F1 stars should not be treated like school kids and FIA need to rethink controversial new rules, says Lando Norris

1 month ago The Sun

LANDO NORRIS says F1 stars should not be made to feel like school kids and called on the FIA to rethink plans to punish drivers who make social and political comments.

Norris has added his weight to a growing list of drivers and team bosses who want the FIA to overturn their controversial new rules.


Brit Lando Norris fears the rule change will make drivers more like robots

Credit: AFP

F1's governing body rewrote the rulebook to give them permission to impose penalties on drivers who make gestures without prior approval.

It has led drivers to claim the FIA are trying to control them and Norris wants them to rethink their barmy plan.

Speaking at the launch of this season's car at McLaren's HQ in Woking, he said: "It is very important that it is made clear that as drivers, we can still voice our opinions.

"F1 should go in the direction of limiting what we can do and say and influence the drivers because we're only wanting to do things for the best.

"We're doing it because we have millions of fans and viewers who we want to influence and guide or to help them personally.

"We should have freedom of speech. We should be able to say and do what we want. That's what defines us as people is what makes us human.

If we find things being blocked off and we cannot talk, then nobody will want to do media [interviews] because we might as well be turned into a robot and just say the same things over and over again.

"We are only trying to help people in the world and give advice and there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to do that."

Norris agreed with Williams' Alex Albon that the threat needs looking at.

He added: "There's been quite a bit of pressure and enough said to maybe make a U-turn.

"We should be able to say what we want and what we believe in. We are not in school and reaching up to ask about everything and say, 'can we do this? Can we do that?'

"We are grown up enough to try and make smart decisions. I think there's enough drivers who have said things now to push back a little bit."


Williams' Alex Albon has also urged F1 bosses to think again

Credit: Reuters

Norris is now going in for his fifth season in F1 and has another new teammate as Australian Oscar Piastri replaces countryman Daniel Ricciardo.

It means Norris will become the team's leader, a position he is excited to be stepping into.

However, he knows he may not yet be in position to fight for regular wins as the team continues to develop.

He said: "I definitely have more responsibility simply because I'm the one with more experience, both in Formula One but also with McLaren as a team.

"I can use that a lot more than what Oscar would be able to and therefore my responsibility is to use that to our advantage.

"I have the understanding that we don't have everything we need at this current time to win races or to compete against the best teams in the world.

"But if we can build a team over the last few years and do what we can this year to perform in every area, when we have those extra few things coming our way, then we can take that step with absolute performance.

"I'm probably not the most patient guy in life, but it's something you need to learn to have when you get to Formula One.

"Until then, I'm just doing my job of trying to achieve everything I can one weekend at a time."

McLaren boss Zak Brown was also cautious about the team's chances this season as they have set the goal of being the fourth-quickest team behind Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari.

He said: "Lando signed up for the long term because he knows the journey we're on and this feels like family to him.

"So long as we continue to progress, but we're all we're all impatient and there with him in our desire but we have to recognise it's going to take a little bit more time."

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