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Changes needed to qualifying format to avoid a repeat of Monaco controversy
Posted By: James Allen  |  28 May 2014   |  11:38 am GMT  |  522 comments

Whether you believe that Nico Rosberg deliberately made a mistake to prevent Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton from taking pole position, there is no doubt that it is unfair for a driver who is behind on the road, to lose a last minute chance to take pole through someone else’s actions.

So what can be done to prevent this happening again?

The same thing happened in Monaco in 2006, for which Michael Schumacher was moved to the back of the grid. However in Rosberg’s case the Stewards could find no absolute proof that he had done it deliberately, so took no further action.

“It is a big decision to make when you are deciding to move a driver to the back of the grid, FIA steward Derek Warwick told the Daily Mail. “It was doubly important to get it right because it could affect many things — probably the outcome of the race and possibly of the world championship.

“We had all Mercedes’ data, including Lewis’s data to overlay on Nico’s. We had the FIA data. We had onboard shots, overhead shots, circuit shots. We had throttle traces, braking traces, everything we needed to make, hopefully, the right decision.”

The stewards found that both men had braked 8m later for St Devote on that lap than the previous one, so were clearly pushing harder. Rosberg turned in too tight to the left hander at the entry of Casino Square, which pushed him off line on the exit and he knew at that point that he had lost time.

But the Stewards’ decision didn’t give Hamilton a chance to make up for the opportunity he had lost.

FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting has suggested that perhaps one solution could be adding some extra time onto the end of qualifying, to allow the drivers who were blocked to have another go. This would work, but they probably would not have any new tyres left at that late stage of the qualifying session.

Another suggestion, from some of the engineers working in F1, is to delete the fastest time of the driver who causes the problem. This would act as a powerful incentive not to deliberately cause a hazard. Monaco is a particular problem, but this could happen anywhere so it is something that needs addressing. This is a harsher sanction and drivers would feel they were walking a tight-rope, as mistakes could have serious consequences.

This is one of those situations where the sporting element of F1 needs protecting and certainly a better solution needs to be found than the one we have at present.

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  1. Gudien says:

    This scenario of qualifying ending early due to an incident has happened at other F-1 events. Nothing new.

    That’s part of the risk a team runs waiting until the track is at it’s quickest, and time is almost expired in qualifying. That is why we have the term ‘banker’ lap….it’s in the bank in the event qualifying is ended, or weather moves in.

    Let’s move on to Canada please.

    1. you took the words out of my mouth.

      1. Perhaps it’s been provided and simply have missed it, so will simply ask: If the Rosberg car was clear of the course, and in no distress of any kind save taking the escape road, why was a yellow flag displayed at all?

        Thanks for all of the information and coverage following Monaco. Wasn’t able to catch the race live and the cable feed was not the best with transmission problems in our area on the taping.

      2. Tom says:

        I’m guessing a yellow flag was waved due to the potential danger if another driver had to enter the same escape road at high speed. The risk of this occurring is significantly lowered under yellow flags.

        With regard to the proposed changes, I prefer Whiting’s suggestion of the two. The affected drivers should have another opportunity to improve on their lap time but deleting the fastest time of the driver who caused the accident is too harsh IMO. After all, there was no guarantee any of the drivers would have improved on their times on the final lap and the final lap was only an opportunity to do so despite Hamilton’s typically ludicrous post quali comments. I just wish that chap would forget the mind games and other nonsense and stick to what he is actually good at, driving an F1 car very fast! I think he’d be far more successful and popular as a result. It’s very frustrating to watch a British driver failing to fulfill his potential.

      3. AuraF1 says:

        If you look back at any Monaco event of the past few years, yellows are displayed in the escape roads when occupied as the course is so difficult to navigate these roads are often used for cranes, emergency vehicles, fire engines etc – unlike a specifically designed track, occupying these presents a hazard simply due to the geography of Monte Carlo.

        Looking at previous incidents, the flags seem to stay out even if a car is powered and until it is clear of the escape roads as there’s the possibility of another car entering and hitting them.

        Personally I don’t think Rosberg reversing made any difference to the stewards. I would expect most drivers would be told to recover under their own power if at all possible – no team likes their chassis being put up on the cranes as it puts undue loads on their cars (yes they are designed for it, but it’s not something they like at all – but flatbed recovery trucks simply aren’t feasible outside of testing).

