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F1 penalty points should be reserved for dangerous driving

Norris was given a five-second time penalty and two penalty points on his licence for being deemed to have pushed Sergio Perez off the track in the early stages of the Red Bull Ring race.

Those two points take his total up to 10, just two removed from the 12-point threshold which comes with an automatic one-race ban.

Fortunately for Norris two of those points expire on 10 July, meaning he will drop down to eight points ahead of the British Grand Prix in two weeks, a minimum amount he will be on until at least November.

Norris’ previous penalty points were awarded for two yellow flag transgressions, and for continuing on track during a red flag at last month’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, instead of pitting.

Norris feels he didn’t do anything to get so close to a race ban, saying penalty points should be reserved for errors “which put people in danger” rather than racing incidents.

“My approach of the incident in Baku with the red flag and not boxing when I should have done, I didn’t put anyone in harm’s way, in fact the opposite and I did everything safely. Why should I deserve penalty points for that?” Norris said, whose five-second time penalty dropped him from a likely second to a third-place finish.

“Why should I deserve penalty points today for someone going into the gravel? So yeah, nothing I’ve done is dangerous.

“I feel like maybe in some cases you deserve an on-track penalty because you’ve done something bad in terms of racing and you just made a mistake, but then you have things that people do every now and then which are purely dangerous.

“So, if you do generally overtake in a yellow flag and do something that’s just clearly a rule, that will put people in danger, then I understand penalty points for a driver. And if that adds up, you’ll get a race ban.

“But for little things like this it’s just stupid, in my opinion. It’s not what Formula 1 should be and I would expect and hope that other people would back me up on this kind of opinion.”

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who was part of the same press conference after winning the Austrian Grand Prix, immediately came to Norris’ defence on the issue.

“Let’s say, how many [penalty points] do you get, two? So if you would have six of these incidents, I don’t think you deserve a ban for what he did today. It’s just not correct,” he said.

“I mean, I’ve been there myself, I’ve been at nine or 10 points myself. It’s how it goes.

“But I don’t think with the things [Norris] got the penalty points for, let’s say you would get to 12, you don’t deserve a ban for that.

“I said it before myself, I think two years ago, we should look into that.”

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