F1’s new pit lane disrupting rules ‘absolutely terrible’

F1’s new pit lane disrupting rules ‘absolutely terrible’

Following instances of drivers stopping at pit lane exits in recent races, in response to a maximum lap time rule designed to reduce traffic during qualifying, the FIA ​​has chosen to ban the practice on safety grounds and introduce new guidelines for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

This allows drivers to create a gap between the pit exit and the second safety car line, as long as they remain as far left as possible to allow other cars to pass.

Although the rule was successful in preventing cars from stopping at the pit exit lights, restricting the pit exit along the back straight made it difficult for others to pass without diving onto the grass.

Verstappen was seen walking past a number of cars as he looked to get out on track for the SQ3 qualifying lap, and when asked for his opinion on the revised ruling, he offered a bleak outlook on the situation.

“It was absolutely terrible,” Verstappen said. “On this track, you have a very long exit from the pit and there are some walls.

“But on some other tracks, if we implement this, you’re driving very slowly on a straight road with people passing at over 300 km/h. You’re probably driving at 15 or 20 to leave a gap, which is very dangerous.”

“For me, it doesn’t work at all. It creates more problems. I mean, look at what was happening (in qualifying) – people getting on the grass, including me, to try to pass cars.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

Photography: Andy Hone/Motorsport Images

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

“It’s just chaos every qualifying, with about six to eight cars getting noticed for driving too slow in the shortest possible time. I don’t know what we’re trying to achieve.”

Motorsport.com understands that the FIA ​​will work to design new regulations for each circuit, and that the wall between the pit lane exit and the circuit made the solution possible at Interlagos.

For example, the Abu Dhabi circuit has a unique underpass which would likely not be able to accommodate a similar approach.

The FIA ​​is also understood to be satisfied with the improved safety features of the new solution.

Lando Norris said he “didn’t mind” the new sentence, but found the time limit — which he violated and received a reprimand for — a particular sticking point.

“I got a reprimand this morning because two cars in front of me left the pit lane, or one crossed the safety car line, and one pulled out of the pit lane at the same time.

“I can’t overtake, otherwise I’ll race the qualifying lap, which is stupid. So I have to back off, so I’m under the minimum time, and I get a reprimand for that.

“It’s just a silly thing – it’s not that the referees made the wrong decision, it’s just a rule that shouldn’t exist, in my opinion, because I didn’t do anything wrong at all.

“I didn’t block anyone, I didn’t get in anyone’s way. I didn’t overtake and cause a race in qualifying and I got a reprimand for it. So, just silly stuff.”

“People go slow and things like that, but if you’re afraid of that, just get out of the pit lane early and avoid queuing.”

Additional reporting by Erwin Jaege

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