Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Red flags to replace double yellows in F1 qualifying sessions

Formula 1 qualifying sessions will be red flagged from now on if a situation arises where double-waved yellows are required

During the closing moments of qualifying in Hungary last weekend, controversy surrounded Nico Rosberg setting the pole position time going through a yellow flag zone, but this move means the session would have been stopped as soon as Fernando Alonso had spun.

The decision has been made to avoid debates about how much drivers should or shouldn't slow down under yellow flags and ensure an absolute enforcement of the rule.

"The procedure now would be to simply red flag it every time there is a double-waved yellow flag," said Whiting of what happened in Hungary.

"It [red flagging the session] will be done routinely if there is a double-waved yellow flag.

"It just removes the discussion about how much is 'slowing down'.

"In Hungary, the stewards accepted Nico's explanation, looked through the data and felt he had slowed down, but the question is did he slow down enough and what's enough?

"If you can't set a time, then that's out - it removes all of that subjective discussion."

Whiting accepts that this will penalise those drivers who might be on a lap and ahead of the double-waved yellows and unable to complete their lap, but that this remains the best way to enforce the rules.

"If we just say a red flag is only unfair to those who were in front of Fernando and were trying to complete the lap," he said.

"But that's what happened when a red flag goes out anytime."

He also believes it's unlikely this would encourage drivers to spin deliberately to preserve a qualifying position, given the potential penalties for such an offence.

Michael Schumacher was excluded from qualifying for deliberately stopping at Rascasse Corner at Monaco in 2006 to prevent title rival Alonso from improving by causing yellow flags.

"If we had an suspicion that a driver had done it on purpose, that would be quite a serious effect," he said.

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article F1 German GP: Mercedes' Rosberg fastest in FP1 on home soil
Next article FIA's Whiting explains why F1 halo was rejected for 2017

Top Comments

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe