Is it right to penalise the driver for an unsafe pit release?

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    Loup Garou

    I know that it has happened many times before, but I was upset by what happened to Nico Rosberg today. The driver in his cockpit cannot see what’s coming behind him because the pit crew would be blocking the view through his mirrors. He relies on the ‘flag man’ to go and unless the driver jumps the gun IMO it is unfair to penalise him & ruin his race for others’ mistakes. Can they impose sanctions on the team instead – like docking team points if they got any or suitable fines? Within the team itself they can take the fines out of the salaries of those responsible for the error. Is something like that feasible?


    The team made a mistake and the driver is part of the team.


    Yes. Drivers can gain competitive advantages through it and it’s a safety risk. It needs to have a sporting penalty and it needs to be a sufficiently punishing one to discourage teams from making this mistake and taking liberties with safety. A drive-through penalty is fair and appropriate.


    Sure this needs to be punished in order to prevent teams from taking risks, but how about some improvement to manage this. Have a mark on the fast lane that shows, when a car went past that point and you release yours now, you will clash. You could go as far as building it into an automated system, just like when a mechanic didn’t push a button to indicate he is done the light won’t turn green, when a car is somewhere between two light barriers it won’t turn on either. Maybe I’m thinking too technically, it doesn’t happen that often after all.


    I don’t understand this mindset of separating the drivers from the teams. When the team releases a driver too early or fails to properly fasten a tire onto the car, it’s not just the driver who suffers. The whole team loses out. When a driver makes a mistake and bins in into the barrier, the whole team suffers as well. I have no problem with gearbox penalties being turned into grid drops and drive-through penalties for unsafe releases. They win and lose as a team.


    Have you guys watched this “GP insights” unsafe release video the Mercedes-AMG team posted on Youtube less than a month ago? I guess Ross will be making the engineers watch it a few times before India!

    Lewis and Nico explain an unsafe release:

    Loup Garou

    >>>>> Have a mark on the fast lane that shows, when a car went past that point and you release yours now, you will clash. <<<<<< That sounds good.


    Great video, they replayed the release on NBC in the States and the light was red when Rosberg left so it seemed to be his fault entirely which is what Hobbs explained.

    @Calum I’m sure Ross Brawn is going to make Rosberg watch it 100 times and also create another video of what to do when your wing comes off and your teammate is behind you:-)


    LOL at the cheesy video !!!


    I know where you’re coming from, @loup-garou , and it’s not only about the unsafe release thing.

    I remember Raikkonen receiving a drive-through penalty in Monaco 2008 as his tyres weren’t fully fitted at the 3 minute signal before the start. Now that’s something that got me thinking. I thought of the penalty silly.

    But overall, I do agree that the driver is a part of the team, and the whole group should maintain high efficiency. After all, they’re all working for one thing, and that thing is to win.

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