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Martin Brundle

Brundle calls for F1 rules 'tidy-up' amid multiple penalties

After a busy weekend for the stewards at the Canadian Grand Prix, Martin Brundle believes that it may be time to re-examine Formula 1's rulebook.

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Martin Brundle believes that Formula 1 could benefit from a rules "tidy-up" after multiple penalties were issued at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Carlos Sainz, Yuki Tsunoda and Lance Stroll all received three-place grid penalties for impeding other drivers during qualifying, while Nico Hulkenberg was dropped from an impressive P2 to P5 for a red flag infringement.

Brundle has expressed sympathy for the drivers and stewards in regards to these situations, but suggested that there needs to be "a human judgment call" involved in the decisions.

Brundle on impeding penalties

"All weekend the race stewards were as busy as the drivers reviewing penalties for blocking and other indiscretions," Brundle wrote in his column for Sky Sports F1.

"I feel for the drivers in those conditions, keeping your own car out of the wall and trying to find good speed when every braking zone, corner entry and exit, and even gentle kinks on a straight is a new adventure every lap.

"To then see other drivers in your mirrors through the spray and get out of the way while trying to find a clear lap for yourself is quite the challenge.

"There were some very clear blocks which looked unnecessary despite all the above, not least Carlos Sainz in the Ferrari, for which he took a three-place grid drop.

"The stewards were being firm with the rules. I often speak to them to understand these things and they always have data and rationale to go with their calls, there's no shooting from the hip involved.

"But, as with any referee system, there's a human judgment call."

In terms of Hulkenberg's punishment, Brundle acknowledged that it must have been "frustrating" for the Haas driver but stressed that the stewards were "doing their job diligently" in order to apply the rules consistently.

Norris' 'unsporting behaviour' penalty

The stewards remained busy during Sunday's race, with Lando Norris being handed a five-second time penalty for unsportsmanlike behaviour after backing off under the Safety Car ahead of McLaren double-stacking their drivers for pit stops.

"I felt sure there was a clear rule about that so that a driver can't disadvantage all those behind while making their own pit stop faster, but the stewards had to use an umbrella rule about 'unsporting behaviour' to nail him," Brundle explained.

"Even rival team managers were telling me post-race that it's been normal and accepted behaviour to build a small gap behind the Safety Car before a double team pit stop for a few years now, which indeed was Lando's firm view.

"Of course like any sport you need rules and a firm referee otherwise you quickly have chaos and anarchy, but I can't help but feel our constantly evolved and complex rules are ready for a tidy-up and rationalisation."

F1 2023 Canadian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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