Max Verstappen slams ‘extremely dangerous’ and ‘absolutely terrible’ FIA rule change

Michelle Foster
The pit exit chaos in qualifying at the Brazilian GP.

Max Verstappen has slated the FIA's new pit exit rule for qualifying.

Max Verstappen has lambasted Formula 1’s new pit exit rule, saying moving to the left to allow other cars to pass during qualifying was “extremely dangerous”.

Formula 1 came in for some stick last time out in Mexico when many of the drivers stopped in the pit lane in order to create a gap to the car ahead.

This, which has been seen more and more often this season, was in response to the race director setting a delta time for the drivers in qualifying, one that was intended to avoid the dangerous situation of slow cars in the final few corners while others are coming to complete a flyer.

From one dangerous situation to another says Max Verstappen

However, it’s now led to a different danger says Verstappen.

In response to the pit lane issues in Mexico, this weekend F1’s race director put into place a new regulation that drivers may not stop in the pit lane and instead have to create a gap if they so wish in the pit exit.

But to avoid blocking drivers not wanting to wait, they had to move to the far left.

That saw several near misses with three drivers penalised after qualifying for not adhering to the rule while in the Sprint Shootout Verstappen had to work his way past several almost stationary cars while he was getting up to speed.

“It was absolutely terrible,” the pole position holder stated. “On this track, you have quite a long pit exit and there are some walls.

“But on some other tracks, if we implement this, you’re driving very slowly onto a straight where people are passing with 300+ (km/h). And you’re maybe driving at 15, 20 to make a gap, which is extremely dangerous.

“For me, this doesn’t work at all. It just creates even more trouble. I mean, look at what was happening [in qualifying] – people going on the grass, including myself, to try and pass cars.

“It’s just a mess every single qualifying, you have like six to eight cars getting noted for driving too slow with the minimum time. I don’t know what we’re trying to achieve.” recommends

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His teammate Sergio Perez had a different perspective, the Mexican driver happy that the race stewards stuck to their guns and penalised the drivers who didn’t move left.

“I think this rule that was in place, we all knew the rule and I think the people that didn’t respect it got penalised with it and it’s how it should be,” he said.

“Whether it’s a good thing or not, it’s a rule and we have to stick to them.

“And we all knew the rules to follow from their preview notes, so I think it’s good, the stewards finally are sticking to the rules.”

According to reports Formula 1 will continue using this new rule for the last two races of the season with the FIA said to be satisfied that it’s an improvement.

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