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Max Verstappen

Verstappen and Leclerc call for 'leniency' after F1 rule change

The FIA stepped in back at the Italian Grand Prix with a rule change that has had unintended consequences.

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Max Verstappen's call for leniency over Formula 1's recently-imposed minimum lap-time rule in qualifying has been backed up by Charles Leclerc.

At the Italian Grand Prix, in a bid to prevent dangerous closing speeds between cars on a flying lap and those on a slow lap, the FIA introduced a minimum lap-time that all cars must follow and not exceed.

However, while this solved the problem of traffic on track, drivers started to back up in the pit-lane to create gaps on their out-laps as they prepare the car, with Verstappen one such driver to be called to the stewards for impeding in the pit-lane.

While both drivers feel the rule is a step in the right direction, they believe leniency in the pit-lane could be factored in by stewards.

"It's all imperfect at the moment" Verstappen told media including RacingNews365.

"We need to come up with something else, but it's hard. The thing I don't understand is like everyone is trying to make a gap now in the pit lane, which is the only place where we can do it so, I don't really understand how you can be impeding someone.

"For me, I think we have to be a little bit more lenient with that, knowing that it's a safe environment. I mean, we're driving really slow, it's the only place where we can make a gap because, I mean, we drive out of the box and, of course, we in the beginning of the pit-lane, we didn't know, of course, what other people are doing, so, you are constantly, of course, then trying to judge a gap.

"You don't want to start a lap within three-to-four seconds of someone, because that's really bad for following. But, on the other hand, if we wouldn't have had this kind of minimum lap time, then maybe you have some impeding into the last sector again, so it's just all quite tough, I guess, to find a good compromise."

Leclerc backed up Verstappen's call, and pointed to the final sector of Spa-Francorchamps as a particular danger.

"[I have a]very similar thinking," the Monegasque explained.

"I think the biggest thing that we got rid of is the dangerous situation especially in last sector.

"In Spa, for example, sometimes we will have differences of speed between cars that will be crazy, and with that, I think it's been quite a good solution for that.

"On the other hand, it has created other problems that are not great.'

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