Lando Norris has kept his Sao Paulo Grand Prix Sprint pole position
after being cleared by stewards following an investigation. Fresh
off banking his first Sprint pole, Norris was promptly summoned by
the stewards over not following the race director’s notes over the
maximum time between the two Safety Car lines during the Shootout.
The rule was brought in by race director Niels Wittich to prevent
drivers backing up on out-laps, potentially causing dangerous
situations with vast differences in closing speeds between a slow
car and one on a flying lap. It was found by the stewards that the
incident involving Lando Norris was triggered by Charles Leclerc
leaving the pits. As the Ferrari did so, Yuki Tsunoda had to slow
to create a gap to Leclerc – with this also impacting Norris.
Norris felt he had a choice between exceeding the delta time and
overtaking Tsunoda – risking an impeding. While accepting he took
reasonable effort to avoid interfering with other cars, the
stewards felt Norris could have done more to manage the delta time.
For this, he was hit with a reprimand, but kept his pole position.
Tsunoda was also hit with a reprimand. Ocon vs Alonso also
investigated The incident between Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso
was investigated by the stewards after their crash at Turn 3 in
SQ1. The stewards found that Alonso was aware of Ocon approaching
and moved off the racing line – but that he did turn more towards
the racing line, thus giving Ocon less room. This, combined with
the fact that Ocon lost the car with the snap of oversteer meant
the stewards felt ‘no driver was wholly or predominantly to blame.’
Despite this, Ocon was not happy. Speaking before the verdict was
delivered, the Alpine driver maintained that Alonso was at fault.
“It’s a difficult one to swallow because we were on for a good
improvement on that lap we were going to go through in SQ2,” said
Ocon. “I found Fernando in the way. I heard people saying I lost
the car, it’s not true. We had corrections like that throughout the
whole [field] even on Lando [Norris’] quickest lap he had a
correction there and ran wide. “Fernando steered to the left in the
middle of the corner and didn’t leave enough space and we collided.
“But in the end, it doesn’t matter. It is something that happened,
and obviously we will now go on and focus on the race.”

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