Max Verstappen has branded the new pit-lane rule in qualifying as
“absolutely terrible” after its implementation at the Sao Paulo
Grand Prix. A new minimum lap-time delta was introduced earlier
this season to ensure drivers weren’t going unnecessarily slowly on
out-laps in qualifying and impeding others. However, drivers
figured out a way to “game” the system by backing up the pit-lane
exit, with Verstappen among those pinged for the breach in both
Singapore and Mexico. To combat it, race director Niels Wittich
introduced a new rule ahead of the Sao Paulo weekend whereby
stopping in the pit-lane itself was forbidden, but if drivers moved
to the extreme left of the long pit-exit, others could pass on the
right. George Russell, Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly were all hit
with two-place grid drops ahead of the race for impeding and
ignoring the rule – of which Verstappen has hit out. Verstappen not
a fan of new rule “Absolutely terrible,” Verstappen began when
asked by media including RacingNews365 for his thoughts on the rule
introduced by Wittich. “On this track, you have quite a long
pit-exit and there are some walls, but on other tracks, if we
implement this, you will be driving very slowly on to a straight
where people are passing at 300kph plus. “You are maybe driving at
15/20kph to make a gap, which I think is extremely dangerous. “For
me, it doesn’t work at all, it just creates even more trouble.
“Look at what was happening [in qualifying], with people going on
the grass, including myself to try and pass cars. “It is just a
mess, every single qualifying you have six to eight cars getting
noted for driving too slow with the minimum time. I don’t know what
we’re trying to achieve.”

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