      4. GP says:

        The problem is that Rosberg reversed back, he didn’t stop/park the car in the escape road.

      5. Pete says:

        Great questions! Im also curious as to why there were yellow flags. Was it because Rosberg was reversing? If so, then does that deserve a punishment of some kind?

      6. MIke Hart says:

        The yellow flag was still displayed because Nico was reversing back up the runoff. If Warwick and Co. had looked into that instead of braking stats, the decision should certainly have gone the opposite way.

      7. Michael in Seattle says:

        Pretty sure it is because, at that particular point, the run-off area is still perilously close to the race track – should another car go off at the same place before the stricken car could be removed it would be a potential nightmare. Rosberg’s car was off the track but in the line of fore, if you will.

        Regarding the yellows: If a yellow is thrown during the last 3 minutes of any qualifying lap, stop the clock, and restart it when the problem has cleared.

      8. phil too says:

        Quite simple I would have thought. The car is in an escape area. If another car was going into the corner with too much speed and needed to use the escape area, it would have crashed right into the back of Nicos Mercedes.

        It’s safety on the track and in the escpae area. Hence why there was a SC during the race for Sutils FI which was in the run-off area

      9. RacingRot says:

        Article is about how to prevent this from happening again. What’s there to move on before addressing the issue?

      10. W Johnson says:

        But why should a driver profit from a “mistake” they made, at a circuit such as Monte Carlo where qualifying position is absolutely critical?

        Other drivers will undoubtedly learn from Rosberg’s fortune in getting away with it, whether it was planned or otherwise, so expect this incident to become more common at future Monte Carlo garand prix’s.

        Will you complain if it is your favourite driver that suffers the same as Hamilton in a repeat episode?

        To say one should get a banker lap is avoiding the point that bad driving is denying pole to others. There should be consequences as there are in other sports for decisions and actions made by competitors.

      11. Rafael Lopez says:

        Exactly. This is no different than some team whining about how “boo hoo it’s unfair that I wasn’t able to put in a good lap because I waited until the very end and it started to rain :’(”

        Feel free to leave it to the last lap, but don’t come back crying when that backfires.

      12. sebsie says:

        You seriously have no problem with the person that caused the backfiring being the biggest benefactor?

      13. aveli says:

        rosberg said he drove his last two laps in exactly the same way but when i looked at the two laps, he completed the first lap without incident and went off into the escape route in the other lap. the data warwick and his team used must have showed that so how did they not see the data? are they simply bullies?

    2. TobyS says:

      Totally agree. Its been happening for years and part of the excitement is the risk/benefit of leaving it to the last lap. I don’t see the need to change anything now. To do so is far too reactive. In then end we want excitement, not races decided by a complicated system of weights and measures to make sure that everyone has a fair go of it.

      If you start adjusting this now where do you stop? What if the track cools? What if it starts to rain unexpectedly?

      1. Richard says:

        I think you missed the point! What do you do about cheats?

      2. tobyS says:

        If you can prove it, they get sent to the back. If you can’t prove it then it’s gamesmanship and becomes a character facet.
        I’d feel bad if it’s an honest mistake and they get tarred with the cheat brush.

        Anyway all the change would do would change how you’d cheat. Eg send the slower team mate out just in front. On a bad lap the other team mate gets a call that “distracts” them and they cause yellows. Number one gets to try again.

      3. Ben says:

        I don’t think he missed the point at all, there is already a system in place for people that get found to have cheated – in 2006 Schumacher got sent to the back of the grid for parking his car on track to stop Alonso getting pole. The stewards could not find any evidence that Rosberg cheated…

      4. Voodoopunk says:

        Put them at the back of the grid like they did with Schumacher.

      5. Barry says:

        There was no cheating…

        Move on.

      6. HulkenBerg says:

        I gave Nico the benefit of the doubt, but watching the following footage with DC explaining Nico “uncharacteristically” chopping at his steering wheel, makes we start to think otherwise.

        I really don’t mean to let the cat out of the bag again, but its worth revisiting:


        Also, DC in his latest articles has suggested double pit stop boxes so the leading driver doesn’t get to call the shots.

