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F1 | Saudi Arabian GP | “But this just ruins everything, to be honest,” says Norris about rule allowing tyre change during red flags

The Brit driver was running in the top 10 before taking advantage of the safety car for Schumacher’s incident and pitting, but the advantage was lost when it turned to a red flag and other drivers changed tyres while on the pitlane.

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F1 | Saudi Arabian GP | “But this just ruins everything, to be honest,” says Norris about rule allowing tyre change during red flags
Fuente imagen: Hasan Bratic - MotorLat

The McLaren driver was in sixth place before stopping for a fresh set, a move that caused him to drop to 14th place as other drivers decided to stay out and jumped him. But any advantage he could’ve gained was lost when the safety car turned into a red flag and the session was stopped, a moment which other teams decided to take advantage of and change tyres before resuming the session.

Norris has had this happen to him before, it also did in the Italian and Tuscan Grand Prix last season.

"It's happened a few times, like obviously at Monza last year, you just get a free pitstop and it ruined our race," Norris said.

"Mugello I think as well ruined our race, and here the same. Of course, I'm always on the bad end of it, so it probably sucks more for me than anyone, but I think it's just a very unfair rule that should be taken away.

"I think they should change it to one mandatory pitstop with two different tyre sets needed to be used, and then I think that's acceptable. But this just ruins everything, to be honest. You put so much effort in for it to be taken away for some stupid rule."

Norris declared he has discussed this with Michael Massi, FIA race director, in previous drivers’ briefings.

"I brought it up already when it happened the first time, and when it happened the second time. I can say whatever I need to, or what I want to, or what I believe in, but I don't write [the rules],” the Briton explained.

"Obviously just it makes it exciting from a TV point of view, so if that's what they want to just focus on, and they want the views to stay up, then of course keep it. But I think it ruins racing from my point of view, ruins what effort you put into it."

After resuming the race, he fought and eventually got up to finish P10 and score a point. This result mimics two similar and a P9 in three previous races.

Asked about his recent run, Norris says he feels they deserve more.

"It sucks, because I think we deserve a lot more, we've done a much better job than shows," he said.

"Of course, I made a couple of mistakes in there, I have to admit that, like in Brazil. Qatar and here we should have scored some good points.

"Both times we should have outscored Ferrari as a team and at least clawed some points back. Maybe not going to change the end result. We should be much closer than where we are.

"But through circumstances, through the rule, and obviously the tyre blowout a couple of weeks ago, then there's nothing we can do no matter how hard or fast we are. So it sucks."

With just one race left this season, we will have to wait and see if his luck changes and Norris has a less bitter end of his third season in F1.

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