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F1 to adopt IndyCar qualifying crash rule?

NEWS STORY
26/05/2021

FIA Race Director, Michael Masi has admitted that F1 will consider adopting the IndyCar rule whereby drivers who crash in qualifying have their time deleted.

The move follows Saturday's qualifying session when Charles Leclerc - who had claimed provisional pole with his first run in Q3 - crashed on his second run.

While Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz both looked set to improve, with the session red-flagged due to the incident at the Swimming Pool, Leclerc retained pole position.

Understandably, Verstappen and Sainz weren't happy, both feeling that pole would have been theirs, however the main critics of the turn of events appeared to be the Sky Sports and other members of the British media.

"I think there is a difference when a guy makes a mistake and hits the wall, or doing it intentionally," said Verstappen. "I think had Charles just parked with a broken front wing, it's a different story. But of course he clipped the wall, initially, and then ended up where I've ended up twice! So, it's just unfortunate.

"Of course, I'm disappointed to not have a shot at pole," he continued, "but that's life. Sometimes you can't do it. It's fine.

"I don't think his lap should have, or should be deleted in the future if possibly they want to make rule changes," he added. "I don't think that would be fair - because we're all trying so hard - and it's not so easy around here, especially on the limit. It's easy to make a mistake."

"I can get where it's coming from," admitted Leclerc, "surely if I was doing it on purpose I would make sure to hit the wall a bit less hard but that wasn't on purpose, obviously.

"I was pushing the limit and... as Max said, on a city track like this, where we are pushing the limit, it happens to do a mistake. It's a different story when it's done on purpose but I think it's pretty obvious for today."

Subsequently asked if F1 might consider the rule used in IndyCar and IMSA, whereby drivers who crash in qualifying have their time deleted, the FIA's Race Director, Michael Masi said a similar rule could be considered in the future.

"Like everything when everything arises, the FIA, Formula 1 and the teams look at everything and consider it on its merits," he said. "I know the IndyCar rule, which is also a rule in a number of other FIA international series and domestic championships around the world.

"We'll look at it," he added, "and, together with all of the key stakeholders, determine if it's suitable or not."

While the Sky team continued to raise their doubts about the incident, recalling Michael Schumacher's stoppage at Rascasse in 2006 and Nico Rosberg taking to the escape road at Mirabeau in 2014, Masi remains convinced that in Leclerc's case it was a genuine mistake.

"Having looked it, looked at the data and also listening to the team communication, I don't think any driver would go out there to severely damage their car to that degree, in any circumstance, because of the consequences that may arise out of that."

Indeed, though given the all-clear, the Monegasque was unable to start the race due to damage incurred in the incident.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by kenji, 27/05/2021 1:58

"@ Roli...your comment re Masi is totally unwarranted. He has the most difficult job in F1..IMO. He has the very best data available at his disposal and decisions that are taken are done so with supporting facts. Partisan viewpoints can never be eliminated. By all accounts he is very flexible and affords everyone involved to make suggestions and comments on decisions. "

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2. Posted by jcr, 27/05/2021 0:18

"THE EDITOR
How wonderful to hear someone else express an opinion on Mssr·s Brundles and Associates BIAS Towards anything Non British, in their commentary. Last weekend one of them made a smart remark to Rosberg about disrupting Quali. Nicely he told them to $%$· Brundle as a commentator is always first to apportion blame !! When HE like the rest of us only has the TV pics to go by. Impartial Commentary, Dont think so !!"

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3. Posted by Roli, 26/05/2021 12:09

"If Indicar is doing it so right, why doesnt Masi just go there and bugger Indycar instead ?
"

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4. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 26/05/2021 10:52

"There is a big difference between parking it and destroying one side of the car."

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5. Posted by Editor, 26/05/2021 10:34

"@ Greg

Funny how Sky wasn't as keen to report on the doping scandal in cyling a couple of years back... involving Team Sky."

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6. Posted by Wokingchap, 26/05/2021 9:52

"A rather good rule to adopt. Whilst not being a fan of the red team and crital of their antics, i'm convinced Charles didn't crash on purpose. He is a an honest, self critical, very genuine and straightforward chap."

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7. Posted by Greg, 26/05/2021 9:50

"Sky and their sky high conspiracy theories "

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