FIA to consider using IndyCar red flag rule

Date published: May 26 2021

Charles Leclerc Ferrari, FIA

Race director Michael Masi says the FIA will look at whether or not adopting an IndyCar qualifying rule will be suitable for use in F1.

Had the rule been implemented at the Monaco Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc’s pole lap would not have stood, meaning there would potentially have been a different pole-sitter.

Should a red flag end a qualifying session, the driver responsible for terminating the session would have their fastest lap time deleted as they would have impeded the subsequent attempts of their fellow competitors.

Masi said the FIA are constantly reviewing how the sport can improve and the organisation will look at the possibility of implementing the rule in Formula 1 moving forward.

“Like everything, when everything arises, the FIA, Formula 1 and the teams look at everything and consider it on its merits,” Masi said, quoted by Motorsport.com.

“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 and, together with all of the key stakeholders, determine if it’s suitable or not.”

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While Masi said it was “quite clear” Leclerc had made a mistake on his qualifying run, with his crash at the Swimming Pool section ultimately ruling him out of Sunday’s race, there has been controversy at Monaco before.

Infamously, Michael Schumacher ‘parked’ his Ferrari out of the exit of Rascasse to stop anyone from setting a faster lap than him in 2006, while Nico Rosberg pulled off the track at Mirabeau in 2014 to prevent his team-mate and title rival Lewis Hamilton from pipping him to pole on that occasion – with accusations that both drivers had pulled off those moves deliberately for their own benefit.

Masi firmly denied any suggestion of Leclerc crashing to secure his own pole position as not only did it mean he could not start the race, he caused significant damage to his car that could have required a change of gearbox.

“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,” Masi stated.

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