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Verstappen: New F1 pitlane impeding rules "absolutely terrible"

Max Verstappen labelled Formula 1's latest attempt to address pitlane impeding as "absolutely terrible", although the FIA may look to tweak the rule for upcoming races.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23, in the pit lane

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23, in the pit lane

Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Following instances of drivers stopping on the exit of the pitlane in recent races, in response to a maximum lap time rule designed to minimise traffic during qualifying, the FIA elected to ban that practice on safety grounds and introduce new guidance for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

This allows drivers to make their gap between the pit exit and the second safety car line, as long as they remain as far left as possible to let other cars go past.

Although the rule was successful in stopping cars from parking up at the pit exit lights, the restrictiveness of the pit exit on the back straight made it difficult for others to pass without dipping on the grass.

Verstappen was seen bustling through a number of cars as he looked to go out on track for his sprint qualifying Q3 lap and, when asked for his opinion on the revised ruling, offered a dim view of the situation.

"It was absolutely terrible," Verstappen stated. "On this track, you have quite a long pit exit and there are some walls.

"But on some other tracks, if we implement this, you're driving very slowly onto a straight where people are passing with 300+ [km/h]. And you're maybe driving at 15, 20 to make a gap, which is extremely dangerous.

"For me, this doesn't work at all. It just creates even more trouble. I mean, look at what was happening [in qualifying] - people going on the grass, including myself, to try and pass cars.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

"It's just a mess every single qualifying, you have like six to eight cars getting noted for driving too slow with the minimum time. I don't know what we're trying to achieve."

Autosport understands that the FIA will look to tailor the new regulations to each circuit, and that the wall between the pitlane exit and the circuit made the solution possible at Interlagos.

The Abu Dhabi circuit has a unique pitlane underpass that would likely be unable to accommodate a similar approach.

The FIA is also understood to be satisfied with the improved safety merits of the new solution.

Lando Norris said he "didn't mind" the new ruling, but found the maximum time solution - which he transgressed and received a reprimand for - to be a particular sticking point.

"I got a reprimand this morning for two cars ahead of me coming out of the pitlane, or one crossing over the safety car line, and one coming out of the pitlane at the same time.

"I can't overtake, otherwise I'm gonna be racing on a qualifying lap, which is stupid. So I have to back off, and therefore I'm below the minimum time, and I get a reprimand for that.

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

"It's just a silly thing - not that the stewards made the wrong decision, it's just a rule that shouldn't be in, in my opinion, because I did absolutely nothing wrong.

"I didn't block anyone, I didn't get in anyone's way. I've just not overtaken and caused a race in qualifying and I got a reprimand for that. So, just silly things.

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"People do go slowly and things like that, but if you're scared of it, just go out the pitlane earlier and avoid all the queuing."

Additional reporting by Erwin Jaeggi

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