      7. aveli says:

        at least rosberg won a race with hamilton on track.

      8. aa says:

        right. where are they going to fit in double boxes?

        do drivers have 1 pit crew each or are they the same people? you seriously think they’ll add extra crews hanging around the pits?

        at the end of the day, we have lewis writing articles on the bbc about him not doing mind games… and he goes around doing interviews doing just that. things don’t go his way and he moans about cheating, yet this is the same hamilton that chose to ram kimi instead of another driver or the pit wall when the traffic lights were on in the pits with all the drivers queuing up to go out and he made a mistake to minimise his losses in the championship table.

    3. Tyler says:

      “Nothing new”. Except this time it affected Lewis, so of course we must now change the rules.

      1. Chris M says:

        No, “nothing new” except this time there is strong suspicion that it was deliberate. The last people to deliberately crash, that we have suspicion about, were Picquet and Schumacher – both vilified for their actions. Alonso was even heavily criticised in some areas just because it was assumed he would have known about Picquet’s intention to crash to help him.

        Yet some fans expect Nico to be given a free pass. The stewards were split on the subject, as reported by Autosport, so there must have been at least enough evidence to convince one steward that it was a deliberate act.

        Those who suspect Nico of wrong doing may well be wrong but that taint is going to follow him for the rest of this championship, and probably longer if he does manage to win especially if it’s through luck and the double points in the last race. An idea such as that highlighted in this article, that also has traction in other publications, would have actually benefitted Rosberg in that there would never be any suspicion of wrongdoing. It would take a far more contrived scenario for a drive to be able to benefit from such action and it’s much easier to police consistently than the current rule.

      2. aveli says:


      3. Pete says:

        Hi, didn’t know about the split. Do you have the source? thanks!

      4. Bjornar Simonsen says:

        It was a political decision, to keep the championship battle alive in an otherwise predictable and less exiting season (so far).

      5. Sebee says:

        So what you are saying is there was strong possibility that it wasn’t intentional?

        Even with Schumi there is no 100% certainty.

        Jr…there was no doubt. Alonso, you’d be fullish to give him more than 1% doubt, because 99% that he knew. Remember he was around and 2 x WDC by then. More importantly that team was inder pressure and Alonso, Flavio, everyone wanted and needed the win by any means.

        Nico on the other hand, you have to give him 80% benefit of doubt because they looked at his data in extreme detail and found nothing different.

      6. Antz says:

        It seems the decision by the stewards was unanimously in favour of Rosberg simply making a mistake (from interview with Derek Warwick Steward on Daily Mail). Mistake or not, for me the shame of this situation is the way Hamilton has handled himself..

      7. Richard says:

        It follows than that if it had been a different group of stewards Rosberg may have been disqualified which personally I don’t think is too harsh for someone that has deliberately [mod].

    4. Richard says:

      Totally agree to move on.

      The only real solution is to remove the time-bound element of qualifying, and give each driver 1 or 2 ‘hot laps’ only.

      If a yellow flag removes the chance for a ‘hot lap’ from one or more competitors in this instance, those affected are given the opportunity to re-do their hot lap.

      1. Adam says:

        There is a really simple fix to this. You set the grid with the mean time of three hot laps. You screw up you only hurt yourself. Even with the yellow Hamilton would have had first place and Nico’s reversing onto the track would have crippled his time. You don’t get out and do three laps welcome to the 10th position! It would be much more of a show than one hot lap. If you want to pit between runs to change tires, fine, but you have a fixed amount of time and the fastest three count. Fail to do three timed laps and you are in tenth place.

        If Nico was innocent he would have backed up and got back on track like a scolded cat, clearing the yellow flag! But he had no incentive to be more careful. This gives everyone the incentive to not screw others laps up by throwing one of there’s. See problem fixed!!!!!

      2. aveli says:

        interesting idea adam, but the race is governed by the law of averages so applying the law of averages to quali as well, would knock out a huge chunk of the excitement i think.

      3. Adrian says:

        Wont work… what if a driver is 3/4 through a hot lap? he has already cooked his tyres. I think a three place grid penalty if you cause a caution AND it effects another driver.

