap.

“It shouldn't happen that the car is compromised by these kinds of problems that have been there right from free practice one. It is not that suddenly in qualifying we have the banners coming off. It's been there every single session, and we need to fix it.

“I think today, it affected Lando in a pretty catastrophic way from a performance point of view. And I understand potentially Leclerc as well. And some other drivers too.

“So, what is exactly going to determine the race result tomorrow? The luck as to whether you take the banners or not? Or we want this to come as an outcome of the quality of the drivers, the car and the teams. Something needs to be done.”

According to, the FIA instructed marshals to remove several loose banners after Q1 and Q2 to avoid any further issues, while more changes will be undertaken for Sunday’s race.

"We've now decided to completely remove branding in some small areas for tomorrow,” the FIA stated.

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