F1 Rumor: FIA Admits Mistake That Could Have Prevented Verstappen-Norris Clash

 The FIA has admitted that Max Verstappen should have been warned for his actions against Lando Norris during the Austrian Grand Prix.
2nd placed qualifier Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing and Pole position qualifier Lando Norris of Great Britain and McLaren attend the press conference after qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Spain at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on June 22, 2024 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
2nd placed qualifier Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing and Pole position qualifier Lando Norris of Great Britain and McLaren attend the press conference after qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Spain at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on June 22, 2024 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images) / Red Bull Content Pool

The FIA has recently acknowledged that in the latter stages of the Austrian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen should have received a warning for his maneuvers against Lando Norris, according to Autosport. This incident ended with the pair colliding, ending Norris's race and pushing Verstappen back to fifth.

McLaren argued that the collision could have been avoided if Verstappen had been promptly warned for his actions, specifically for moving under braking—a clear violation of the sport's regulations. According to Formula 1 rules, a driver defending their position must not alter their driving line after the deceleration phase begins.

This particular oversight by the race officials came under scrutiny during the team managers' meeting at the British Grand Prix, led by F1 race director Niels Wittich. Wittich admitted that, upon reviewing the incident, it was evident that a proactive approach should have been taken, including showing the black-and-white warning flag to Verstappen.

The incident has prompted the FIA to refine its guidelines regarding the use of the black-and-white warning flag. Amendments to Appendix H of the FIA’s International Sporting Code will broaden the conditions under which this flag can be deployed.

McLaren's Team Principal, Andrea Stella, commented on the FIA’s post-race analysis and subsequent admission, as quoted by the report from Autosport:

“We are happy because I think the FIA have expressed their opinion around what happened in Austria and we are satisfied that this opinion confirms that our understanding straight after the race was correct, and during the race to some extent.

“During the race, you're not in condition to influence very much, because you can't even talk to the stewards. You can talk to the race director, but actually, he does not talk to the stewards.

“So, our understanding was confirmed by the FIA, who will have obviously reviewed internally and might have updated their interpretation.

“And I think we all came to the conclusion that a warning should have been given to Max, if not black and white flag. And this would have prevented an escalation that led to the collision.”

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Lydia Mee

LYDIA MEE

Lydia is the lead editor of F1 editorial. After following the sport for several years, she was finally able to attend the British Grand Prix in person in 2017. Since then, she's been addicted to not only the racing, but the atmosphere the fans bring to each event. She's a strong advocate for women in motorsport and a more diverse industry.