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Thursday, November 30, 2023

How would F1 have handled no vehicles on the grid?

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On the quickly drying Hungaroring observe, world champion and pole place man Lewis Hamilton was the one driver who elected to not dive into the pits to alter from intermediates to slicks.

His Mercedes workforce had been nervous that, with the workforce having the primary field within the pitlane, coming in to swap tyres would have left Hamilton trapped after the tyre change and unable to get again out till the entire discipline had gone by.

Whereas he would have regained some spots as others forward of him would subsequently have needed to wait, the worry was that he would nonetheless be dropped properly into the midfield pack. It is why the workforce took the gamble on sticking with the inters.

In order Hamilton was informed to hold on and everybody else got here in, it meant the Briton fashioned up fully alone on the beginning grid.

As soon as he was stationary and the medical automotive was in place behind the grid, then the lights process went forward as regular – and he was unleashed for an unchallenged run right down to Flip 1.

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Hamilton’s single automotive begin was the sparsest grid begin F1 has witnessed for the reason that notorious United States Grand Prix in 2005 when all of the Michelin runners pulled out and solely six Bridgestone-shod vehicles took the lights.

However one of the crucial intriguing features about Hamilton’s begin was that it was not inconceivable that the Mercedes driver may have pitted as properly, which means that no vehicles fashioned up the grid.

It is a state of affairs that has by no means occurred in grand prix racing earlier than, however F1 race director Michael Masi stated that he was clear in his head about what would have occurred within the occasion that the FIA needed to take care of a zero automotive grid.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, Esteban Ocon, Alpine A521

Photograph by: Dom Romney / Motorsport Images

“As soon as the final automotive was in pitlane, the beginning sign would have been initiated,” he defined.

“Then as soon as that went off, the inexperienced gentle at pit exit would have come on and it will have been the order from pitlane exit.”

By way of the spectacle at residence, the traditional beginning process would nonetheless happen, so the 5 pink lights would nonetheless undergo their common sequence earlier than going out though there was no one there to react to them.

Masi added: “Christian [Bryll, F1’s official race starter] would have activated the beginning lights, as per regular as soon as the final automotive was in pitlane.

“The beginning lights would have been activated, 5 pink lights, pink lights exit, as soon as the pink lights have gone out the pit exit would have opened.

“It could be irrespective [of the pit stops taking place], as a result of successfully the race from our facet, or the resumption, hasn’t recommenced till that time.”

Whereas the distinctive Hungarian GP begin will safe a spot in F1’s historical past books, Masi says that the teachings from it may immediate a extra formal tweaking of the F1 sporting rules to cowl off the circumstances of a no-car begin.

“It is one thing nobody may ever have actually foreseen, however we’ll let issues settle down and have a chat about it within the gentle of day with the entire sporting administrators,” he stated.

“However having spoken to a few of them already up and down a few of them have already stated, ‘was it actually a foul factor?…'”

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