Lando Norris brings his MCL35M to Q3 qualifying sixth, but also takes a 3-place penalty, meaning he will start in ninth alongside Valtteri Bottas.
The Briton managed to make his way to Q3, as Daniel Ricciardo put his McLaren in the wall in Q2, pushing the race direction to wave out another red flag. Other two red flags were put out in Q1: one because of Lance Stroll, the other because of Antonio Giovinazzi, both in the barriers in turn 15. And as soon as the red flag appeared, Lando didn't slow his car down as he was on the final straight; indeed, he kept pushing and asked his engineer if he had to come back to the pits or could stay out. As soon as his engineer replied that he should've taken the way to the pits, Norris realized he was on the other side of the white line of the pit entry and kept going for another lap.
Norris infringes the rule 31.6 of the Sporting Regulations: during a red flag regime you must enter the pit or else you earn a 5 grid-place penalty. Since Norris had very little time to react to the red flags, the race direction dediced to give him only three places instead of five.
“Chaotic quali, as I’m sure it was for everyone. Finishing P6 on track was ok on a used set of tyres. In the end, we definitely had the potential to do more. I was already up on my final lap on the new tyre before the red flag came out.
“I’m disappointed to be starting P9 after being given a penalty - Norris said - it’s a tough one to take as I felt I took the safest possible action. That will make things more difficult tomorrow, but we can still fight for good points given the overtaking opportunities in Baku, so let’s see what we can do.”