Esteban Ocon, Renault, Monza, 2020

F1’s new delta time rule “made things worse than before” – Ocon

2020 Italian Grand Prix

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Esteban Ocon said the new maximum delta time introduced at the Italian Grand Prix weekend made traffic problems worse instead of better.

The FIA introduced a maximum reference lap time of 1’43 for out-laps and in-laps during qualifying in an attempt to reduce the risk of cars impeding each another and creating dangerous speed differences between drivers on timed laps and those preparing for one.

However Ocon believes the new rule had the opposite effect to what was desire after multiple cars were bunched together during the final minutes of Q1.

“I think the new rule with the delta that we have to follow, to not go too slow, made things worse than how it was before,” said the Renault driver.

“We need to review at the next drivers’ meeting what we can do better. Obviously the intention was to not have those issues – people slowing down for no reason. But at some point we have to make a gap so we can do the lap and we didn’t have the chance to do that because we couldn’t slow down.”

The Renault driver was cleared over his role in an incident with Kimi Raikkonen and Nicholas Latifi in the closing stages of Q1.

Raikkonen also complained about Ocon’s driving when the pair began a flying lap close together. Ocon defended his position in front of the Renault at the Rettifilio chicane and Curva Grande.

Ocon said this was a result of Raikkonen not leaving enough of gap to his car. “It was very much racing for position – racing is definitely the word.”

“Kimi started his lap too close to me,” he said. “He was trying to pass me, but if he’d done that, both of our laps would’ve been ruined. Obviously his lap was, but I was still able to complete mine even if it wasn’t an improvement.”

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2020 Italian Grand Prix

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Author information

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...
Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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13 comments on “F1’s new delta time rule “made things worse than before” – Ocon”

  1. How about an early pit lane closure? If you can’t leave the pit lane in the final 2m30s (adjust as necessary for circuit) then that leaves plenty of time for the drivers to sort out some space amongst themselves.

    1. it doesn’t matter at what point they leave, the problem is that they will all try to leave all at once. as demonstrated in Q2

      1. Yes, but that was only a problem because of the maximum delta, which as Esteban said didn’t really work. With a bit of breathing room built into the pit closure limit, you can ensure that even if they all leave at the last allowable second, there is enough time for them to find space on the track.

        Although I guess the counter to that is they’ll just use up whatever extra time crawling around the circuit like they did last year.

  2. Looking at where the Williams finished, bottom! It seems they were gaining the most from the banned party mode.

    That said, Racing point on the same Mercedes engines have done a lot better.
    Is this solely down to Williams poorer aerodynamics?

    1. …or were the Williams previously ‘privileged’ with extra special party modes?

  3. yes it made quali a race… also ocon should really keep his mouth shut after what happened with kimi.

  4. Things were made worse by all teams deciding to release the cars from the pit box as soon as the first car trundled down the pit lane to gain a slip stream.

    There was nothing wrong with the rule. There was plenty of time to not leave the pit lane at the same time as others.

  5. I dunno, I can’t agree that the traffic was worse than before because at least this time round they all set a laptime.

  6. Pretty obvious in my view, FIA doing it’s thing again.

  7. In the races they have a way to ensure cars don’t speed under the virtual safety car by tracking within mini sectors. It seems this might by what’s needed rather than a target lap time. To ensure cars either move fast or slow enough to prevent this happening rather then everyone just bunching up at the end a bit quicker than before.

  8. Don’t see why they have to legislate for stupid. If you want a clean lap then leave the pits first. The issue is every team trying to play it smart but the fact is you can’t all be on the same bit of tarmac at the same time. I have no sympathy for drivers getting their laps ruined by trying to mess around to steal a tenth slip streaming.

  9. Ocon certainly must rank as the biggest whiner amoungst all the drivers.

    Seriously hope he is dropped after 2021.

    Hopefully Alonso shows him up and throughly trounces him just like Riccardo has been doing.

  10. Lol I called it before it happened. You could see this being worse from a mile away.

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