Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Monza, 2019

F1 teams to discuss how to prevent more Monza ‘qualifying queues’

2020 Italian Grand Prix

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Formula 1 team bosses will discuss how to prevent a repeat of the farcical scenes which occured in qualifying for last year’s Italian Grand Prix ahead of the series’ return to Monza this weekend.

Most drivers failed to set a time on their final runs in Q3 last year as most of them backed off in the hope of getting a slipstream from a rival. Lance Stroll, Carlos Sainz Jnr and Nico Hulkenberg were all given reprimands for their roles in the incident.

FIA Formula 1 race director Michael Masi said he will discussed the matter with teams tomorrow.

“We – myself and the team managers – will have some discussions about that on Thursday as a refresher,” he said. “We did have some discussions following last year’s event and we will have some further discussions this week.”

Masi declined to comment on any potential restrictions which could be enforced, such as imposing a minimum time for drivers’ out-laps during the session.

McLaren driver Lando Norris complained his final run in Q3 last weekend was spoiled by Esteban Ocon. His team principal Andreas Seidl is among those keen to find a solution to the problem.

“I think some drivers have been vocal already after free practice on Friday and Saturday,” he said. “Then we had a discussion as well after qualifying with what happened there. And of course, we were unhappy because in the end it cost us a shot for a higher position in quali three with Lando.

“But independent of that, and independent of our own issue that we had in quali three, I think it simply makes sense that we all look into this again all teams together with the race director. Then to see if he can finally find somehow a regulation, which just prevents this stuff happening.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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70 comments on “F1 teams to discuss how to prevent more Monza ‘qualifying queues’”

  1. Even after this “discussion” the slipstream farce will return.

    1. What farce? It was a very entertaining qualifying session and if teams aren’t capable of making sure their driver completes a lap that’s their problem. The best solution is to do nothing.

      It’s not like slipstreams are new…

  2. And the conclusion:- “I’ll let your drivers go first”.

    1. hahahah! i laughed!!

  3. I think a sensible decision would be to impose a minimum time between cars. If a driver crosses the start line X seconds before the minimum, that lap will be cancelled. That way the benefit of the slip stream can be minimised

    1. @xdugu19 This would make it very easy for the car in front to ruin the lap of a competitor behind. If the time is expiring, just back up a bit. Cars behind wouldn’t start their lap in time.

  4. How about if the fia enforces a rule where the leading constructor has their cars go out first and the lowest placing constructor last?
    I wouldn’t say it’s 100% fair, but I do see it as very sensible

    1. un-enforceable. what if the leading constructor decides to go out at the last second?

      1. The only way I can see this working is if they do staggered starts – like a rally. But that would completely change the qualifying session procedure. I would be more in favour of a maximum outlap time, or maybe a time delta that they have to keep within throughout their outlap.

        1. Similar to my train of thought… maybe some gentlemen agreement (or pity) from Mercedes
          @nick-thegreek
          @wpinrui

    2. How about if the fia enforces a rule where the leading constructor has their cars go out first and the lowest placing constructor last?
      I wouldn’t say it’s 100% fair, but I do see it as very sensible

      Why stop there? One step short of a quali race in reverse championship order (or better ‘reverse previous quali session’).

      1. With how uncompetitive this season is I wouldn’t mind that lol @coldfly

  5. very simple solution send your drivers out early so hard is this not?

    1. you must have never heard what a slipstream is

      1. I saw racing from the 1960’s so slipstreaming i saw a lot. But that is not the problem here just put your teammate in front and go! It’s no problem at all but if you want it from a other driver then your teammate then you know you have to cross the line on time. So the driver decides here they take it or not.

        1. @macleod We’ve done this in simraces and it works, even under pressure (one has to be very close for the whole lap, then switch and still stay very close), but in F1 no one wants to help their team mates, or trust that they will pay back the favour, so it all has to be done by others.

          1. @balue I wouldn’t say that it’s necessarily even that “in F1 no one wants to help their team mates, or trust that they will pay back the favour” – because we have seen teams attempt to organise slipstreaming in that manner.

            The other aspect is that, quite often, it’s fairly hard to judge where exactly the leading car should be so that the overall impact on the trailing car is positive – we’ve seen quite a few instances where the gap was too small and the benefits of a slipstream were offset by being too close and thus compromising cornering speeds, or being too far apart and therefore the slipstream effect is too small to make a meaningful difference.

          2. No, all you need is the tow on the start-finish straight at the beginning of your lap to gain the extra tenths. The rest of the lap can be done by yourself.

