Wolff urges F1 red flag rethink over practice stoppages

Toto Wolff believes Formula 1 teams need to discuss a rethink over red flag rules during practice after losing more than half of FP1 at Zandvoort on Friday.

Wolff urges F1 red flag rethink over practice stoppages

An engine failure for Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel caused his car to grind to a halt on-track during opening practice for the Dutch Grand Prix, sparking a red flag.

A lengthy recovery process followed as the marshals ensured the car was safe to move and that it was not electrified.

Unlike qualifying, the clock does not stop in practice when there is a red flag, meaning that teams got just 25 minutes of on-track running in FP1. More time was lost in FP2 on Friday afternoon as Lewis Hamilton and Nikita Mazepin both caused red flags.

This lost time has proven more costly in 2021 after Friday practice sessions were cut from 90 minutes to 60 minutes each.

PLUS: Why Verstappen’s subdued Dutch GP practice times hide a major shot at a famous home win

Speaking after FP1, Mercedes F1 chief Wolff thought that a review of the red flag rules in practice was required in a similar vein to changes to the race day protocols after the two-lap event at Spa.

“I think this is yet another point that we have to discuss in the [F1] Commission,” Wolff said.

“That, in a similar way like in Spa, we need to find a way, because the sessions are so short now, 60 minutes, that we have more on-track action, the clock stops so that these guys out there see cars.

“In terms of affecting us, it affects everybody in the same way. You have much less time running, the end was certainly compromised for all cars.

“But there is a valuable lesson to learn also that it’s going to be tricky in qualifying with the traffic. This is something we need to address.”

Marshals wave a red flag in FP1

Marshals wave a red flag in FP1

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

F1 bosses are set to discuss the red flag rules in the race at the next F1 Commission meeting in early October, with a change to the two-lap minimum rule for a classification expected.

Read Also:

Wolff said there was “a lot to learn” from what happened at Spa, and that F1 would “need to tweak the regulations” surrounding the awarding of points.

“We need to talk about the regulations that points are awarded for a race,” Wolff said.

“I think we are all racers at heart and we want points to be given for racing, and I think in the future, we just need to discuss in the F1 Commission whether a few laps behind the Safety Car is good enough for points, or whether we actually want the cars racing.

“This is the same for all the teams and I am not dwelling at all about Spa, probably making sure that we give points for an actual race.”

shares
comments

Related video

Capito: "No time pressure" to decide Williams F1 2022 line-up

Previous article

Capito: "No time pressure" to decide Williams F1 2022 line-up

Next article

Mercedes dismisses "special solution" amid Red Bull FIA engine query

Mercedes dismisses "special solution" amid Red Bull FIA engine query
Load comments
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers Plus

Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory Plus

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Plus

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021
Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems Plus

Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton dominated the opening day of action for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, on the Istanbul circuit’s much improved track surface. But the Black Arrows squad’s position isn’t quite what it seems. Here’s why

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021
The rise and fall of Lotus as an F1 superpower Plus

The rise and fall of Lotus as an F1 superpower

On 8 October 1961, Innes Ireland claimed victory at the United States Grand Prix to herald the true arrival of a new Formula 1 giant. While Team Lotus endured plenty of highs and lows until the team folded over three decades later, Colin Chapman's squad made F1 history and helped shape the championship

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021