      4. Steven M says:

        ummm… drivers will accuse other drivers of blocking in your idea

      5. Richard says:

        Unfortunately that would require additional tyres which would be hard for the supplier to predict, and of course conditions can change so perfect solution is difficult to find.

    5. Ben says:

      I completely agree. Q3 is 10 minutes long and that means there is plenty enough time to set more than one flying lap. It is a gamble trying to go out later hoping that the track will be faster – this time the gamble did not pay off, other times it has (Spa last year!?!) If Nico caused the yellow flag on purpose he should be punished but the stewards could not find any evidence that he did. This is sport, things happen that look and feel unfair but you have to use it as motivation to come back stronger next time. I’m looking forward to Lewis showing Nico who is boss in Canada!

      1. Spyros says:

        It’s actually 12 minutes long this year. Even fewer excuses. Nobody was in a hurry at the start of Q3 to go out and post a time, were they?

        Let’s move on please. A small part of me (a very small one, near the heel of my right shoe) feels that perhaps the entire ‘Lewis Vs Nico’ spat is a Merc ploy, to keep us from thinking that the championship is getting boring… I mean yes these two are good drivers, but come on, the comparisons with the Senna Vs Prost era are ludicrous.

      2. Richard says:

        I don’t know why you find the comparison ludicrous particularly. Certainly the cars are very different now where the aero is much more highly developed, and it is apparent that Hamilton is very much in the Senna vein. At the end of the day they are just men, drivers, so please don’t runaway with the idea that senna could have pushed an uncompetitive car these days to the front because it’s quite impossible.

      3. Voodoopunk says:

        “and it is apparent that Hamilton is very much in the Senna vein”

        Not even close to being true.

      4. aveli says:

        if you were caught breaking the speed limit unintentionally, do you expect to let off because it was unintentional?

    6. EiEi says:

      Too much attention to a one-off moment. There will always be space for cheating, whatever format you choose. Definitely not the biggest problem F1 faces nowadays.

    7. Kevin Shiel says:

      Dont see why it needs to be changed as strategically it certainly adds odds to the quali.

      F1 is still a sport, where unforeseen stuff do happen. Without incidents there wont be any surprising excitiment left.

      What if it was not lewis, say it was both lewis and nico, drivers from the clearly number one team that had to abort their runs, a midfield team won the pole, would there still be any headlines about how to avoid a similar situation from re occuring?

    8. zx6dude says:


      completely agree

    9. Dave Deacon says:


    10. radohc says:

      i am fully with you on this.
      and btw. i am just wondering if all controversies would be taken away from this sport, what would be media writing about?

    11. Messrine says:

      I concur. If you wait until the end to do your best lap that’s the risk you take. And it applies to all the tracks because anything can happen from sudden weather changes (e.g. Spa) to Safety Cars. Leave things as they are and move on!

      1. aveli says:

        no driver intentionally wait to drive their fastest lap at the last moment, the track just gets faster sometimes.

      2. Martin says:

        I don’t think that is true at all. Where would the phrase banker lap come from otherwise?

        Yes most tracks have improving track conditions and so the second attempt in Q3 should be faster than the first, but equally drivers want to have two goes and will push the margins slightly more.

        If you consider the process of track evolution, a driver can only predict what the grip level will be – they don’t know what the limit is on that lap. Braking fractionally early wastes less time than braking fractionally late. If a driver underestimates the grip slightly then he can ease of the brakes slightly more than normal, which further reduces the chance of locking as the aerodynamic load reduces and it keeps the car more stable in the corner for better apex speed. But it leaves time on the table. No driver is going to perfectly replicate an ABS braking system, but it they have a solid banker lap then the risk versus return calculation favours pushing the margins more.

      3. aveli says:

        @martin, i only believe in the truth. are you suggesting that hamilton deliberately drove his earlier lap 0.05s slower than rosberg’s with the aim of driving a faster lap later? what’s the point in having two runs when they can just have one at the end of quali as the track is at it’s fastest and save tyres for the race? banker lap didn’t originate from where you think it did, there is no driver who knows exactly how fast they can drive a lap until they have actually driven it. that is the reason we watch them qualify and race. if any of your theories held water, then they can all gather to describe how they would drive the lap unloading their earodynamic loads and the race control would use their supercomputers to calculate the lap times. take it from me, they don’t know they’d achieve a banker lap until they’ve done it. they only try the best they can and hope to have set the fastest lap. why will they have a displays on their dashboard telling them how fast they are in each sector if they already know? this is the reason sport exists, activities take place for spectators to witness the drama unfold and find out who’s the best after all the dust has settled.