            As we’ve seen, most drivers prefer to use cars other than their team mates’ even if that could be coordinated much better and there’s a obvious reason for that.

          3. if they use their teammate they can have 2 runs giving each other a tow once. If they decided to be the last that is a risk and decide if the risk is worth it.

        2. @macleod So then 50% of the drivers would not have a slipstream?

          1. @f1osaurus Most of them doesn’t have a teammate in Q3 anyway. But they do 2 runs in Q3 so they can swap.
            It will be harder when have to use your rivals…

          2. @macleod But that’s what caused the issue in Monza to begin with. They all want a tow

          3. Actually i don’t care it’s part of the game if you miss the line your a idiot if you just make it your the hero just give the drivers the choice what they want to be. The number 1 drivers get the tow anyway (except Charles i am 100% certain Vettel is going be difficult)

  6. Here’s a simple solution: do nothing.

    If it happens again, it’ll be even funnier than the first time and provide a nice mixed up grid. They’re all big boys, let them sort it out.

    1. @aussierod +1 to that.

      It’s so dumb that they’re thinking about bringing a regulation in that prevents everyone from being stupid, and not making the line in time for their final runs in Q3.

    2. I agree, in a sense

    3. @aussierod Exactly. Who cares? They can set a lap earlier on in the session too.

    4. Do nothing. Or do nothing, plus if you fail to set a time, you go to the back of the grid. Just to make it even spicier.

      1. @david-br Yes, I like that idea. It doesn’t try to fix the problem, it just rubs their noses in their stupidity for waiting until the last 2 minutes before their qualifying run. Nice!

    5. +1

      All the teams should see what happened last year and figure out their own ways to learn from it, any that doesn’t – suffer the consequences.

      No regulation needed

  7. Haven’t got a problem with what happened last year. If once or twice in a season the top ten want to have a one lap lottery race within a self imposed tight countdown that decides the front of the grid; go for it.

  8. If I were a lower top 10 runner, I’d head out around 30s before everyone else does, then just do my own thing, start a lap, catch the pack faffing around on the back straight, complain heavily and demand everyone else gets a penalty, then enjoy my better grid slot.
    If people want to play games, then I have my own rules!

    1. I think Hamilton did a good job of showing that would work in Spa. He just went out in time, first on track and achieved an epic pole lap @eurobrun. That should be a lesson for everyone. If they won’t listen, well, let them learn the hard way.

  9. Why come with a ‘solution’ when there is no problem.
    If teams want to play chicken, let them do it; not dangerous in this case and fun to watch.

    Minimum out-lap time is a good idea though to help safety. Less super slow cars on track when others are at full speed.

    1. I guess that should be maximum out-lap time.

      1. No I think you have it right @coldfly – it’s a minimum time – so the slowest time it’s allowed to be.

        Maximum is for safety car deltas?

        1. no no, it’s maximum out-lap time. so you don’t go 1kmph and take 10 minutes to do a lap. with a maximum laptime you are forced to go a bit faster

        2. Let’s check this, @muzza.
          We want cars to go faster => faster is less time over same distance => less time can only be mandated by setting a ‘maximum’.
          I must say that it’s hurting my head, and intuitively I get it wrong many times.

          PS – under safety car there is a minimum time as drivers must keep their delta positive (‘stay above the minimum time set’), thus spend more time in that sector than the limit.

          1. Jeez – that makes mine hurt too!

            But actually seeing it explained like that it does make sense. Who knew F1 could make language hard to understand! Mind their rule book does a pretty good job lol.

      2. You’re right @coldfly. If they want to risk looking stupid by missing out on setting a time, then so be it. No problem!

    2. @coldfly @muzza @alfa145
      Yes, maximum, not minimum. Minimum is for SC and VSC-deltas.

    3. Exactly – there is really no “solution” required – let the teams take their own risks.

      We all get a chuckle when the usual suspects mess it up and its really only the likes of Crofty and co that have a meltdown

  10. A Maximum lap time, something like the 107% rule is surely all that’s required? I won’t stop drivers backing right off at the end of the lap, but to do that they’d have to drive at full tilt for the majority of the lap which would render the point of backing off moot.

    As for the slipstreaming, let them…it’s a team sport so if teams want to favour one driver over the other they should be allowed to

  11. Minimum out lap time and no overtaking so the car at the front cant slow encouraging others to overtake them. Where you send your car out is the position in the queue they’ll be taking, if you miss out then tough you shouldn’t wait so long.

