F1 drivers again penalties for triggering flags in qualifying

The problem turned a speaking level in Azerbaijan final weekend after Fernando Alonso went down an escape highway in the direction of the tip of Q1, bringing out a yellow flag and spoiling the laps of anybody behind who may need had an opportunity of beating him.

Alex Albon, who was instantly behind the Alpine driver, made it clear that he thought Alonso had gone off observe in a deliberate effort to frustrate his rivals.

The problem of drivers enjoying such video games, particularly at road tracks, made the headlines on the 2006 Monaco GP.

On that event Michael Schumacher was excluded from qualifying after the stewards decided that he had intentionally stopped on observe at Rascasse, successfully ending the session early and securing pole place.

An analogous incident occurred on the identical venue in 2014, when Nico Rosberg went down the Mirabeau escape highway, thwarting the ultimate effort of team-mate Lewis Hamilton. The German survived an investigation with out sanction.

After qualifying for this yr’s Monaco race, Max Verstappen steered that penalties needs to be imposed to these inflicting crimson flags after shedding his last Q3 lap to another person’s accident for a second yr in a row.

Though there was no official documentation related to their enquiry, it is understood the FIA stewards carried out a casual investigation of the Alonso incident final weekend, with the Spaniard and Alpine sporting director Alan Permane seen leaving Baku race management on Sunday morning. Workforce boss Otmar Szafnauer additionally paid a go to.

Though the stewards took no motion, their suspicions had been alerted sufficiently to set off a dialogue a couple of potential answer to the issue.

Fernando Alonso, Alpine

Fernando Alonso, Alpine

Picture by: Alpine

The F1 sporting rules already comprise an article that may be utilized to anybody taking an escape highway or going onto a run-off space, and which reads: “Drivers should make each cheap effort to make use of the observe always and will not depart the observe with no justifiable purpose.”

Appendix L of the FIA’s Worldwide Sporting Code, which applies to driving conduct, incorporates an analogous clause: “Drivers should use the observe always and will not depart the observe with no justifiable purpose.”

The stewards have the discretion to delete all or any lap instances if a driver is deemed to have dedicated an offence that falls inside that description.

Whether it is agreed between the FIA stewards and the F1 race administrators that such a plan of action would cease the kind of manoeuvre that Alonso was suspected of, drivers could possibly be warned of potential sanctions as early because the Canadian GP, both within the race director’s occasion notes or within the common Friday drivers’ briefing.

Awarding penalties for an precise accident that ends a session early, like these involving Charles Leclerc in Monaco in 2021 and Sergio Perez this yr, would most likely require an extra dialogue.

Requested by Autosport concerning the FIA probably clamping down on controversial yellow flag conditions in qualifying, Alonso mentioned he would assist the thought.

“Yeah, I feel so,” he mentioned. “There’s going to be at all times difficulties, like now within the [Baku] race, in the event you crash in a single nook or in the event you park – there was one Haas [Kevin Magnussen] parked in Flip 15.

“In the event you park there otherwise you park 10 metres after that, perhaps you will have a security automobile deployment, relying in the event you take an excellent place or not. After which we are going to penalise the Haas driver as a result of he selected the incorrect factor?

“So we must be cautious on how we enter and the way we do these issues. However yeah, I agree. Particularly qualifying it needs to be totally different.

“We’re coping with issues of sluggish laps, minimal time to respect, site visitors within the final nook, tows, no tows. So I feel we needs to be intelligent and assume in one other format in qualifying.”

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36, heads to the grid

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36, heads to the grid

Picture by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Photographs

Lando Norris, who was additionally concerned in a yellow flag incident in Baku, additionally supported the thought.

“Yeah, in fact,” he mentioned when requested by Autosport if he agreed with a potential clampdown. “I feel I used to be one of many guys who triggered the yellow yesterday, however simply to get out of the way in which of Seb [Vettel].

“I feel there is a distinction between folks doing it accidentally, and folks doing it to get out of the way in which of individuals by not inflicting blue flags and no matter whenever you’re in qualifying, versus individuals who fairly clearly do it on function. Particularly whenever you’re one and a half seconds down on a push lap!

“You at all times say it till you are the one which does one thing incorrect. And you then’re like, #Oh, I want that rule wasn’t launched’, since you’ve simply made a easy mistake, like after I spun in Imola.

“I assume I say I want there is not any rule however clearly when another person does it you say you would like there was a rule. It at all times bites somebody in some unspecified time in the future. The people who find themselves extra vocal about it are those who simply have not made a mistake simply but.”

Norris’s team-mate Daniel Ricciardo additionally agreed {that a} clampdown could be a optimistic transfer.

“It is powerful as a result of they will each incident will most likely be just a little bit totally different,” mentioned the Australian.

“However except you have frickin’ totalled your automobile, if it is identical to just a little lock-up or an escape highway or one thing, then I really feel like in the event you’ve triggered one thing then perhaps we must always look into being penalised or one thing for it. Perhaps a deleted time could possibly be a great way of it.”

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Requested about Alonso’s declare of innocence after the Q1 incident in Baku, Ricciardo added: “His conviction is spectacular! I imply that is the expertise. That is why I like him. However I imply, clearly Alex spoke it about yesterday.

“Everyone knows, we’re all type of enjoying tips, and I do know Lewis tried to not give us the DRS I feel, with Lando. I imply, that is a little bit of simply ways and technique. However then there’s type of the opposite method of clearly what Fernando did. Perhaps deleted laps could possibly be the way in which ahead, we’ll see.”

Alonso’s team-mate Esteban Ocon additionally backed the thought of penalties.

“I feel so, as a result of in Monaco and Baku I have been struggling for that in qualifying,” he mentioned. “And, yeah, most likely folks would take extra care in the event that they get penalised, and it might be much less straightforward to take a threat and simply go down the escape highway. I’d undoubtedly be in favour of adjusting that for the road circuits.”

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