Norris had been on a fast lap in Q1 when he came across a pack of slow-moving cars at the final chicane, one of which was Mazepin, who despite being informed that the McLaren driver was behind, decided to stay ahead.

Being stuck behind Mazepin’s car meant Norris lost a few tenths and forced him to run an extra set of Soft tyres to ensure he got through to Q2, something the Briton said “cost me” later in the session.

The penalty is rather academic as it will have no effect on Mazepin’s starting position given that he qualified last anyway. The Russian was also given a penalty point on his licence.

After hearing from both drivers and team representatives, reviewing multiple angles of video evidence, telemetry and team radio, the Barcelona stewards concluded Mazepin was clearly at fault.

“During the qualifying one session, Mazepin was setting up for a fast lap,” a statement from the stewards read. “As he approached turns 10 and 11 Mazepin was informed that Norris was closing on a fast lap behind him and was informed of the closing gap all the way through to the incident.

“Mazepin then slowed to maintain the gap to [Mick] Schumacher ahead of him with both setting up for their fast laps. Between turn 13 and 14, [Kimi] Raikkonen and [Yuki] Tsunoda, who were coming into the pits, jumped ahead of Mazepin.

“Both cars had also been informed of the fast closing Norris, and it is clear that they did this to get out of Norris’ way. However, this created a difficult situation for Mazepin.

“The stewards determined that having been clearly informed of Norris’ whereabouts, Mazepin’s decision to pull out and re-pass Raikkonen and Tsunoda clearly impeded Norris, who lost significant time.

“The Stewards recognise that this sequence of corners creates a special challenge to the drivers in qualifying and that Mazepin was faced with a difficult situation. This was also pointed out by Norris in the hearing. However, had Mazepin waited for Norris to pass, he could have pulled out and followed Norris and the stewards determined this opportunity was available to him without significantly compromising his next lap.

“The stewards therefore order the usual penalty for ‘unnecessary impeding’ of a three grid place drop and a single penalty point.”

 

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