    12. iceman says:

      Spot on.

    13. luqa says:


      It has happened so many times before that yellow flags were waved when drivers were on a last minute “glory”lap. In fact I remember there being controversy where drivers were sanctioned for ignoring the yellow flag while on a glory run.

      The only reason this is now an issue is because LH lost out and he is behaving childishly and pouting. I seem to remember him profiting from the reverse situation in the past with no controversy. So, please people, less hypocrisy.

      1. Couldn’t have said it better myself. Futhermore we must not forget that several other drivers suffered the same fate as Lewis did and had their final attempt compomized. I have not seen any of these drivers even raise the question whether it was deliberate by Rosberg.

        The reason is simple and in line with what Warwick said. They know Rosberg well and know he’s as honest and as fair as they come. If it had been another type of driver I might have considered the possibility. But Rosberg doesn’t have it in him to even consider doing something like this on purpose. That just might be the irony here, the fact that Rosberg isn’t as ruthless as some other drivers just might be his biggest weakness when fighting for the Championship.

      2. sebsie says:

        Luqa – Yes LH lost out and the person he lost out to was the one who made the mistake and ended up the biggest beneficiary. So please cut the ‘behaving childishly’ nonsense – his reaction was completely natural and I can guarantee you many competitors in the same situation would have reacted far worse.

        Kimwillbeback – which other driver had even a remote chance of pole? And how many of those other drivers have been approached by the media for comments? And this honest and fair Rosberg – is he the same person we all saw celebrating the pole after HE ensured (whether intentionally or not) no one else would compete for it?

      3. Deeno says:

        I agree with Sebsie. The real childish person is the one reversing into the track. Spoiling everyones final lap.

        If you ask me this person acted like a spoiled brat.

        But one cannot count on yellows to help you at every GP. Sometimes you’ll have to beat your team mate fair and square.

      4. Sebsie
        If there ever comes a day when I’m unable to accept that accidents happen in sport without looking for somebody to blame I’ll stop following that sport.

        It is part of the game and many many drivers have had a potential pole lap destroyed for one reason or the other. But now when it happens to Hamilton there’s suddenly an uproar!

        Let it go, to change the rules would be a massive disservice to both F1 and probably Hamilton too. I don’t mind Hamiltons initial disappointment, I can even understand some of it. But when he continues for days to behave like a kid that has been robbed of his toy it’s time for someone to tell him to grow up.

        And yes, Rosberg is as honest a driver as you will find. Just look at his track record in that respect. There are however other drivers on the grid (whose names shall not be mentioned by me) that have been caught lying in the past.

      5. matthew says:

        when lewis lost out in bahrain quali and aus,he didnt get upset,he didnt lose his cool.he accepted it,and moved on.winning 4 in a row,and winning in bahrain,despite starting from second.so to say its about lewis losing out is imo nonsense.lewis believes nico cheated,and any other ppl still do.warwick said he looked at the data and footage,it wasnt black and white(meaning it wasnt conclusive either way)so he interviewed nico,and based on that,he thought nico was telling the truth.

    14. Cuba says:

      I agree, the rules are nice and simple now.
      The FIA needs to stop piling on with yet more rules to ‘solve’ these isolated incidents which only serve to make the sport harder to understand for the casual viewer.

      1. Terry says:

        I disagree with your simple idea.
        How about we ditch this soap opera 3 stage qualy format and return to the old days of 2 one hour sessions.
        At least we knew who was genuinely fastest then.
        The current set up in Q1 resembles peak hour traffic in suburbia.

    15. dimitar kadrinski says:

      They should stop trying to address everything(mess up everything) and make the races so artificial. The history has shown that changes provoked by incidents like this turn out to damage the show even further. Don’t try to make a problem from something that it is not one on a first place!

    16. Bru72 says:

      Well said.

