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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

F1 drivers need to revisit red-flag tyre rule that “ruined” Monaco GP

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Sunday’s 78-lap cruise by way of the Monaco streets was hamstrung by a heavy first-lap crash involving Sergio Perez and Haas drivers Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg.

Underneath the ensuing pink flag, all drivers have been allowed to alter tyres, negating the necessity for necessary pitstops afterward.

The rule stops disadvantaging drivers who’re but to pit proper earlier than a mid-race pink flag, however having a lap-one pink flag on a circuit like Monaco, the place overtaking is sort of unimaginable and the place the tyres can final the entire race, has had unintended side-effects.

Not solely did that drawback drivers who opted to attempt one thing totally different and begin on the onerous tyres, forcing them to finish a full race distance on mediums, however it additionally eradicated any jeopardy that might come up from pitstop execution and technique usually.

In Monaco, the polesitter is extraordinarily prone to win, however botched pitstops or technique calls have value wins prior to now to the likes of Daniel Ricciardo and Charles Leclerc, injecting the possibility of drama into an in any other case lifeless affair.

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Throughout the spectrum drivers lamented that the lap-one pink flag killed any type of strategic performs.

“After the pink flag, our technique was ruined as we needed to put the medium on to the tip as everybody had a free cease and that meant that we needed to save loads,” sixth-placed Verstappen mentioned.

George Russell, Mercedes W15

Photograph by: Erik Junius

“I simply tried to comply with George and we have been so off the tempo making an attempt to handle the tyres. That’s fairly boring on the market, driving actually half throttle on the straights in some locations.”

Fourth-placed finisher Lando Norris agreed with Verstappen, saying: “There’s simply nothing you are able to do, particularly with the pink flag originally, I believe that ruined another alternatives which may have come my means with technique and tyre-saving, so a little bit of a disgrace.”

Even Williams’ Alex Albon, who really benefitted from the free pitstop as a result of he had began on mediums, acknowledged that the present guidelines did not make a complete lot of sense.

“Yeah, we have to work out what is going on on. I believe that if it is a lap-one pink flag, nonetheless have a compulsory pitstop in there or one thing. It labored in our favour to be honest to you, so I will not complain an excessive amount of.”

On the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Norris had already slated what he referred to as “probably the worst rule ever invented” after he had pitted underneath the security automotive, proper earlier than the race was red-flagged for an incident. That made him drop from sixth to 14th whereas watching everybody forward of him get a free cease.

Aston Martin driver Alonso hoped Sunday would convey the problem again on the agenda after earlier discussions on the rule did not quantity to something.

“The one focal point in a Monaco race is the pitstops that you must do,” he mentioned. “When you take away that pleasure of a pitstop, then it turns into nothing.

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR24

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR24

Photograph by: Erik Junius

“Perhaps it reopens the conversations of when there’s a pink flag, not altering tyres or be obliged to have the identical tyre or one thing, as a result of if not, there are specific events that the race is compromised.”

When requested by Autosport if he was hopeful the rule could be revisited, he replied: “I do not know. There are lots of issues that they haven’t modified, in all probability as a result of they do not take heed to the drivers.”

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