The FIA has confirmed red flags will be shown to drivers during qualifying in lieu of double waved yellows in an effort to fairly neutralise a session following controversy in the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Nico Rosberg escaped punishment despite setting his pole-winning lap at the Hungaroring under waved yellow flags, deployed when Fernando Alonso spun at Turn 8. Though the obstruction was clear by the time Rosberg had reached the corner, he did pass waved yellows leading up to the affected bend.
However, whilst the lap was eventually deemed legal, drivers have questioned whether the 0.1s time lost by Rosberg in that sector could be considered sufficient enough under waved yellows.
With drivers seeking clarification as to what could be deemed as 'lifting', the FIA has reacted by confirming red flags will be shown instead. Under this method, all drivers are forced to back off instantly or face a serious penalty.
“It removes the discussion about how much you're slowing down,” said Whiting. “The stewards accepted Nico's explanation, and looked at the data and felt that he had slowed down. But then the question is: 'Did he slow down enough? What is enough?'. If you can't set a time, then that's that. It removes all that subjective discussion.
“The reason we didn't show a red flag in Hungary was simply that session had ended but some cars were behind Alonso's car and some in front, so I think the procedure would be to red flag it any time there is a double waved yellow flag. Then there will be no discussion.”
The revised rule, which applies only to qualifying, is likely to be introduced in time for this weekend's German Grand Prix qualifying session at Hockenheim.