At the 2021 Russian Grand Prix, Lando Norris crossed the solid white line to enter the pits, which is against the rules and cheating, but that does not tell the whole story.
Norris was having the weekend of his life. After a shock pole position on Saturday, Norris was in control of the race on Sunday for the majority of the first 49 laps of a 53-lap race. Then a decision was to be made when the rain started hitting the track; pit for a wet compound of tire or try hold out for the last four laps on the slick tire.
Norris and the McLaren team made the mistake of staying out on track and with the track condition only getting worse, the car was impossible to keep on road at a speed to hold the lead, with Lewis Hamilton eventually overtaking Norris. Then a moment of controversy. As Norris finally decided to come into the pits, he crossed the solid white line as he was struggling to control the car into the pits.
This is against the rules of sport as you are not allowed to cross the solid white line for safety reasons. But the question in this case is whether he deserved the penalty or not?
One person who thought he should have had a penalty was Alfa Romeo team principal Fred Vasseur. He said that Norris should have received a five second penalty, as if he did not break the rules then he would have lost “25 seconds” on the next lap, either of these events would have led to his driver being promoted one position in the race.
Cheating in sports is the intentional breaking of rules in order to obtain an advantage over the other teams or players, whereas gamesmanship is the art of winning games by using various ploys and tactics to gain a psychological advantage.
How can the FIA crack down on different teams having different views on an incident like this? A way I think they could do it is that the rules could be strict. So, in my opinion, they give Norris the penalty even though of the scenario, as he has cheated and, as Fred Vasseur pointed out, Norris would have lost positions, so he has gained this advantage by breaking the laws.
Adding onto the response of breaking the laws of the game, it can be said that even a standard five or ten second time penalty would not have been enough, as if Norris had completed one more lap, he may have lost 20 to 30 seconds. This means that the action could be done without a strong enough consequence to face. A penalty that he should have faced is one such as a five-place position penalty, to take him out of the points.