Welcome at RN365

You are logged in. Benefit directly from all the benefits of your account:

  • Share your thoughts and opinions about F1
  • Win fantastic prizes
  • Get access to our premium content
  • Take advantage of more exclusive benefits

Welcome at RN365

Become part of the largest racing community in the United Kingdom. Create your free account now!

  • Share your thoughts and opinions about F1
  • Win fantastic prizes
  • Get access to our premium content
  • Take advantage of more exclusive benefits
fri 26 mar - sun 28 mar
  • 1 HAM LAP 56
  • 2 VER + 0.745
  • 3 BOT + 37.383
ita
fri 16 apr - sun 18 apr
  • 1 VER LAP 63
  • 2 HAM + 22.000
  • 3 NOR + 23.702
bhr
por
fri 30 apr - sun 02 may
  • 1 HAM LAP 66
  • 2 VER + 29.148
  • 3 BOT + 33.530
ita
esp
fri 07 may - sun 09 may
  • 1 HAM LAP 66
  • 2 VER + 15.841
  • 3 BOT + 26.610
por
mco
thu 20 may - sun 23 may
  • 1 VER LAP 78
  • 2 SAI + 8.968
  • 3 NOR + 19.427
esp
aze
fri 04 jun - sun 06 jun
  • 1 PER LAP 51
  • 2 VET + 1.385
  • 3 GAS + 2.762
mco
fra
fri 18 jun - sun 20 jun

Practice 3

  • 1 VER 1:31.300
  • 2 BOT 1:32.047
  • 3 SAI 1:32.195
Quali sat 19 jun
Race sun 20 jun
aze
aut
fri 25 jun - sun 27 jun
Quali sat 26 jun
Race sun 27 jun
fra
aut
fri 02 jul - sun 04 jul
Quali sat 03 jul
Race sun 04 jul
aut
gbr
fri 16 jul - sun 18 jul
Quali fri 16 jul
formula.subevent.squali sat 17 jul
Race sun 18 jul
aut
hun
fri 30 jul - sun 01 aug
Quali sat 31 jul
Race sun 01 aug
gbr
bel
fri 27 aug - sun 29 aug
Quali sat 28 aug
Race sun 29 aug
hun
nld
fri 03 sep - sun 05 sep
Quali sat 04 sep
Race sun 05 sep
bel
ita
fri 10 sep - sun 12 sep
Quali sat 11 sep
Race sun 12 sep
nld
rus
fri 24 sep - sun 26 sep
Quali sat 25 sep
Race sun 26 sep
ita
sgp
fri 01 oct - sun 03 oct
Quali sat 02 oct
Race sun 03 oct
rus
jpn
fri 08 oct - sun 10 oct
Quali sat 09 oct
Race sun 10 oct
sgp
usa
fri 22 oct - sun 24 oct
Quali sat 23 oct
Race sun 24 oct
jpn
mex
fri 29 oct - sun 31 oct
Quali sat 30 oct
Race sun 31 oct
usa
bra
fri 05 nov - sun 07 nov
Quali sat 06 nov
Race sun 07 nov
mex
aus
fri 19 nov - sun 21 nov
Quali sat 20 nov
Race sun 21 nov
bra
sau
fri 03 dec - sun 05 dec
Quali sat 04 dec
Race sun 05 dec
aus
are
fri 10 dec - sun 12 dec
Quali sat 11 dec
Race sun 12 dec
sau
fra Result FP3
Start French GP
Days
Hour
Min.
Sec.
Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2021

How F1 can easily fix its red flag qualifying concerns

Formula 1 is evaluating whether or not to introduce a rule to delete qualifying times for drivers who cause a red flag, but there's a far more simple solution that should be introduced

Having had two qualifying sessions in a row marred by numerous red flag issues, Formula 1 is doing its usual trick of thinking about a knee-jerk response to stamp it out.

With Charles Leclerc crashing out on the final runs in Q3 in Monaco, which guaranteed himself pole position due to everyone else having their final laps ruined, followed by Yuki Tsunoda and Carlos Sainz crashing at the end of Q3 in Azerbaijan, Formula 1 is looking at a solution that would see drivers who cause a red flag in qualifying having their best times deleted.

"With regards to deleting times after qualifying, it's something that will obviously look at and consider as we do with all sporting regulations, and work together with Formula 1 and the teams and determine if it's suitable for what we do," FIA Race Director Michael Masi told select members of the media including RacingNews365.com, over the Azerbaijan weekend.

"We will go through and look at all the pros and cons and unintended
consequences. And also, is it a real issue that we want to deal with in
F1?"

This isn't a frequent occurrence in Formula 1, with such stoppages usually being noteworthy to the point of being remembered years later. Think back to Monaco 2006, to Michael Schumacher's infamous Rascasse-gate controversy, or when Nico Rosberg successfully failed to take Mirabeau correctly at the same venue in 2014.

There's no doubt that the scenario of intentionally causing a red flag is, in theory, possible. Only Charles Leclerc knows for certain whether he turned in too early exiting the Swimming Pool complex in Monte Carlo two weeks ago. But the risks are simply too big. If that crash was in any way premeditated, it bit Leclerc badly just 24 hours later when his car failed due to damage caused in the crash.

But any crash in qualifying is, almost certainly, due to drivers simply exceeding the limits of their cars and talents, at what is supposed to be the most 'balls-to-the-wall' point of the weekend. Mistakes happen all the time and, particularly at a street circuit, incidents like what was witnessed in Monaco and Azerbaijan are somewhat to be expected. It's why banker laps are so important, given that a disrupting red flag is always a possibility.

What's a fairer solution?

It's not really an issue that needs fixing, is it? Street circuits and incidents tend to go hand in hand, and if there's no verifiable intent on the part of the driver involved, then why punish them any further by deleting their laptimes? Certainly, Masi wants to take a measured approach to the situation.

"Is it something that we consider that what occurs with red flags during qualifying that you've effectively served your penalty by having an accident and not being able to do anything further?" he said.

"So I think there's lots of considerations, but we'll look at it between us all, have a look at everything and if it's deemed necessary or not will be determined in due course."

But why draw the line at red flags? What about yellow flags? Last season, in Austria, Valtteri Bottas sealed pole position for himself by sliding off in the second sector. The resulting yellow flags prevented the following drivers from improving. So shouldn't Bottas also be punished for having caused an impediment?

There is a much more simple solution that would make life fairer for everyone. Keep the rules as they are, but tweak them for red flag conditions.

For Q1 and Q2, nothing changes. Tough luck if you're one of the drivers who miss out as a result of a red flag, as in the likes of Sebastian Vettel last weekend. But, for Q3, adjust them for the climax of the session.

If a driver causes a red flag in the final two minutes of the session, remove their car, clean up, and then allow the other drivers to go out on track once more for one single flying lap. Outlap, flying lap, inlap. No more than that, it's perfectly simple.

It would be a quick and elegant solution to the likes of what we saw in Monaco and Azerbaijan, and would only add a few minutes of extra time to the session. Sure, it's not perfect, given some drivers might have already taken some life out of their tyres, but it's better than a band-aid solution of punishing a driver for having the audacity to make a mistake while pushing their car to the limit.

0 comments

    x
    Breaking Live: 2021 F1 French Grand Prix Qualifying