McLaren’s dismal recent Canadian GP record continues thanks to Lando Norris penalty

The five-second penalty that Lando Norris received at the end of the Canadian GP continued McLaren’s woeful recent run of results in Montreal.

Norris earned a time penalty for an “unsportsmanlike behaviour” infringement during a safety car period. As a result, the British star dropped from ninth – and some crucial championship points – all the way down to thirteenth.

Additionally, Oscar Piastri finished eleventh in the sister McLaren, ensuring that the Woking-based outfit left Canada empty-handed. This has become quite a common occurrence for the team, though.

McLaren have not registered a point-scoring finish at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in their last seven visits to the track. In fact, the last time a McLaren was in the top 10 in Canada was 2014, when Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen finished in fourth and ninth respectively.

But if he had not received a time penalty, Lando Norris would have brought this torrid Canadian GP run to an end. Why did the stewards penalise him, though?

Lando Norris: what did he do to get a penalty at the Canadian GP?

The FIA shared the process with which they came to the decision to punish Lando Norris. Under the rules, the McLaren driver breached Article 12.2.1.l of the FIA international sporting code – otherwise known as “Unsportsmanlike behaviour”.

Norris had intentionally slowed down during a safety car period in order to avoid a pit-stop delay. McLaren were “double stacking” their drivers – that is, pitting them one after the other on the same lap.

Due to Norris and Piastri’s close proximity on track, the Brit would have lost time to his rivals in the pits as the second car. So, according to the FIA, Norris decelerated by roughly 50km/h during the final sector to avoid this issue.

Unfortunately, this had the knock-on effect of slowing down rivals behind him, too. This is because overtaking is not allowed under safety car conditions.

Therefore, Lando got a five-second time penalty added to the end of his race for delaying those following him to gain an advantage.  

As mentioned earlier, this punishment proved decisive and removed the No.4 McLaren from the points in Canada. Despite this frustrating setback, Lando Norris could still see the silver linings from the weekend.

Norris: Canada was “enjoyable”

The Brit, although disheartened at his punishment, seemed to take solace from his MCL60 being competitive on Sunday. Both McLarens were very much in the mix for points, racing against Alpines, Alfa Romeos, and even Lance Stroll in the Aston Martin.

“I was happy that it was a fun race,” said Norris, via Formula 1. “I could do some overtaking and good racing. It wasn’t like the pace was amazing, it was just enough to at times catch the cars ahead. When I had a chance to overtake, I did it today.

“I think it was exciting, it was close at times, even with Esteban [Ocon] of course at the final corner. But yeah, it was a tough start, but we came on better and better through the race. It was just enjoyable in the end, that’s all.”

McLaren will hope to return to the points quickly following this difficult weekend. Their next opportunity will be at the Austrian Grand Prix in two weeks’ time.

Featured image credit: Getty