Updated April 19th, 2024 at 17:22 IST

EXPLAINED: Why Lando Norris deleted lap time was restored by FIA which won him F1 Sprint Qauli POLE

Lando Norris claimed pole in dramatic circumstances after his lap time was deleted and then restored by FIA. So why did this happen? Read our explanation.

Reported by: Sahil Kapoor
Explained why Lando Norris' lap time was deleted and then restored | Image:AP/X/@F1/Screengrab
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Lando Norris claimed pole position in a chaotic sprint qualifying session in the Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix 2024 at Shanghai International Circuit on Friday. 

However his pole position created some confusion and controversy amongst the Formula 1 fans as in the first instance Lando Norris' lap time was deleted for exceeding track limits and then the lap time was reinstated.

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With his lap time restored by the FIA, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes AMG Petronas racing was bumped down to the second spot as their provisional pole was snatched away. 

Also Read | F1: Lando Norris claims pole in Sprint Quali

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So what exactly happened in that final lap with Lando Norris?

In the Q3 of sprint qualifying, the Shanghai International Circuit was treated with steady rain which made the wet weather conditions at the track a bit precarious. 

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Both Max Verstappen and Lando Norris was failing to keep the car on track. In his second lap, Lando Norris exceeded track limits in the final corner and then proceeded to start his final lap.

This meant that his second lap time was deleted by FIA and him continuing to set his third lap, meant the second one turned effectively into a push lap. 

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Then during his final lap, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes were on provisional pole but Norris ruined their party by going more than 1.2 seconds quicker than the provisional pole sitters. 

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But as it turned out, FIA deleted the lap and sent Norris back into P9. Just when Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes were about to celebrate a sprint pole at Chinese Grand Prix it was revealed that FIA had restored Norris' lap and McLaren were on pole. 

Also Read | Chinese Grand Prix could deliver drama to F1 and slow Verstappen

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So Why did FIA first delete and then restore Lando Norris' pole lap?

Lando Norris didn't exceed track position in his pole lap but the lap was deleted because the rule states that, if a driver exceeds track limits in the final corner of a lap and then goes on to set another laptime instantly with his next lap. Then both his previous and the next lap time are deleted. 

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This is done to prevent drivers from gaining an undue advantage by making their car straighter for the flying lap and having a better exit. This was the reason behind deleting Lando Norris' lap time. 

But then FIA decided to restore it and give the Briton his pole position back. According to Nico Rosberg and David Crofty in the Sky Sports commentary, this was done because given the wet conditions and gravel, McLaren would have appealed to FIA that Norris couldn't gain any advantage in his next lap by going off track. Instead Lando Norris and his McLaren would have lost time by going off. 

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The stewards agreed to that reasoning and decided to restore Lando Norris' lap time and hand him back the pole position. Former driver Karun Chandok also revealed in his post session analysis that Norris actually lost 3 tenths by going off track. 

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Lando Norris will now lock out front row with Lewis Hamilton in tomorrow's sprint qualifying and 

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Published April 19th, 2024 at 17:06 IST