IndyCar red flag rules would be "intelligent" for F1 - Wolff

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff thinks Formula 1 adopting IndyCar's red flag rules, so that drivers lose their best times if they stop a session, would be 'intelligent'.

A marshal waves the red flag

The situation surrounding drivers benefiting from causing red flags became a talking point at the Monaco Grand Prix after Charles Leclerc secured pole position when he crashed into the barriers.

With his Q3 accident bringing out the red flags, it meant that his closest rivals did not have the chance to knock him off the top spot.

A number of American series, including IndyCar and IMSA, have different rules which mean any driver who triggers a red flag in qualifying loses his two best qualifying times.

Had that rule been in place for F1, then it would have meant Leclerc would have been stripped of pole position for his Monaco crash and been moved back to 10th on the grid.

Wolff was unaware that such a rule was in use in American series, but reckoned it could be good for F1 – especially as it would end suspicions of drivers deliberately getting sessions stopped.

"I didn't know that that was the rule in the US but I think it's an intelligent rule," said Wolff. "That would avoid confusion.

"I don't think that Charles put it in the wall today, because there's just too much at stake. But it would be a nice little incentive to make sure that all the polemic that such a situation provokes is out of question, and is not happening because nobody would doubt it."

Marshals assist Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21, after he crashes out of qualifying

Marshals assist Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21, after he crashes out of qualifying

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

But, while Wolff thinks it is a good idea, drivers are not so convinced that it is necessary in F1.

Max Verstappen said: "I think there is a difference when a guy makes a mistake and hits the wall, or doing it intentionally. I think had Charles just parked with a broken front wing, it's a different story.

"But of course he just clipped the wall, initially, and then ended up where I've ended up twice! So, it's just unfortunate. Of course, I'm disappointed to not have a shot at pole but that's life. Sometimes you can't do it. It's fine.

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"I don't think his lap should have, or should be deleted in the future if possibly they want to make rule changes.

"I don't think that would be fair – because we're all trying so hard – and it's not so easy around here, especially on the limit. It's easy to make a mistake."

Valtteri Bottas added: "I think the regulation is fine. I mean, it is what it is. Sometimes in sport things don't place into your hands. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes unlucky and that's what happens."

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