Lando Norris hits out at ‘the worst rule EVER’ that allowed ‘lucky’ Max Verstappen to switch tyres ‘for free’ under a red flag at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as the McLaren driver insists the move ‘ruined the race’

Lando Norris was far from impressed with the rule that allowed Max Verstappen to benefit from a free pit-stop under a red flag at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, admitting the protocol was ‘the worst ever invented’. Verstappen finished second to rival Lewis Hamilton in Jeddah but initially went ahead having benefitted from the first of two red flags following Mick Schumacher’s crash after 15 laps. He was able to switch rubber before the race restarted, while Hamilton pitted under the safety car. ‘If Max won this race, I don’t know what happened in the Turn 1 incident with them [Verstappen and Hamilton], but if Max won just because he got the free pit stop, then I feel like Mercedes would complain. Verstappen came under fire during the race with many hitting out at his dangerous tactics to brake suddenly with Hamilton coming up behind him despite being ordered to give up his place to the Brit. Martin Brundle, commentating on Sky, said: ‘It’s been a dirty race in terms of tactics.

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