    17. Rodrigo Martins says:

      You’re right. If you wait it is a risk that you take… when yellow flag comes you have to pay the price.

    18. Spinodontosaurus says:

      Exactly. This is just a knee-jerk reaction to a strong outcry from certain sectors of the fanbase.

      I didn’t see anybody crying for change at Japan in 2012, after Raikkonen’s spin at Spoon wrecked just about everybody’s lap. Nor when Buemi left his bits of his front wing all across the road at the same event in 2009.

      Adding time onto the end of qualifying is a completely terrible idea, no two ways about it. At some tracks, the surface is constantly improving (well, at all really, some more than others) – we would be rewarding the ‘unlucky’ drivers not only with an extra lap (unfair in its own right), but a better track to do it on.

      And deleting a driver’s time for making a mistake on an all-out qualifying lap… I have no words to describe this.

      1. Spinodontosaurus says:

        Might I add Barrichello at Singapore 2009 to that list.
        He was the biggest benefactor of his own crash (kept 5th place) and was involved in a championship battle (with Button and Vettel). Like Rosberg then, minus the outburst of conspiracies and ‘cheat’ lables afterwards.

    19. DC says:

      Completely right – teams choose to run at the end of the session to get the most favourable track situation, balanced against the risk of something like a yello flag occurring.

      The mechanism exists, via the stewards, to address any deliberate action, which (apparently!) was not the case in Monaco.

    20. Peppers says:


      Totally agree. Part of the risk of going out late. No one MADE Lewis leave it to the last minute. Just one of the things the team has to weigh up.

      Seems like pretty much everyone is of the same mind.

      1. Andrew Woodruff says:

        I disagree with all the people arguing that Lewis took a risk going out late. He didn’t, because he had put in a banker lap in Q3 already, as had NR, so he was just following normal convention in the current quali format and just so happened to be behind Nico on the track when this happened.

        I also agree, however, that you cannot effectively legislate for all potential unfortunate scenarios like this, and I hope they don’t try to.

        The difference between this and some other incidents that have been mentioned is that it decided pole position and it may have been deliberate, like the Schumacher incident in 06. However, I can’t see a viable alternative to trusting the integrity of the drivers, and punishing them if it can be proved beyond doubt that the “mistake” was deliberate. The Schu incident was provable, Nico’s wasn’t, and that should be the end of the story.

        The subtlety of the Nico incident is that, while he may not have set off on the lap with the action in mind (which I believe because, like others, I trust his integrity), as he was having the incident could the repurcussions of driving straight on have occurred to him in the moment, and therefore he chose in the split second take the exit road rather than tip-toe around the outside of the corner? I believe top F1 drivers have the mental capacity to make this calculation almost unconsciously while at the wheel, and that is what I suspect has happened here, although obviously not provable.

    21. james encore says:

      More agreement here.
      If a session gets red flagged, with less time than an out lap takes a driver on flying lap who has passed the incident loses their lap. That’s a bigger issue.

      Can you imagine the recriminations when a driver has a small off and yellows are waved when not really needed and he gets sent to the back because he only had one good lap ?

      There *is* some unfairness in the current system, but anything to fix it is likely to create a bigger unfairness.

    22. Dave P says:

      OK to the 19 above… but, explain what is the difference between someone getting a penalty for blocking during qualifying, and someone causing everyone on the lap to be compromised. Do not tellme its about the blocking person not paying attention etc, as in many cases I am sure they just could not see the person etc…

      In the end Nico caused everyone behind to be compromised and should have been treated the same way as for blocking

      1. aezy_doc says:

        That’s exactly what I was thinking.

    23. danny almonte says:

      Monaco is a special circumstance. It is extremely difficult to win the race if you aren’t starting from pole position.

      They need to give penalties to drivers that cause yellow flags during qualifying. Either add a tenth of a second to their fastest lap or simply take away their fastest lap.

    24. Gazza says:

      Ed Straw on Autosport came up with a good solution.

      Why not a grid penalty for a driver that causes a yellow flag. You get one for blocking
      another driver, why not get one for mucking it up for everyone behind you.

      Qualifying is not affected but it would remove the temptation. Fair on all drivers and would remove any element of doubt.

      No brainer really.

