There’s precedent at Turn 4 at the Red Bull Ring because last year Lewis Hamilton copped a penalty when Alex Albon went off on the outside while challenging him. I thought that penalty was totally wrong, just as it was in the Norris case. When you go into a corner with somebody on the outside, they are the one making the move. The guy on the racing line, why should he have to back off to give the other on the outside more room? The normal racing line is to run out wide. Then you get this argument, “Oh, but the other car was in front.” Now, I can make my car go into a corner ahead of another, as we’ve seen under braking around the outside at Turn 4. But I’ve still got to turn right and stay on the track. So does that give you the place because you are ahead? No.
“I tried being dirty in karting. I wasn’t very good at it so I stopped!”
Pérez and Leclerc later in the race was the same story, and I think the penalty was wrong – because of these rules for racing. Drivers being as clever as they are, will force that rule about being ahead to come into play and because of the precedent that’s been set, the stewards’ hands are tied to be consistent on penalties. What makes it worse is that rules are usually written by people who have never been in a cockpit. I know Formula 1 has a driver steward, in this case Derek Warwick who has normally been good at allowing racing to happen, and I’ve been the driver steward in the past too. But rules for racing is simply not what it should be about.
Consistency from corner to corner is also difficult. Remember Turn 3 with Charles and Max Verstappen in 2019, when Max dived down the inside, took the line and that forced Charles to run wide? That was deemed okay and Max won the race. Very similar and clever from Max. Did he delay steering right a little? Probably. Did he lean on him on the exit? Yes. Good racing. But at Turn 4, it’s a penalty.