Lando Norris, McLaren, Zandvoort, 2021

Teams warned blocking rivals in pits will be considered a rules breach

2021 Dutch Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Formula 1 race director Michael Masi has issued a special instruction to teams warning them not to block rivals in the pits during the Dutch Grand Prix.

The tight pit complex at Zandvoort has prompted concerns teams may obstruct each other when multiple cars come into the pits together.

A particular concern is the possibility teams may attempt to pit both their cars at once, queueing one behind the other, referred to as “stacking”. Given the lack of space in the pits at Zandvoort, doing so could obstruct other cars moving in and out of rival teams’ pit boxes.

Masi issued a note to teams on Sunday ahead of the Dutch Grand Prix warning them that delaying their rivals in this way would be considered a breach of the rules.

“The positioning of a car in the pit lane during the race, which impedes another car in the fast lane
or prevents another car from stopping in or leaving its allocated pit stop position may be considered
an infringement of the principles of fairness in a competition along with unsportsmanlike behaviour
by a competitor and/or driver,” said Masi in a statement.

Any team judged to have contravened in this way may be found in breach of article 12.2.1.l of the International Sporting Code, noted Masi, which forbids “any infringement of the principles of fairness in competition, behaviour in an unsportsmanlike manner or attempt to influence the result of a competition in a way that is contrary to sporting ethics.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2021 Dutch Grand Prix

Browse all 2021 Dutch Grand Prix articles

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

9 comments on “Teams warned blocking rivals in pits will be considered a rules breach”

  1. Only a safety car at the right moment can save Perez race. Since he’ll be way back, RBR can stop both cars in the same lap due to a 30s or so gap they may have.
    Mercedes won’t have that option according to Masi’s warnings. One of the Mercedes and one of the Ferraris will have to stay out one more lap to avoid “traffic jam stacking”.
    Strategists will have something to think about.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      5th September 2021, 13:13

      Mercedes have the first pit box – I don’t know what the configuration of the pits is like there but I imagine they can potentially double stack and everyone else can’t which seems a bit unfair…

      1. @petebaldwin my mind went in precisely this direction.

        This seems an interesting one to enforce. The statement makes it sound that stacking is fine, as long as it’s not done to block a rival. They’ve not outright banned stacking… but it could be open to interpretation. Hopefully there’s no controversy.

  2. Oh good. Another grey area which will be left down to the stewards interpretation.

    1. @bradders not really. It’s quite clear what this achieves: no double-stacking. It’s too narrow between pitboxes to achieve that without blocking part of the lane. Now that blocking has been made unsportsmanlike. Problem solved.

      1. A minor point, but the way I read it, double stacking is only an issue if it impedes another driver. So teams can successfully double stack as long as a car from whichever team they block isn’t coming in too. I imagine this won’t even really be an issue in 99% of circumstances.

    2. @bradders
      After Masi’s warning the stewards have an easier job to deal with those situations. Anybody who is found to have blocked a competitor in the pits will be charged of breaching of the article 12.2.1.l . This is exactly like fixing a race and I don’t think any team would be willingly wanting to be involved in such farce.

  3. If I read this right it seems that only Mercedes will be able to double stack without impending anyone.

  4. Rule applies all teams, equal treatment is first goal, irrelevant of pitbox position and its lenght.

Comments are closed.