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F1 Japanese GP: Gutierrez remains steadfast in blue flag approach

Esteban Gutierrez says he won't change his approach to interpreting blue flags now he knows the limits of what is and is not allowed.
Esteban Gutierrez says he won't change his approach to interpreting blue flags now he knows the limits of what is and is not allowed when having to let leading cars pass him.

The Haas driver has become 'a punching ball' according to team principal Gunther Steiner after the Mexican has been involved in a number of blue flag incidents which sparked up when Lewis Hamilton gestured angrily at Gutierrez for 'blocking' while he was leading the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Gutierrez was under the spotlight a race later in Germany with Daniel Ricciardo in a similar incident before he was given a grid penalty at the Belgian Grand Prix for touring on the racing line at the top of Eau Rouge which forced Pascal Wehrlein on to the grass, but Haas insists the error was a 'distracted' engineer rather than the driver.

In Singapore Gutierrez came under fire from Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff for impeding Nico Rosberg as he was being caught by Ricciardo in the closing stages of the race.

READ: Steiner dismisses Wolff over latest Gutierrez backlash

The Haas driver refuted the idea he had continually been causing trouble and says in the future he will stick to the limits as tightly as possible in the same way he feels Wolff is pressuring the race stewards on the issue.

“The same way that Toto is trying the list of possible blue flag drivers and trying to put pressure on the FIA to be stricter on that and to lose less time, I'm trying to lose the least time possible within the rules and without affecting anyone,” Gutierrez said. “So the same thing that he is doing I am doing it as well.

“In Budapest I went a bit too far, and I know where the limit is, so I'm playing with the line. Obviously every team principal wants their driver to be as quick as possible, so that's what I will do and I want it for myself as well because I was fighting for a position.

“I think it was spot on [in Singapore]. I think I didn't affect anyone, I didn't lose time myself and I finished in front of Felipe, so that was the target I was pushing like you have no idea the whole race.

“When you get a blue flag you want to lose the least time possible. I know that Toto said that I was cruising around, so obviously he hasn't driven a Formula 1 car, because it wasn't the case.”

READ: Haas not unlucky but must resolve issues - Steiner

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SoSlo

October 05, 2016 4:37 PM

why are there even blue flags? if the car behind is so fast as to lap another car (or bike) then that (faster) driver should easily be able to pass without incident the (slower) driver in front really should only be worried about maintaining a racing line and pushing as hard as possible



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