Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner believes Formula 1 needs
to stop with “sticky plaster” rules to prevent drivers from
impeding during qualifying. A new pit lane exit rule was
implemented at the recent Sao Paulo Grand Prix aimed at preventing
drivers from going too slowly in the pits, but it was quickly
branded “absolutely terrible” by Max Verstappen . George Russell
was one of the drivers to fall foul of the spirit of the new rule,
along with Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly. With the FIA focused on
ensuring that drivers do not unnecessarily slow down to create a
gap in the traffic to prepare for flying laps, Horner believes
there is another area that is being overlooked. Horner urges
rethink “We’re just making it too complicated. There was the rule
for driving out of the garage, driving in the pit lane, driving out
of the pit lane,” Horner told media, including RacingNews365 .
“You’ve got to go to basics: ‘Why are the drivers needing to do
these out laps or whatever?’ and go to the root cause. Is it tyre
pressure? Is it tyre temperature? “It’s something that didn’t exist
in F1 for 50 years, so why is it an issue now? “For me, it’s
looking at the root cause rather than the sticky plasters that keep
getting applied.” Since their introduction in F1 during the 2011
season, Pirelli tyres have been tricky for drivers to master, in
terms of looking after them over a race stint or maximising the
grip on a qualifying lap. Horner believes teams will always try to
exploit areas in the rulebook to their advantage, which is why
drivers preparing for their laps has become an important element in
qualifying. “You got a lot of very clever engineers that are always
looking to find an absolute advantage,” he added. “Tyres are a
little bit of a black art, there’s a certain mystique to being able
to get the tyre into the right window and the tyre is so much to
the performance of the car. “So you can see why there’s so much
effort that goes into the preparation [of a lap].”

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