F1 considering IndyCar red flag rule following Leclerc crash RaceFans
Formula 1 race director Michael Masi has said an IndyCar-style rule penalizing drivers for disrupting qualifying sessions could be introduced at the world championship.
The subject arose in the Monaco Grand Prix paddock after Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc secured pole position by crashing out of the Pool section of the circuit, when he already had the fastest time of the session.
Red flags were waved to retrieve Leclerc’s car, which prevented anyone from improving their lap times.
In IndyCar, drivers who throw red flags – and, in some cases, yellow flags – in qualifying sessions are penalized by the suppression of lap times. This prevents anyone from gaining an advantageous position on the grid by deliberately foiling the laps of others.
Speaking after the Monaco Grand Prix, Masi said F1 was ready to consider a similar rule.
“Like everything, when everything presents itself, the FIA, Formula 1 and the teams look at everything and think about its merits.
“I know the IndyCar rule, which is also a rule in several other FIA International Series and National Championships around the world. And we’re going to take a look at it and, with all the key stakeholders, determine whether or not it’s appropriate. “
Last weekend was not the first time that a driver encountered problems at a critical point in a qualifying session in Monaco when he was provisionally on pole. Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher stopped on the track at Rascasse in 2006, earning himself exclusion from the qualifying session and having to start from the back of the grid.
In 2014, Nico Rosberg was investigated into a similar incident when he took the Mirabeau escape route, which prevented his pole position time from being beaten. The Mercedes driver was cleared, although his teammate Lewis Hamilton expressed suspicion at the time.
Mercedes team manager Toto Wolff was among those who suggested that F1 should consider adopting the IndyCar rule to avoid similar incidents in the future.
“I didn’t know it was the rule in the United States, but I think it’s a smart rule that would avoid confusion,” Wolff said.
“Anyway, I don’t think Charles put it in the wall because there are too many stakes. But that would be a nice little incentive to ensure that all the controversy that such a situation provokes is out of the question, does not happen because no one would doubt.
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