Final weekend’s Italian Grand Prix controversially ended behind the protection automotive, with Crimson Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen successful his fifth consecutive System 1 race. A collection of unlucky occasions meant that the removing of Daniel Ricciardo’s stranded McLaren and the protection automotive process each took longer than anticipated. Many, together with Crimson Bull staff principal Christian Horner, insist that the race ought to have been red-flagged to make sure followers an thrilling ending. Nonetheless, when given the chance, System 1’s staff principals can’t agree on a way to eradicate security automotive finishes. And that’s an excellent factor.
Whereas the protection automotive rules have been adopted to the letter at Monza, the state of affairs provoked reminiscences of final yr’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The 2021 finale noticed the protection automotive protocol overridden by race director Michael Masi to create a one-lap dash for the world championship, as an alternative of a security automotive end. The finale’s aftermath noticed a full investigation by the FIA, a whole overhaul of F1 race officiating and the removing of Michael Masi as race director.
McLaren staff principal Andreas Seidl just lately revealed to Autosport that there was a concerted effort to amend the rules to make sure a inexperienced flag end at each F1 race after Abu Dhabi. Whereas the FIA and Liberty Media have been totally behind the concept, the groups might discover a consensus on a single proposal.
“After what occurred final yr in Abu Dhabi, there have been loads of discussions between FIA, System 1 and all of the groups concerned to be able to see how the principles might be modified to be able to ensure that races by no means finish below a security automotive. However regardless of FIA and System 1 actually pushing us all to search out options, it was right down to us because the groups, and just about to all groups not agreeing to any change as a result of we couldn’t agree on any higher resolution, which is then additionally nonetheless a good resolution by way of the sporting consequence.”
Essentially the most generally mentioned proposal is a direct purple flag for any incident requiring a security automotive after a predetermined level in a race, much like the casual observe utilized in IndyCar. NASCAR used this technique to make sure inexperienced flag finishes till 2004, when it launched the green-white-checkered end, or time beyond regulation. Extra time means any yellow flag interval that stretches past the scheduled race distance leads right into a two-lap dash end, lengthening the races to make sure a aggressive end.
I’ve at all times despised the time period time beyond regulation as a result of it conjures comparisons to time beyond regulation durations in different sports activities, the place time beyond regulation is required to find out a winner after the common durations of play finish in a tie. Races are by no means red-flagged on a tie. There’s at all times a pacesetter when the race is stopped, and their place is jeopardized due to the purple flag. Crimson flags are meant as a final resort measure to make sure the protection of opponents and spectators, to not create leisure.
After the Italian Grand Prix, F1’s groups met with FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem to debate potential wholesale modifications to the F1 Sporting Laws. Security automotive completed undoubtedly have been mentioned. I hope the groups needless to say whereas it’s vital to supply an entertaining racing product for followers, the FIA System One World Championship additionally must be a good sporting competitors.