      1. mark says:

        I agree with all of the above. I also doubt very much that Nico did it on purpose however a ONE position grid drop from your qualifying position if you cause a yellow flag or incident serious enough to compromise the SESSION in the last 5 minutes, might be considered as a means to prevent someone actively trying to do what happened here in future….?

        I am also torn about the fine line of a driver going for it versus being too scared to for fear of a mistake causing a penalty….but at least a 1 spot drop isn’t the end of the day and still is an incentive to post a fast time…

      2. littleredkelpie says:

        Qualifying would be effected .. with the added possibility of a grid penalty for having an off, who would risk pushing to 10/10ths?

      3. Gazza says:

        Wouldn’t be effected at all.
        If you had an off you’ve blown it anyway.
        Maybe has suggested above a one place grid penalty.
        Just seems unfair to have an off and destroy everybody else’s quali with no sanction against yourself.

    25. Zesssmo says:

      I think the all idea is to stop drivers creating yellows on purpose. I’m not supporting Hamilton but I think it’s just wrong for a driver to inherit pole thanks to his own mistake (deliberate or not)especially on a track where it’s so crucial for the win.

      1. Rob says:

        Sorry Zess but Rosberg earned his pole by setting the fastest time in a 12 minute long session. Every other had many opportunities during the 12 minute long session to do the same.

      2. Luke says:

        Nico didn’t ‘inherit’ pole. He was the quickest driver after the first runs. We don’t know what would have happened if he hadn’t have made a mistake.

      3. sebsie says:

        But HE, yes NICO made the mistake!

      4. iceman says:

        There are already adequate rules to penalise drivers who caused yellow flags on purpose, as Michael Schumacher found.

    26. Kramgp says:

      X1 Lewis more than anyone should move on. There is a very good chance he will be the next world champ. Vettal hasn’t exactly got the popular vote and Lewis could be heading in the same direction.

      1. aveli says:

        there are specified penalties for [mod] in the rules. rosberg should be given the same sanctions as piquet jnr.

      2. James Allen says:

        You are giving us quite a lot of work to do, moderating your posts. Please can you tone down the language and insults to otter posters. – Mod

      3. aveli says:

        i am sorry if I used insulting words james, but i don’t remember using any offensive word. all the words I have used are present in other posts and i do not insult other poster. cheats, genetic disorder? is that what you mean?

      4. James Allen says:

        1. You used a word which we have moderated out in many posts regarding Rosberg’s actions. As it is unproven that he “cheated” you cannot say it here, nor can anyone else

        2. You are just really overdoing it on the repetitive anti ROS pro HAM comments and it’s not adding to the discussion, so where the comments repeat old ground and add nothing new they are deleted.

        You are very welcome here, you know how it works, but you need to be more moderate in your contribution to strands and remember it’s all about the quality of the discussion. Not your need to shout the same message over and over. Thanks

    27. littleredkelpie says:

      Agreed Guiden. And the idea of deleting the fastest lap of the driver who ’causes the problem’ will surely prove effective at one thing only – ensuring that no driver pushes to their limit. There is more than enough of that rubbish going on already.

    28. Chris says:

      +1 …Move on

    29. IgMi (Kimi fan) says:

      Agreed. Let’s move on.

    30. Paul says:

      lets move on. Thats the risk of leaving things to the last minutes of qualifying. The proposed solution means there will be more incentive not to push in the final laps of qualifying….very exciting.

    31. Guy N. says:

      I think people are being naive and saying lets just move on and not do anything. Had the FIA taken action after Michael S. did the same, we would not be having this discussion. The solution is quite simple:

      Delete the provisional pole time of the driver that causes the yellow flags preventing other drivers from challenging him.

      Indycar does this already. Hunter-Reay was sitting on provisional pole the last race and was stripped of pole because the lap after his pole, he crashed and ended the session.

      We don’t want to penalize drivers for pushing it in qualifying, but its unreasonable to allow a provisional pole sitter to keep his pole if he blocks challengers on his next lap by bringing out a caution or crashing. Does not matter if its intentional or not. Its nearly impossible to prove malice, which is why Rosberg went free. It does not mean he was innocent, just means we can’t find him guilty.

    32. I’m with you on this one.

      Just as in football, sometimes referee decisions go your way and sometimes they don’t. However, things tend to balance out over the course of a season.

