McLaren’s Lando Norris expressed frustration over the rule that allowed Lance Stroll to change tyres under a red flag at the Italian Grand Prix, reckoning it cost him a podium finish.
Stroll was promoted into second place after not pitting for fresh tyres under a safety car, and was then in prime position when the race was halted due to Charles Leclerc’s accident.
Under Formula 1 regulations drivers are permitted to change tyres during a race suspension, which counts as their mandatory stop, and thus Stroll took on fresh tyres without relinquishing track position.
The Racing Point driver eventually crossed the line in third place, taking his second career podium finish.
Norris, who was behind him in fourth at the chequered flag, feels he was robbed of the chance to join team-mate Carlos Sainz on the podium due to the regulation.
“I really just got screwed over with the red flag, with Lance being able to change tyres and not having to do a pit stop,” Norris said. “I don’t think it’s a great rule in my opinion.
“Some people like [Pierre] Gasly, who drove very well at the same time… but he boxed before and came out ahead, that’s more fair than someone who doesn’t have to do a pit stop.
“It’s too much of a benefit. I guess I’m a bit annoyed with that because [we had] a chance to get on the podium as a team, with Carlos, a chance to join him up there.
“Apart from that, it was a tough race, a lot of fun, difficult but one of the best races for us as a team in I don’t know how many years.”
Norris was in third place after the first lap, having made his way past Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas, and stayed there until he made his one and only pit stop of the race.
The Briton says McLaren has injected a lot of development into perfecting its race starts and believes the rewards were evident at Monza.
“It’s not just down to the drivers having to nail it,” he said. “A lot of it is down to that, but the team have to settle the car well for starts.
“The team has done a lot of development on that side of things and I wouldn’t have been P3 after Turn 1 if it wasn’t for that.
“I think we’ve put in a great few results, a lot of the things over the last few years are paying off.”