Hamilton: Only a crash will stop Monza-style F1 qualifying farces

Lewis Hamilton believes a repeat of the farce that marred the ending of Formula 1's Italian Grand Prix qualifying session will only be avoided when a crash occurs

Hamilton: Only a crash will stop Monza-style F1 qualifying farces

The majority of the drivers in Q3 failed to set a second effort in the final minutes of the session, after losing time slowing down to try to stay in a train of cars for a slipstream.

The incident is under investigation by the FIA, and Nico Hulkenberg was the first to be called to the stewards after cutting the first chicane in what appeared to be a bid to avoid running at the front of the pack.

Hamilton missed out on an attempt to displace Charles Leclerc from pole, labelling the qualifying incident dangerous a week after making a similar remark in Belgium, following drivers deliberately slowing down to better get a slipstream.

When Hamilton was asked if there was a risk of the situation repeating, Hamilton said: "I am sure it is going to continue, as positioning is key.

"If everyone is going out so late, it will continue to be an issue in places where you particularly need a tow.

"It won't be until someone crashes that they will change."

Hamilton suggested a different qualifying format at venues where a tow is crucial.

"We are all trying to get a gap which continues to be key," said Hamilton.

"In some places, you want a bigger gap, and some places it is about the tow. These are track-specific.

"I always thought they could do something different on different weekends anyway, depending on the track, but highly unlikely that will happen."

Polesitter Leclerc says he hopes F1 will learn lessons from Monza's qualifying session.

"It is only a few tracks where we have this issue," said Leclerc. "I have no quick fix to try and help this quickly, but maybe we can all think about it, to try to understand [the problem].

"It has always been like this, and the slipstream has always been this way. We just need to analyse the situation a bit more.

"Today was special and definitely not intentional from our side, as Seb was also capable of having the pole position and we didn't want to sacrifice one car for the pole or the other.

"It was quite tricky. I definitely think that situations like after the second corner should not happen.

"When two cars are side-by-side, they cannot go at 20km/h (12.4mph). We could not go past and most of the cars behind wanted to pass but didn't have the opportunity."

Hamilton added that F1 should look at going beyond handing penalties to drivers.

"It is the system that needs to shift a little, but I don't think we need to start handing out penalties," he said.

"We need to look at it and reflect, and see what we can do to make it better: make it better for the fans and make it less dangerous.

"Already they made a change today that we had to finish the outlap with a certain delta time, but even that is too slow.

"There are improvements we can make for safety and for the spectators that watch."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton
Author Jonathan Noble
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