Red flag rules ‘wrong from a sporting perspective’

Michelle Foster
McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl in Mexico. Mexico City November 2021

Andreas Seidl in Mexico. Mexico City November 2021

Andreas Seidl has called for a rethink of F1’s red flag rules, saying it is “wrong” that drivers can get a free tyre change.

For the third time in two seasons, Lando Norris lost positions because of a red flag handing his rivals a free pit stop.

It happened at last season’s Italian and Tuscan races, and again last Sunday in Saudi Arabia.

Norris was running up in sixth place when he pitted when the Safety Car came after Mick Schumacher crashed his Haas at Turn 22.

That dropped him down to 14th place, positions he would likely have made up when those ahead of him came in for their mandatory pit stop.

But with Race Control then throwing the red flags, deciding that was the safest course of action as the barrier needed to be repaired, those who hadn’t stopped were able to change their tyres before the race resumed.

That is the rule, but one that Norris says is “stupid”.

He added to Sky F1: “Probably the worst rule ever invented by someone, being able to change tyres under red flag.

“I just feel like it’s such an unfair thing. They should still have to do that pit-stop – it should be more just unlucky rather than getting lucky.”

His McLaren team boss Seidl agrees with his driver.

“Obviously, we were all sitting in the same room when we decided on this rule so there is no point in criticising it too much,” Seidl said as per GPFans.

“But I think with what happened now, in the last two years, I think it is clear it is just not fair on the sporting perspective and we will definitely have a look how to change it just for a sporting perspective.

“If you cause the red flags then you are allowed to repair your car and can be in a better position than you were before, plus you can change tyres, that is I think something that just, from the sporting side, doesn’t make sense.

“It doesn’t matter now. Sometimes you benefit from it, sometimes not but overall, it is the wrong thing from the sporting perspective and that is why I think we should all sit together again, as a group and push for a change.”

Norris recovered only as far as tenth place while his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo finished P5.

The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix result meant Ferrari have secured third place in the Constructors’ Championship ahead of McLaren.


PlanetF1 Verdict


Should red flag rules be changed?

Andreas Seidl believes the red flag rules in Formula 1 should be changed.