Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monza, 2019

Hamilton: “Dangerous” out-laps won’t be addressed until someone crashes

2019 Italian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton repeated his warning that recent incidents on out-laps in qualifying have become “dangerous”, but doubts anything will be done to stop them unless there is a crash.

Recent races have seen several near-misses in Q3 as drivers vie to obtain slipstreams from each other. Hamilton almost collided with his own team mate in Q3 at Spa last week and came close to hitting Nico Hulkenberg today.

“On the out lap it’s dangerous for us all,” said Hamilton, echoing his words from seven days ago. “There are people slowing down, you don’t know who is alongside you. It’s definitely risky business out there, but it’s kind of enjoyable at the same time.”

Hamilton said the situation is unlikely to change unless a crash prompts a change in the rules.

“I’m sure it’s going to continue,” he said. “Positioning is key. Everyone going out as late as we just did there, for example, with two minutes to go, it’s going to continue to be an issue in places where you particularly need a tow.

“It won’t be until someone crashes that they’ll change it, most likely.”

Three drivers were given reprimands for their roles in yesterday’s incident. In their statement the stewards said they “strongly recommend that the FIA expedite a solution to this type of situation.”

Hamilton agreed the qualifying procedure needs to be examined. “We just need to look upon it and reflect a little bit and see what we can do to make it better, make it better for the fans and make it less dangerous.

“They already made a change today that we have to finish the out lap within a certain delta time but even that’s still too slow. There’s improvements we can make, for sure, for safety but also for the spectators to watch.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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14 comments on “Hamilton: “Dangerous” out-laps won’t be addressed until someone crashes”

  1. came close to hitting Nico Hulkenberg today

    Was that Nico who chopped across to the right, directly ahead of Hamilton when Lewis was going to pass him by? That looked rather dangerous on the replay, and Lewis had to brake, IIRC. Was that referred to the stewards?

    1. Nope, stewards had their tail between their legs.

  2. “They already made a change today that we have to finish the out lap within a certain delta time”
    – No, this maximum time for in/out-laps, and laps onto the grid before each race has been in place for a while already, so nothing new here.

    1. I don’t think you’re right; AFAIK there is only a time limit for the in-lap to make sure you don’t disrupt cars on a hot lap behind you.

  3. There were 9 drivers or none who should have been reprimanded yesterday.

    To me it’s part of the excitement and skill to find a tow without running out of time.
    If you think this is dangerous then you might want to stop racing on Sunday with more than one car at a time :P

    1. As Lewis said he found it exciting; and there is no question it is dangerous. Thats why F3 and F1 drivers were reprimanded, the F3 Qually was red flagged, and new instructions were issued post F3 qually.

      And he is right; its only when someones injured or there is a spectacular crash major changes will be made. Precisely why the sausage kerb was removed. Without the accident it would still be there now.

    2. There were 9 drivers or none who should have been reprimanded yesterday

      @coldfly that sounds like the approach that the teachers used to take at school when they didn’t have a clue who had committed an offence 😜

      Sure those towards the back were innocent 🤷‍♂️

  4. Risk for a crash yes, dangerous no.
    The cars need to be able to complete a hot lap and set a time before the session ends but other than that i dont see a problem. Especially not a safetyproblem.

  5. Hey Lewis …
    This would have sense if you hadn’t play this game too …
    It was quite obvious that you were part of it.
    Just be honest.
    Maybe there’s something dangerous, but if you don’t want to do that, you had time to go alone first and make a time.
    So please, stop this bulls…..

    1. So where did he say he didn’t want to do it?

    2. On review, apart from leaving late (only RIC behind him), it seems Hamilton really did not do much gaming, he really seemed to be more or less trying to progress through the group, with HUL and SAI blocking initially, and then VET also slowing them up (in hopes of getting LEC to go ahead and give him the tow). Anyway, he didn’t say he wasn’t doing it, or wouldn’t do it, he even said he enjoyed it, but also that it looked stupid from the outside, and might be quite dangerous too.

  6. It is dangerous, it’s kindoff exciting to watch, but i found it more dangerous that both mercs parked up in the pits, Vettel wouldn’t want to get duked again parked up behind them and everybody else did aswell, someone could’ve smashed up behind that, there are marshalls close to that, i think that should be looked at

  7. Where there’s going to be a bad crash, and there’s nearly been a couple this year, is when drivers slow down and almost stop in the last couple of corners when there’s already a driver coming through on a hot lap.

    It wouldn’t happen at Monza because there’s not enough corners, but some of the games happening during out laps are positively dangerous. There was no real “danger” yesterday as they weren’t exactly travelling quickly but some of the close shaves in earlier races the closing speed of the car on a hot lap was astounding.

  8. Mercedes, though, kick-started the current Q3 positions battles by their ‘clever ruse’ earlier in the season of going out first and then doing practice starts as everyone else went past. That clearly provoked the other teams into trying to outsmart them. Baku also focused everyone’s mind on ‘slipstream effect’ due to the massive tunnel effect around the circuit.

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