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Stewards suggest rethink of F1 rule after Azerbaijan chaos

After a queue in the pit lane during qualifying at Baku prevented the two Haas drivers from rejoining in the correct order, the race stewards have recommended that this rule be revised.

Stewards at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix have suggested that an F1 rule be reconsidered after an investigation into an alleged incident involving the Haas drivers during qualifying at Baku. Following a red flag caused by Lance Stroll's crash, the session was set to resume with just two minutes and 30 seconds the clock, prompting a mad dash in the pit lane as drivers scrambled to change tyres and ensure track position for one last flying lap once the green flag flew. Article 34.8 of the Formula One Sporting Regulations states that cars must leave the pit lane in the order in which they arrived in the 'fast lane'. But with Haas' garage situated right at the end of the pit lane, drivers Mick Schumacher and Kevin Magnussen were unable to join the fast lane in order as their path was blocked by several other cars already queuing up. The below photo shows how the queue of other cars prevented the two Haas cars from rejoining the fast lane in the correct order.

Stewards took no action

The stewards investigated the decision but took no further action after recognising the impossibility of the position Schumacher and Magnussen were in. "The positioning of the pit garage for the team made it impossible in the circumstances for either team car to line up in order in the fast lane, in view of the number of cars that were already there," read the stewards' report. "[It] would have been extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the team to determine which order the cars should depart, leaving the only option as starting behind all other cars." The stewards added that the current rule on rejoining the fast lane should be examined, citing a similar incident involving Williams at last year's Mexican Grand Prix. "This effectively means that teams allocated pits at the exit of the pit lane will always have to exit last unless they choose to leave their garage significantly earlier," continued the report. "The stewards recommend that this particular regulation beexamined, as this case is almost identical to that involving Williams Racing inMexico 2021, where no further action was taken."

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