Recently, drivers have been slowing down dramatically or coming to a full stop as they exit the pit lane in order to create a gap for themselves and the car ahead of them. In Mexico, Max Verstappen, Fernando Alonso and George Russell were all investigated for this very action.
According to Autosport, this prompted F1 race director, Niels Wittich, to offer clarification in his event notes to teams this weekend in Sao Paulo for the Brazilian GP.
“As per article 33.4 of the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations, drivers are not allowed to go unnecessarily slow, that includes stopping a car in the fast lane of the pitlane.
“During Shootout and Qualifying, drivers may create a gap between the pit exit lights and the SC2 line.
“Any driver who wishes to do so must drive as far to the left as possible to allow other drivers to pass them on the right side of the pit exit road.”
As you might imagine, being stuck behind other cars stopped at pit exit as time is ticking down for your final qualifying run is not a good thing. The team send their car out for qualifying and they have no idea if it will even make it to the line before time runs out.
This clarification for Brazil will hopefully ring that practice to a halt.