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Toto Wolff

Wolff challenges FIA over 'awkward' F1 issue: 'It is not right'

Whilst F1 and the FIA has tried to get on top of a key issue during qualifying, a new workaround became apparent for drivers at the Mexico City Grand Prix. Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff believes a meeting between drivers and the governing body is crucial in finding a solution.

Toto Wolff
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Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has called on the FIA to sit down with F1 drivers and find a solution to impeding during qualifying.

Race Director Niels Wittich introduced a maximum lap time at the Italian Grand Prix to ensure there were no traffic issues on entry to Alboreto [formerly the Parabolica], with the move replicated at numerous events since.

This was done to ward off the blocking issues that had become rife in F1 as drivers battled for the best track position in the best track conditions during critical stages of qualifying.

But since the maximum lap time - measured between Safety Car Line 2 and Safety Car Line 1 - was imposed, drivers have begun trying to make gaps to competitors by standing stationary at pit exit, crucial as this is between the two Safety Car lines.

When Max Verstappen was handed only a reprimand for his antics in Singapore Grand Prix qualifying, the race stewards conceded a mistake was made and the Dutchman should have been penalised.

A number of drivers did the same thing in Mexico City Grand Prix qualifying which led many to believe penalties were forthcoming, only for the stewards to acknowledge the challenges of the maximum lap time when taking no further action.

'It is not right'

Asked how the sport could find a solution to qualifying impeding issues, Wolff told media including RacingNews365.com: "I think the FIA needs to sit down with the drivers and Sporting Directors and ask what is it exactly we want to achieve?

"In the end, fundamentally we don't want any impeding at all, we don't want anybody stuck in the pit lane.

"So how can we achieve that?

"I understand it is better to be stationary in the pit lane than to block someone out there [on track] but it still looks awkward.

"It is not right because some people may not make the lap."

F1 2023 Mexican Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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