  12. Do nothing and let them get on with it! All this pandering is just embarrassing for the sport.

    Same with penalising drivers who don’t immediate leap out the way of a faster driver in practice. There never used to be any need for that nonsense and it was all fine.

  13. Why is there a need for discussion?

    If the teams want to be complete idiots and wait for the very last minute and risk not getting a lap then so be it.

    I found last years farce really amusing and would be even more amused if they do it again this year.

  14. 1 hour non-stop quali with 25/20/15 min cut-offs (on harder of the two tyres available on the weekend).

  15. As a thought, how would it be if a driver who fails to set a Q3 time forfeits their place in the top 10 to one of the drivers who failed to reach Q3? For example last year 3 drivers, Lance, Alex, and Kimi, failed to set times in Q3, so why not let the next 3 fastest drivers who didn’t make it into Q3 take their Q3 places (Antonio, Kevin, and Daniil)?

    1. Obviously this would never happen, but I want this system!

    2. @drycrust That would be good, too. I would wager a guess that no team would make that particular mistake more than once

  16. Why should they do anything? Every driver did what benefited them during the final run.

    If you get both cars through make your teammates tow each other.

    If not, good luck.

    1. If something has to be done, give them more tires, whatever they need to stay on track longer. Of course that requires rule changes.

  17. -F1 Fans: “There are too many rules, just let them race!!!!”
    -Also F1 Fans: “We need another new rule for this specific thing that happened one time even though it wasn’t dangerous at all it shouldn’t be allowed”

    1. it’s almost as if f1 fans are made up of individuals with their own opinion, rather than a homogeneous group with one opinion…

    2. @lancer033 Is it the fans who are asking for this rule though? Most reactions here seem to indicate “we” actually found it mildly entertaining. Apart from the odd Vettel fan.

      I think you need to replace “F1 fans” with “F1 drivers”

  18. ‘We do nothing’

    ‘Yep another world beater’

    For once though Baldrick is right.

  19. What if it was announced that this year it would not be a reprimand, but a pit lane start. Who’d take the chance then?

  20. Why do people still mix up minimum and maximum? ‘Minimum’ would simply encourage to drive even more slowly, so that wouldn’t be a solution. Maximum is what requires to driver more quickly, a bit different. There’s already a maximum time of some sort for each event that has been in place for a while.

  21. Just keep making up new rules during the season like it is NASCAR. They are doing a great job of it thus far. Part on!

  22. Please.
    Do nothing at all!!!!

  23. Personally I have no problem with what happened last year. The teams all got too clever for their own good and paid the price for the risk they were willing to pay to maximize the slipstream effect along with track evolution. But I do worry about the differences in speed between the cars going so slowly during their warm up lap and the cars on a hot lap. Maximum lap times are one idea, but what is to stop a driver from going super slow for the first part of the lap and then picking up the speed to have tyres in the optimal operating range when the hot lap begins? I think if you are going to set maximum times, they should at least be per sector rather than over the entire lap. This will keep the speed delta between the cars on a hot lap and the cars on a warm up more reasonable throughout the lap. And it could add another color to the sector charts: purple, green, yellow, and now red if you are outside of the 107% (or whatever it is) maximum lap time for the sector.

  24. Only way I can see to solve this issue is to have a minimum lap time before your qualifying lap. For example you may need to do a lap of under than 1 minute 20 seconds, before your qualifying lap. If the lap is too slow your qualifying lap time is invalid. Of course the time will be different for each circuit. It would mean no one has tyres in the perfect window as their qually lap starts, but everyone will be in the same boat. I don’t want perfection. Perfection means never changing and always knowing the outcome.

    1. @aliced “Minimum” time really?

      1. Many have made this mistake; it’s even in the article. And in @aliced‘s case it’s pretty clear what he means from the next sentence.
        But at least people who make this mistake admit to it :P

        1. @coldfly I guess. You’d probably be able admit you are wrong all the time too, if you actually managed to understand the subject.

  25. I have no problem with the lack of qualifying during qualifying. If they really want teams to get out there and qualify, the penalty for not setting a time in Q3 should be that you have to have 1 of every tyre on the car to start, soft front right, medium front left, hard right rear, rain tyre left rear. You can change when DRS is enabled.

    1. Or else that would have to use start the race on those little wheels from grocery store trolleys… Tiens toé (use Montreal pronunciation)

  26. use 2005 style quali in Q3
    one flying lap per car
    one car at a time

    problem solved

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