Motor racing-Norris blames Perez for penalty and missed second place

·2-min read
Austrian Grand Prix

By Alan Baldwin

(Reuters) - McLaren's Lando Norris had mixed feelings on the Formula One podium on Sunday, happy to be third and Driver of the Day but angry with rival Sergio Perez and a clash that cost him a possible second place.

The 21-year-old Briton had started on the front row for the first time but collected a five-second time penalty after Austrian Grand Prix stewards ruled he had forced Red Bull's Sergio Perez off track.

Norris, who dropped to fourth but fought back to third, felt that was unfair.

"He tried to go around the outside, which was a bit stupid, and he ran off the track himself. I didn’t even push him," he told reporters after the fourth podium of his career and third of the season.

"You watch Formula Two or Formula Three or any category and people who try to go around the outside there and don’t commit to it end up in the gravel. That’s just the way that corner runs," added Norris.

"So, he took the risk, and not me. He didn't commit to his overtake the way he should have done and he put himself in the gravel. So I don’t feel it was my mistake but I don’t make the penalties."

Norris has now had eight top-five finishes in nine races and is fourth in the championship, three points behind Perez who finished sixth on Sunday.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said he had no major issue with Norris's move: "It was hard racing, it was wheel to wheel," he added.

McLaren principal Andreas Seidl said the penalty was undeserved.

Perez, who was handed two time penalties for later incidents involving Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, said having to go into the gravel had ruined his race but accepted blame for the later incidents.

"That's not the way I like to race and I'm really sorry if I affected Charles' race," he said. "I don't feel happy with myself knowing I ruined a race for another driver."

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ed Osmond)

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