Romain Grosjean, Haas, Monza, 2020

Drivers given maximum time limit warning to prevent ‘qualifying queues’

2020 Italian Grand Prix

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The FIA has advised Formula 1 drivers it will use a reference maximum time to ensure they do not drive unnecessarily slowly during qualifying at Monza.

Last year the majority of drivers in Q3 failed to begin their final flying laps in time after several of them backed off because they were trying to get a slipstream from a rival. Three drivers were given penalties for impeding.

In an attempt to discourage drivers from similar tactics this year, F1 race director Michael Masi has advised them a maximum time will be set between Safety Car Line Two (after the pit lane exit) to Safety Car Line One (before the pit lane entrance). The time will be declared following today’s second practice session.

“During free practice session three and the qualifying practice, the time… will be used as a guide by the stewards to determine if a driver is considered to be driving unnecessarily slowly on an out-lap or any warm-up lap,” Masi told the drivers.

“For reasons of safety, during each practice session, acts such as weaving across the track to
hinder another car may be referred to the stewards,” he added.

Drivers have also been reminded of article 27.4 of the sporting regulations which states: “At no time may a car be driven unnecessarily slowly, erratically or in a manner which could be deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers or any other person.”

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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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Posted on Categories 2020 F1 season articles, 2020 Italian Grand Prix, F1 newsTags , , ,

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  • 26 comments on “Drivers given maximum time limit warning to prevent ‘qualifying queues’”

    1. Yet another example of the unnecessary over-regulation that is plaguing F1. Let the teams do their thing and if you get another farce like last year, you just disqualify everyone involved from qualifying for bringing the sport into disrespute. If the FIA had done what should’ve been done last year, we wouldn’t even have this debate. Teams only do as much as you let them get away with. If all top teams had seen their cars put to the back of the grid, they would hurry themselves to the front of the queue this year.

      1. Last yeat FIA didnt do it because the golden boy of MaFIA was on pole and disqualifying him would have caused a riot by crasstastic Tifosi and a bounty on heads of stewards.

      2. Whereas it’s the teams decision to go out (too) late and hope to get a slipstream, I fully support FIA in stopping the slow driving.
        I want to see cars on track at speed not in some kind of slow motion parade.

      3. It’s not unnecessary over-regulation – you just said yourself that if they do what they did last year, they should disqualify people. If you’re going to disqualify people, you have to have rules about what is OK and what isn’t…. Otherwise it’d be like saying “we won’t set a pit lane speed limit but if you go too fast, we’ll disqualify you” or “there’s no minimum weight limit in F1 but if the car is really light, we’ll disqualify you.” It doesn’t make sense…..

        1. You have rules. FIA International Sporting Code, §151. That’s the only rule needed to justify punishing the teams. Any other thing is just adding more stuff where it is not needed.

      4. @klon isn’t there an irony that your solution to what you complain is “unnecessary over-regulation” is to propose your own unnecessary over-regulation?

      5. Because disqualifying half the grid isn’t over-regulation? No, the solution is to do nothing and (as somebody said the other day) if they make a mess of it again, it will be even funnier than last year

    2. Thats good to hear.

    3. Oh and speaking of track limits lol. Therrrre baaaack.

      1. They are much more sensible this time around rather than some detection loupe meters away from actual white line.

      2. Those arent necesairy either. Just brong back gravel pits and drivers wont go too wide. Mo run off areas. Just kerb and gravel. If its a high speed corner some tarmac behind the graveltrap can be used for extra brake traction

    4. Just leave them to it ffs.

    5. This will push the teams to get out last minute in a hurry. It could lead to more dangerous situations in the pit.

    6. So instead of giving way to a faster car as you come up to Ascari, you carry on and hold them up through Ascari. ‘Sorry, I had to keep going as if I gave way I would have exceeded maximum lap time.’

      1. I’m sure if you miss the limit by a few seconds and can demonstrate the reason is that you slowed to let a faster car by, the rule won’t be enforced in that case.

    7. Good. If the teams and drivers insist on stupid behaviour, force them not to.

      These super slow laps are a huge accident waiting to happen.

    8. What a stupidity!

      Just close the pitlane 5 minutes before the end of session – everyone will be out

    9. I saw the F3 (or F2… I can’t remember) qualifying earlier today and it was hilarious. The entire field was bunched up 3 wide on the back straight going about 50kph waiting for someone to make a move first.

      1. Having said that, it was super dangerous because some drivers did one lap and then slowed down and others continued for a 2nd lap. They were weaving in an out of slow cars on the 2nd lap and I’m amazed there wasn’t a huge shunt.

    10. Nothing new, though, as this is something that happens every event following Friday’s running (Thursday in Monaco) and has been in place for a while already, long before last season’s Q3-mess.

    11. Just let them out one by one like Formula E and get it over with already!

      At least it would save us driver x moaning that driver y didn’t immediately retire the car because they dared being on the track at the same time as them…

    12. Good news. I would like to see this maximum time limit at every track. Too many teams with too many tricks related to tyres going too slow and ruining my spectating. Hopefully this tightens the field up a little.

      1. @aliced It is already in place for every track and has been for a while, so nothing new in this regard.

    13. It’s just another rule added to the regulations that isn’t necisary.

      I don’t think this will change anything. They may go a bit faster on out laps but they will still all wait until the last minutes to go out & will still all queue up looking for a tow because of how much potential laptime can be found by doing that.

      And they will still want to drive as slowly as possible elsewhere to manage the tyres partly because of how fraile they are but also because of how extreme the tyre pressures have become. The minimum starting pressures are 26psi this weekend & don’t forget they go up higher when they are out on track.

      As Jenson Button was saying on Sky during FP2 they will drive slow on the out lap to try & bring pressures down as you don’t want to start a hot lap with such extremely high pressures.

    14. they drive so slowly because of how bad the tires are so instead of bringing in yet another band-aid regulation why not instead ask pirelli to make better tires!

      if they tires didn’t need to be run at such ridiculously high pressures and if they were capable of doing more than half a lap without falling to bits they would not need to baby them so much.

      but instead of fixing that they just try to cover over the gaps with yet another formula tire pirelli sticking plaster to help hide the inadequacies of the poor product that isn’t upto f1 standards.

    15. So… they will wait in the pitlane?

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