(Motorsports news) Drivers reversing at the conclusion of out-laps to obtain clean air for their push laps has frequently derailed F1 qualifying as well as that of its subsidiary categories, F2 and F3. Major traffic jams have resulted from this before the last corner at the majority of races, particularly the most recent Austrian and Belgian grand prix.
Ido Cohen of Rodin Carlin and teammate Ollie Gray collided as the field backed up in traffic during Friday’s F3 qualifying at Monza, and the session was stopped as a result. The FIA periodically imposes minimum durations between the second and first safety car line, which encompasses the whole circuit with the exception of the pitlane area, to crack down on drivers who drive too slowly during in-laps.
But in order to prevent traffic problems from getting out of control, FIA has now increased that restriction to apply to any laps, notably including out-laps in Monza. Niels Wittich, the FIA race director, added the following to his event notes, which were released early on Saturday: “4.2 Any driver who exceeds 1min 41sec from the Second Safety Car Line to the First Safety Car Line on ANY lap during and after the end of the qualifying session, including in-laps and out-laps, may be deemed to be going unnecessarily slowly for the safe and orderly conduct of the Event, unless there are exceptional circumstances accepted as such by the Stewards.
For the avoidance of dispute, these do not take precedence over the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations’ Articles 33.4 and 37.5, which are applicable to the entire Circuit. Investigations into incidents usually begin following the qualifying session. Monza’s high-speed layout, which requires drivers to obtain a tow from the car in front to improve straight-line speeds, exacerbates traffic problems. This further encourages the behavior of backing each other up because drivers are unwilling to be the first car in the line.
Drivers backed off near the end of Q3 in qualifying for the 2019 race, which prevented a long line of cars from crossing the finish line in time for their final qualifying effort.