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Alpine questions whether 'extra time' rule would work in F1

Alpine Team Principal, Otmar Szafnauer, believes Formula 1 should set rules and stick to them rather than react to a scenario.

Questions over whether Formula 1 could introduce an 'extra time' rule have been raised, after confusion at the end of the Australian Grand Prix. A record third red flag was thrown on Lap 57 following a chaotic standing restart, which saw Pierre Gasly take out his teammate Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso spun out of the podium by Carlos Sainz. As the final lap (Lap 58) had been started by leader Max Verstappen, a discussion ensued over whether the final order could be taken from the end of Lap 57 or on count back. After nearly 30 minutes the stewards elected to take the order from the last possible point, which was the grid for Lap 57. But could an extra time rule have enabled the final one-lap shootout to take place like in NASCAR or Formula E? This question was put to Alpine Team Principal, Otmar Szafnauer, whose drivers both crashed out on Lap 57 and dropped out the points. "[You mean] in that situation to have a little bit more racing or another red flag comes out?" he said when asked by media, including RacingNews365.com . "Then you would have had actually one lap left the race, which would have happened here. "My true belief is that we can have these scenarios, [but] you've got to set the rules at the beginning and then stick to it. Now if we want to look at them after that's fine to let the sporting directors look at it."

Szafnauer points to 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix confusion

Confusion over the red flag rules has occurred before in F1 at the end of the 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix, when the win was initially awarded to Kimi Raikkonen due to confusion over when the red flag was thrown. It was later determined that Giancarlo Fisichella was leading when the race result was declared, which Jordan successfully appealed, with the team handed back victory several days later. Szafnauer used this as an example of when rules are followed without being influenced by the circumstances in a specific race. "Fisichella won a race a week later in Brazil one year. But again, I think he won it in 2003 because the rules were followed," he added. "That is my point, follow the rules. If they're not good enough, don't change them mid race or just after the race, change them after you've learned."

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