Lando Norris: Sebastian Vettel screwed Romain Grosjean with Q1 conduct
McLaren’s Lando Norris expressed sympathy for Haas rival Romain Grosjean, believing the penalised Frenchman was “screwed” by Sebastian Vettel’s conduct.
Norris had a near-miss with a slow Grosjean during Q1 for Formula 1’s Bahrain Grand Prix, and stewards investigated the incident, ultimately opting to hit Grosjean with a three-place penalty.
Both Norris and Grosjean made it through to Q3, but the Haas driver will now drop from eighth to 11th as a result of his sanction; Norris will climb to ninth as a beneficiary of the penalty.
Stewards concluded that "the driver of car 8 stated that he was about to commence a push lap when he was overtaken by car 5 and thus slowed significantly to maintain a sufficient gap.
“He was not advised by the team of the rapid approach of car 4, which was on a push lap. The speed differential was 136 km/h at the point where car 4 had to take avoiding action.”
Speaking about the incident, Norris said: “He did get screwed over a bit by Sebastian, who overtook him into the final corner.
“To be fair to him [Grosjean] he only had three seconds or something for his team to tell him that I was behind, if they didn’t already, and it would have been very hard for him to suddenly change his whole approach to basically giving up his whole lap.
“Vettel screwed him over, which isn’t a very nice thing to do in terms of us being racers, we try to respect each other in terms of you’ve got a car ahead you don’t overtake them into the final corner like [Kevin] Magnussen and Fernando [Alonso] in Monza last year as you ruin both of your qualifying laps.
“I think he [Grosjean] did what he could when he knew but he did impede me.
“If I didn’t get to do a second quali lap for whatever reason that would have been the reason I wouldn’t have been in Q2.”