Verstappen blasts “absolutely terrible” new F1 pit exit rule

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has blasted F1’s new pit exit rule as “absolutely terrible” and feels it “just creates even more trouble”. 
Verstappen blasts “absolutely terrible” new F1 pit exit rule

Ahead of this weekend’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix, an update in the FIA race director’s notes banned drivers from stopping in the fast lane of the pits during qualifying sessions as part of a fresh impeding clampdown.

Three drivers - Mercedes’ George Russell and Alpine duo Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly - were each handed two-place grid penalties for Sunday’s grand prix after the stewards deemed they had violated the new rule. 

When asked for his thoughts on the regulation change after his victory in Saturday’s sprint race, Verstappen replied: “Absolutely terrible, I think. 

“On this track you have quite a long pit exit and you have some walls. But on some other tracks if we implement this, you are driving very slowly onto a straight where people are passing you at 300kph plus and you are maybe driving at 15 or 20kph to create a gap, which I think is extremely dangerous. 

“For me, this doesn’t work at all. It just creates even more trouble. Look at what was happening yesterday, 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 are trying to achieve.”

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W14 and Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren MCL60 leave the pits. Formula 1 World
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W14 and Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren…

Second-placed Lando Norris, who labelled F1’s delta time rule in qualifying as “stupid” after he was reprimanded following the sprint shootout, said: “We have no say in these rules, they just get implemented no matter if we think it’s good or bad for the sport, same with the minimum lap time stuff. 

“I got a reprimand this morning for two cars ahead of me coming out of the pitlane, one crossing the safety car line and one coming out of the pitlane at the same time. 

“I can’t overtake, otherwise I’m going to be racing on a qualifying lap, which is stupid. Therefore I have to back off, and then I’m below the minimum time and I get a reprimand for that. It’s just a silly thing. 

“Not that the stewards made the wrong decision, just it’s a rule that shouldn’t be one in my opinion because I didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t block anyone or get in anyone’s way, I’ve just not overtaken and caused a race in qualifying and get a reprimand for it. Just silly things.” 

However, Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez had a different opinion, arguing: “We all knew the rule and the people that didn’t respect it got penalised with it yesterday, and that’s how it should be. 

"Whether it’s a good thing or not it’s a rule and we have to stick to them. We all knew the rules to follow under the notes, so I think it’s good the stewards are finally sticking to the rules.”

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