“It’s the worst rule ever invented!”: Lando Norris insists that drivers should not be allowed to change tyres during red flag conditions

Somin Bhattacharjee
|Published 06/12/2021

Lando Norris feels that drivers being allowed to change their tyres during a red flag is the worst rule in Formula 1 today. 

At the Saudi Arabian GP, Mick Schumacher crashed into the barriers on the 11th lap of the race. The incident brought out the first of two safety cars that evening.

Before this, McLaren driver Lando Norris ran well within the points and looked on course to get a strong result.

After the safety car was deployed, Norris decided to pit for new tyres under those conditions. However, the red flag was shown soon, which led to the race being stopped, and according to the FIA rules, all cars are allowed to change their tyres whilst the race is suspended.

This rule cost Norris a lot, who lost places because of his earlier pit stop. The cars ahead of him got a ‘free pit stop’ and could resume the race on fresher tyres.

For the remainder of the race, the young Briton could not make up many places and lost out on valuable points. He finished 10th, bringing home just one point.

Also read: Max Verstappen shares his frustration over being awarded a five-second penalty for colliding with Lewis Hamilton at the Saudi Arabian GP

“The red flag just ruined our race today, the car was pretty decent”

“It’s possibly the worst rule ever invented by someone. Being able to change tyres under red flag.” said Lando after the race.

He then spoke about how Pierre Gasly benefited from this rule at Monza in 2020. Most of the cars pit during the safety car while the Frenchman stayed out.

Gasly was leading the pack when the stewards decided to suspend the race. Hence, he was able to restart the race ahead of everyone else with newer tyres and win it.

“We said it last year already,” Norris added. I’m not taking anything away from Pierre, but with the Monza race last year. Like Pierre got to change tyres for free. I don’t know. I don’t feel like it’s deserved in a way”

“It just ruined our race today. It feels like you do so much just to get it all taken away. This sucks because the team did a good job. I thought the car was pretty decent. But it’s just crap, the rule ruins everything.”

Also read: Max Verstappen on leaving the podium too quickly and not celebrating at the Jeddah circuit

Lando Norris hopes that other teams speak up about this issue

The 22-year-old thinks that other teams need to raise their concerns regarding this rule. He hopes that teams like Mercedes, who lost the lead of the race to Red Bull that way, speak up about this.

“I would hope so. If Max won because he just got a free pit stop, then I feel like Mercedes would complain,” he explained. “I don’t know if they would still now or not because Hamilton won.

“So it’s just a great day for them. But I just feel like it’s such an unfair thing. They should still have to do their pit stop, they should be more just unlucky rather than getting lucky. Just sucks.”

Norris’ teammate Daniel Ricciardo finished 5th last Sunday. He was one of the drivers who benefited from the red flag as he opted to stay out when the SC was deployed.

Also read: Sergio Perez rues Red Bull missing out on Constructors’ Championship to Mercedes after DNF collision with Charles Leclerc at Jeddah

About the author
Somin Bhattacharjee

Somin Bhattacharjee

Somin Bhattacharjee is an F1 writer at The SportsRush. He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration and aims to work in the sports industry for the rest of his life. Somin has been a fan of Scuderia Ferrari since 2010 and his favorite driver is none another than the great Fernando Alonso. Other than longing for a Ferrari Championship win once again, Somin spends his free time playing football and basketball.

Read more from Somin Bhattacharjee