Lando Norris felt he had been denied second place at the Austrian Grand Prix due to the penalty he received after a fight on the track with Sergio Perez.
Norris was defending Red Bull’s Perez at turn 4 when the Mexican rider crossed the gravel wide. Stewards said Norris forced Perez off the track, although there was no contact, and handed him a five-second penalty that knocked him down behind Valtteri Bottas at the pit stops.
Norris finished third, behind Bottas and race winner Max Verstappen, but wondered what could have been.
Speaking after the race, Norris, who finished third on the podium, said: “I’m disappointed because it should have been second. I thought the first lap was really racing. He tried to get around outside, which was a little silly, and he just got off the track himself, I didn’t even push him.
“I’m frustrated but I’m also happy with third place. We had a very good pace.”
Norris also received two penalty points on his superlicence, leaving him 10 for the rolling 12-month period. The drivers get a ban if they have 12 points during this period, although Norris will lose two of those penalty points before the British Grand Prix in two weeks.
Norris explained his frustrations with Perez’s move to the TV media pen.
“It’s his risk to go around the outside, he knows there’s gravel there. You watch all the other junior series and every time someone tries to go around the outside and doesn’t get there. not engage, it ends up in the gravel.
“I didn’t even rush him. You understeer around the corner anyway, he should have expected that he couldn’t.
“I’m just pissed off, it cost us P2. We had the pace.… Hamilton had a problem but we had the pace to be ahead. [Valtteri] Bottas, at least, especially in the second stint. I would have liked to be second, not third. … I cement myself a little more.
“Just a little annoyed by that. It’s turn 1, people run, he tried something that didn’t work.”
Norris was able to keep pace with the Mercedes drivers throughout the race and he said this puts McLaren in a good position to move forward.
“We had a good pace and I could follow it a lot, even in the dirty air, but not enough to get into the DRS,” he said. “As soon as I got there for a second or so I started to struggle too much.
“I should, I could have, I could have in the end. It’s nice to know that we can be there and we can drive them, it was the first race in many years to drive the Mercedes and the Red Bulls. I hope we can continue like this after time. “