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Norris: F1 pit exit overtaking ban a "terrible rule", drivers ask for rethink

Lando Norris thinks Formula 1's move to stop overtaking at pit exit is a "terrible rule" but one that is needed because of the maximum outlap times.

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60

Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Drivers are not allowed to drive slower than a certain delta time between safety car lines two and one, which covers everything but the pit area, to avoid dangerous situations in which cars approach each other at wildly different speeds.

At recent races that meant drivers were using the pitlane and pit exit instead to leave a gap to the car in front and get clean air for their qualifying lap, while still having the space to warm up their tyres.

In Abu Dhabi that led to issues at Yas Marina Circuit's tunnelled pit exit that crosses over to the other side of the track, with drivers effectively blocking each other and Red Bull's Max Verstappen squeezing past the Mercedes cars in Friday practice in the narrow lane.

The FIA responded by banning drivers from overtaking each other before the end of pit exit unless the car in front has an "obvious issue".

Norris thinks the bandaid fix just creates more issues and hopes the FIA will walk back its outlap rule changes.

"No, I think it is a terrible rule," he said when quizzed by Autosport on whether or not the new rule had worked.

"The thing is they have to have the rule, because of the other silly rule that they made us do.

"If there's a red flag and three minutes left, there's going to be like three cars who get to do a lap so...I don't know. We should just go back to the way it was before."

Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri AT04

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri AT04

Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso said the rule further proves that a rethink of the qualifying rules is needed as he feels they detract from the thrill of extracting one lap of pure performance out of the cars.

"I think it didn't change much, but it proves that the qualifying format is obsolete," he said.

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"We cannot have these things and this stress. It used to be the best session of the weekend, where the cars come alive, you drive these very fast cars.

"And now it's the worst session of the weekend for the teams, for drivers, for traffic management, for track limits, going to the stewards, not respecting the delta, impeding people, deleting the laps is...

"We are all happy that it's over. And it should not be like that."

World champion Max Verstappen agreed that a better solution is needed, but said drivers agreed to the change in the drivers' briefing just to avoid a repeat of Friday's incidents.

"Us drivers agreed to that in the briefing, to have that. Otherwise I think you would have seen again what happened yesterday [Friday]," he said.

"At the moment nothing is perfect yet, so we have to come up with a better solution but we'll keep on thinking about what that is."

Additional reporting by Ronald Vording

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