Lando Norris has called for stronger punishments to be dished out for blocking other drivers after Max Verstappen escaped grid sanctions at the Singapore Grand Prix.
Verstappen was under three separate investigations following qualifying – one for stopping at the pit lane exit, one for impeding Logan Sargeant and another for getting in the way of Yuki Tsunoda in Q2 – but only received a 5,000 euros (£4,308) fine.
Norris believes that more responsibility should be placed on the driver to avoid such incidents.
“I think the blocking one on track should have been a penalty,” Norris said ahead of this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.
Yuki is NOT happy with Max! 😡
The incident has been noted by the stewards 📝 pic.twitter.com/w26WyhPqRw
— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) September 16, 2023
“If you block someone, it is not just down to the team – I know the team got a fine – but it should be down to the driver as well.
“You have to look in your mirrors. You have nothing else to do the whole lap but look in your mirrors and it seems like a lot of people struggle to do that.
“There should be harsher penalties for blocking. So many people do it.
“It ruins your lap, ruins your qualifying. It put Yuki out in qualifying, he was P1 in Q1.
“Nobody seems to care enough. It has happened a lot this season, it has happened to me quite a few times – especially with certain teams – but it is down to the driver to look in the mirror.
“I will probably block someone this weekend now and make myself look stupid.”
Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell were both among the cars held up by Verstappen’s wait at the pit exit and the seven-time world champion says there has to be more consistency in the decision making.
“I didn’t really see them, I was in the pit lane when everyone stopped and I couldn’t see what was happening ahead,” Hamilton said.
“We always push and work as closely as we can with the FIA to achieve consistency and there are some variations so we have to continue to work on that.”
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc, who also held up, added: “I was a bit surprised (there was not a stronger penalty), especially with the one in the pit lane as that could open some quite bad situations in the future.
“It is always an open discussion with the FIA, trying to explain what our point of view is. I am sure we will have that discussion at the briefing.”
Verstappen, who arrives in Japan with a 151-point lead in the drivers’ championship, feels that every incident has to be judged individually by the stewards.
He said: “Every single instance is different.
“The only thing I can say about Singapore is that I explained what happened when I was sitting in the car and the information that was given to me.
“That is all I can do and it is up to the stewards to make that call.”