McLaren has petitioned for a review of Lando Norris’s five-second penalty at Formula 1’s Canadian Grand Prix.
Norris finished ninth in Montreal but was hit with a five-second penalty and dropped to 13th, as the stewards punished him for holding up other cars while slowing to create a gap to team-mate Oscar Piastri behind an early safety car so that they could pit on the same lap.
Norris and McLaren were surprised by the penalty and felt it was a departure from how such incidents are usually judged.
Team boss Andrea Stella even wondered if the stewards were trying to set a new precedent, even though this had not been actively discussed beforehand.
McLaren has now petitioned for a review. A hearing has been set for Sunday morning at the Austrian GP, at 9.30am local time, with McLaren and Williams both summoned.
This hearing will be to determine whether this is significant and relevant new evidence that merits a review. If the stewards decide that is the case a second hearing will be convened.
Williams is likely being summoned as Alex Albon was one of the cars behind Norris at the time.
Charles Leclerc was directly behind Norris on track but did not follow him into the pits, whereas Albon, who was next in line, did.
At Sunday’s hearing, McLaren must provide new and significant evidence not available to the stewards at the time in order to get the incident formally reviewed.
In a statement confirming the petition, McLaren stressed its support and trust of the FIA and stewards, and said it appreciates officials “need to make decisions in a short timeframe, analysing complex scenarios and often with partial information and multiple elements to consider”.
“In Canada, we were surprised by the penalty and uncertain as to the rationale behind the decision,” McLaren’s statement said.
“We spoke to the stewards immediately after the race to help understand the reasoning for the penalty.
“The team took the initial explanation onboard and decided to review the case in a calm and considered manner, performing comprehensive due diligence, which included looking at the precedents.
“After this careful and extensive review, we believe enough evidence exists to a submit a ‘right to review’ to the FIA, which we have done so.
“We will now continue to work with the FIA closely, in the same constructive and collaborative manner in which we normally do, and will accept the outcome of their deliberations and decision.”
The stewards’ decision was viewed by the FIA as a consistent application of how going too slowly behind the safety car has previously been policed.
At the time, the stewards said there was a significant difference in speed between Norris and Piastri between the hairpin and the final corner of “approximately 50km/h”.
In the past, such incidents have been investigated on the grounds of an alleged sporting rules breach of driving unnecessarily slowly erratically or in a manner which could be deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers or any other person at any time whilst the safety car is deployed.
Instead, in Canada, the stewards felt what Norris did constituted a breach of the FIA’s International Sporting, referring to “any infringement of the principles of fairness in competition, behaviour in an unsportsmanlike manner or attempt to influence the results of a competition, in a way that is contrary to sporting ethics”.