McLaren’s hopes of revisiting the decision to penalize Lando Norris for “unsportsmanlike behavior” during the Canadian GP were dashed as the FIA rejected their request for a review. Norris had backed off to create a gap between himself and teammate Oscar Piastri before a double stack pit stop in Montreal.
According to the FIA’s International Sporting Code, McLaren needed to present “significant, new, and relevant” evidence that was not available to the stewards at the time of their initial decision in order for a review to be considered.
McLaren submitted four pieces of evidence that they believed met this criterion:
- Notes from the FIA Team Managers meeting on June 30, 2023, and previous meetings, indicating that teams understood the alleged infringement should not be penalized.
- Documentation showing that discussions following the 2019 Monaco Grand Prix at the team managers’ meeting in Canada led to an acceptance of this type of action.
- Video, audio, GPS, and timing evidence of eight instances where cars created a gap that allegedly disadvantaged a competitor but were not penalized.
- Evidence that Alex Albon, the car behind Norris, did not lose any positions as a result of Norris’ actions.
During the hearing at the Red Bull Ring, teams such as Williams, Red Bull Racing, Aston Martin, and Alpine provided their input to determine the validity of McLaren’s evidence.
Ultimately, the FIA concluded that McLaren’s evidence did not present anything new, significant, or relevant enough to warrant a reevaluation of the Norris incident. The stewards emphasized two key points: teams must adhere strictly to the rules and cannot base their actions on private gentlemen’s agreements, and the other incidents cited were not identical.
In a statement released on Sunday, the FIA stated, “Discussions and informal ‘gentlemen’s agreements’ cannot become binding unless they are included in regulatory formats, regardless of the good intentions of the parties involved. Clarifications can only be provided through official channels, such as Race Directors’ notes, and cannot contradict existing regulations.”
The FIA also emphasized that previous cases cited were irrelevant to this specific incident, as each incident had unique aspects. The original penalty was imposed due to the perceived unfairness of Norris’ actions, an issue not addressed by the cases referenced.
The FIA concluded that the matter was not open to further appeal.
“We respect the FIA and Stewards’ decision to uphold Lando Norris’ 5-second time penalty at the 2023 Canadian Grand Prix,” McLaren stated. “Although we believe we presented sufficient new, significant, and relevant evidence to justify a ‘right of review,’ we accept the Stewards’ decision that our evidence did not meet their requirements. While it may not be the outcome we had hoped for, we appreciate the Stewards’ time and collaboration.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about penalty review
What was McLaren’s request to the FIA regarding Norris’ penalty in the Canadian GP?
McLaren requested the FIA to review the decision to penalize Lando Norris for “unsportsmanlike behavior” during the Canadian GP, specifically his actions to create a gap between himself and his teammate during a pit stop.
What did McLaren need to provide in order for the review to be considered?
According to the FIA’s International Sporting Code, McLaren needed to present “significant, new, and relevant” evidence that was not available to the stewards at the time of their initial decision.
What evidence did McLaren submit?
McLaren submitted four pieces of evidence, including notes from team managers’ meetings, discussions from a previous Grand Prix, video and timing evidence of similar incidents, and proof that the car behind Norris did not lose any positions due to his actions.
Why did the FIA reject McLaren’s request for a review?
The FIA determined that the evidence provided by McLaren did not meet the criteria of being significant, new, and relevant enough to justify a review. The stewards emphasized that teams must follow rules strictly and cannot base their actions on private agreements.
Can McLaren appeal the FIA’s decision?
No, the FIA stated that the matter was not subject to further appeal. McLaren respected the decision and expressed appreciation for the stewards’ time and collaboration.