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Max Verstappen

Verstappen hits out at 'absolutely terrible' new F1 rule

The World Champion is far from impressed with a new rule implemented by race director Niels Wittich ahead of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix - one which three drivers fell foul of during qualifying.

Verstappen Brazilie
To news overview © XPBimages

Max Verstappen has branded the new pit-lane rule in qualifying as "absolutely terrible" after its implementation at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

A new minimum lap-time delta was introduced earlier this season to ensure drivers weren't going unnecessarily slowly on out-laps in qualifying and impeding others.

However, drivers figured out a way to "game" the system by backing up the pit-lane exit, with Verstappen among those pinged for the breach in both Singapore and Mexico.

To combat it, race director Niels Wittich introduced a new rule ahead of the Sao Paulo weekend whereby stopping in the pit-lane itself was forbidden, but if drivers moved to the extreme left of the long pit-exit, others could pass on the right.

George Russell, Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly were all hit with two-place grid drops ahead of the race for impeding and ignoring the rule - of which Verstappen has hit out.

Verstappen not a fan of new rule

"Absolutely terrible," Verstappen began when asked by media including RacingNews365 for his thoughts on the rule introduced by Wittich.

"On this track, you have quite a long pit-exit and there are some walls, but on other tracks, if we implement this, you will be driving very slowly on to a straight where people are passing at 300kph plus.

"You are maybe driving at 15/20kph to make a gap, which I think is extremely dangerous.

"For me, it doesn't work at all, it just creates even more trouble.

"Look at what was happening [in qualifying], with people going on the grass, including myself to try and pass cars.

"It is just a mess, every single qualifying you have six to eight cars getting noted for driving too slow with the minimum time. I don't know what we're trying to achieve."

F1 2023 Brazilian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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