Seidl backs call for F1 red flag rule change after Jeddah race

McLaren boss Andreas Seidl has backed a call by Lando Norris for a change Formula 1’s red flag rules following Sunday's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Seidl backs call for F1 red flag rule change after Jeddah race

Under the current regulations drivers can change tyres during a race suspension, potentially penalising those who have already pitted before as others are effectively gifted a free stop.

Norris was one of several drivers near the front of the field who pitted after Mick Schumacher’s crash triggered a safety car, which quickly turned into a red flag situation to facilitate barrier repairs.

The stop dropped Norris from sixth to 14th as those who stayed out were able to benefit from a free tyre change.

Norris, who also lost out in both the Italian and Tuscan GPs last year, eventually recovered to 10th place.

After the race he called for the “stupid rule”, which was introduced in part because of the possibility of tyre being damaged by debris, to be changed.

His team boss Seidl agrees that it’s time for the regulation to be reviewed.

“We were all sitting in the same room and we decided for this rule, so there is no point criticising it too much,” he said.

“But I think with what happened now the last two years it is clear that it's just not fair from a sporting perspective and we will definitely look at how to change it, just from a sporting perspective.

“Because that you cause for example the red flags, and then you are allowed to repair your car and actually you're in better position afterwards than before, plus you can change tyres, that's I think something which is just from the sporting side doesn't make sense.

“Doesn't matter now, sometimes you benefit from it, sometimes no. But I think overall it's the wrong thing from the sporting perspective, and that's why I think we should sit together again all as a group and push for a change.”

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M, in the pits

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M, in the pits

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Regarding the many interruptions to the Jeddah race, he said: “Obviously, I didn't like the first red flag after Lando pitted before and changed the tyres. But it's difficult to judge for me if it was necessary or not, because I don't know exactly in which state the barrier was. So it's difficult to judge.

“And I think later on, the second red flag, I think there was a lot of debris, and then the virtual safety cars, whenever there's debris on track you need to go safe because there's metal parts laying around, if you drive over these metal parts or they get thrown up into the air and hit the spectator or a driver, you can't take that risk.

“So from this point of view I think I was absolutely okay what happened today.”

Despite the frustration Seidl was encouraged by the Jeddah result after a run a disappointing races, with Daniel Ricciardo securing a solid fifth place.

“Overall I am very happy with the outcome, I have to say, because after the three difficult weekends we had, it was simply important to have a good result again for the team and seeing also that we had a competitive car here. Daniel obviously was able to show that.

“On Lando's side unfortunately with the red flag and with the red flag rule how it is at the moment with being allowed to change tyres there obviously his race was screwed and he couldn't do more than getting back to P10.”

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