The debate over drivers causing a yellow flag or a red flag in the standings continues to rage in F1. It has no place in IndyCar, where drivers who cause a neutralization and ruin the lap times of their rivals have their two best laps canceled.
The discussion took place in Baku this weekend, after Fernando Alonso entered the escape route of turn 15 of Q1 directly. Alex Albon, who was following him, clearly called the incident voluntary, judging that the F1 Alpine driver had voluntarily provoked the yellow flag for not being eliminated.
The main stakeholder, however, said he was not against the idea of imposing a penalty on a driver who would damage the timed laps of his rivals, as is done in IndyCar.
“Yes, I think so” considers Alonso, before undertaking a risky comparison. It explains Kevin Magnussen’s breakdown in the race and the Dane’s choice to position himself towards an opening in the rails. But the comparison does not hold, as we are not talking about the same phase of the weekend, or the same incident.
“There will always be difficulties, as we saw this weekend during the race, if you have an accident on a corner or if you park your car. There was a Haas parked on turn 15.
“If you park there or 10 meters away, you can have a security car deployment, depending on whether you take a good position or not. From here, we have to sanction the Haas driver for choosing the wrong option. “We have to be careful about how we do these things.”
The situation is different, however, when it comes to a driver error that translates into a yellow flag, as there is always a suspicion of intentional action, which is understood by Alonso, an advocate of a change of format: “But yeah, I agree. Especially in the classification it should be different.”
“We’re facing problems with slow laps, minimum lap times, last-lap traffic, aspirations or not. So I think we have to be smart and think of another format for classification.”
“There’s always someone who suffers,” Norris says
Lando Norris points out that he ended up with a gap in the standings in Baku to let Sebastian Vettel through. Although he understands the desire to penalize these errors, he reminds us that they occur for different reasons: “Yes, of course. I was one of the guys who caused a yellow flag yesterday, but only to deviate from Seb’s path.”
“I think there’s a difference between people who do it by accident, people who do it to respect blue flags and such when you’re in the standings, and people who do it on purpose. Especially when you’re a second and a half behind. in an attack turn! “
Norris notes that he is happy that this rule does not exist when he is responsible for a disability: “You always say that until you’re the one who’s doing something wrong. And then you say, ‘Thank you for not introducing this rule.’ Because you just made a mistake, like me in Imola.”
“I say I wish there wasn’t a rule, but obviously when someone else does it I think to myself that I wish there was a rule. There’s always someone.” those who say it more are the ones who have not yet made a mistake. “
Ricciardo and Ocon in favor of penalties
Norris teammate Daniel Ricciardo is one of the drivers campaigning to punish those who make mistakes. He points out that this should be done especially when the pilot who caused the neutralization did not have any serious accidents: “It’s difficult because every incident is different.”
“But unless you’ve wrecked your car, if it’s just a small blockage or coming out of a gap, if you’ve caused a neutralization, maybe you should be penalized. Maybe, a deleted time might be a good way to look. to this thing. “
Ricciardo does not seem to believe in Alonso’s unintentional mistake, as he jokingly says: “His conviction is impressive! I think it’s the experience. That’s why I love him. But I mean Alex spoke clearly about it yesterday.”
“We all play tricks, and I know Lewis [Hamilton] tried not to give us the DRS, with Lando. It’s just a little bit of tactics and strategy. But there is another way, this is what Fernando did. Maybe the suppressed towers could be the way to go, we’ll see. “
Esteban Ocon also supports the idea of penalizing drivers who ruin the attempts of their rivals, especially on urban circuits, after having been victims on several occasions: “I think so, because in Monaco and Baku I was penalized for that in the classification.”
“And, yes, drivers would probably be more careful if they were penalized, and it would be less easy to take a risk and go for a getaway. I would be totally in favor of a change to the street circuits.”