      Frankly, if Abu Dhabi wasn’t a double point race, this would be less of an issue. A repeat of the situation there would not be equal to the 18 other rounds. Maybe the powers that be need to start there?

    33. janis1207 says:

      Very much agreed. This kind of risk has always been part of F1 quali.
      Let’s move on!

    34. Kris Sharp says:

      The fastest time has to be deleted. Or, the yellow flags have simply to be ignored.

      But even better, Monaco shouldn’t be in the points at all. It produces handful of crashes and barely any racing. Therefore, because of its heritage and the inability of the rich people to park their yachts elsewhere, let’s just have the race, but no points awarded.

      1. Ted harper says:

        Kris that’s an admirable idea but the days of something like the old Oulton Park gold cup are probably long gone .The teams would argue the amount of money they are spending to do a non championship race it would be better to have Monaco run along the lines of the Goodwood festival of speed .A silly idea but perhaps with considering

      2. jjpm says:

        Good idea, why not have just Constructors points in Monaco!

        Finaly John Surtees gave us the explanation of the qualifying problems in Monaco (2006,2014) :
        lack of run-off at Rascasse (2006)
        not the case for Nico :
        … »“Considering the speed that Nico Rosberg had been able to exit Casino, and the way the road down to Mirabeau moves the car around, and the fact that having decided to abort the corner he went to the end of the slip road, I would have given him the benefit of the doubt,” he said.»… richlandf1.com

        As for Lewis he copied his behavior following the incident on what Briatore did in 2006…
        but Flavio had more clout than him!

    35. Grant says:

      No-one said it’s new.
      The problem that needs fixing is that it benefits the perpetrator.
      If not solved another driver will exploit it again.

    36. Paul Kirk says:

      Good thinking, Gudien, I totally agree! What’s worked for the last 50 years will work for the next 50!
      F1 seems obsessed with having rule changes.

    37. Steve Zodiac says:

      This is a problem that needs to be sorted. It’s all very well talking about “banker” laps but they are only really relevant if rain is a risk. All drivers are entitled to the opportunity to put in their fastest possible time. Qualifying, historically, has often been the most exciting part of the meeting, this especially true in Monaco, if the chance to really push is taken away what is the point in a driver risking his life to try and do what F1 drivers are there for?

  2. Ben Dickson says:

    If we add time if a yellow is bought out at the end then we could end up with perpetual qualifying sessions that never end.

    If we penalize drivers for causing yellow flags then every driver would have their fastest time deleted as yellows come out every time a driver runs wide.

    The best solution is that drivers should not be allowed to start rejoining the track after going off in qualifying without permission from the marshals. That would stop Rosberg from doing his reversing trick. The marshals would only give the signal to rejoin once the track was clear.

    1. HulkenBerg says:

      This doesn’t stop yellow flags from being shown if the car has gone off or stopped in a precarious location (eg in the gravel/grass just off the road).

    2. deane says:

      Is it 100% that the reversing was the cause of the yellow? I have not read that from any credible source anywhere.

      1. Ray c boy says:

        Watch the replay…yellow appears before Nico comes to a stop.

      2. deane says:

        Indeed, and yet many people bang on and on about the reversing thing. Do they not have eyes?

        I note that even planet F1 get in on that act.

    3. Sebee says:

      Yes, but how many tracks do you reverse back onto? So now we’ll need Marshal’s permission for a driver to rejoin? Is that a Quali only rule or Quali and race? How many nitty gritty rules do we need before we lose grip? F1 rules are aleady as complex as the tax code.

      And then what about staying in a run-off area? How long before another car needs that area potentially. Look at end of the race, 10 marshals on a live track, no issues. I think these drivers can notice a rejoining car.

      It’s never going to be perfect. I think the way Quali is right now, is really quite good.

      If Lewis was faster, he should have done it 5 minutes earlier to not leave himself open to such a possibility, especially at this place.

      1. Matt H says:

        Tax codes aren’t that complex once u read a bit about them. : )

        Ifs and buts. Rosberg poled and won move on to Canada as said.

        Let’s hope red bulls can spice the battle up

    4. Joe Sixpack says:

      Watch the replay again. A sector yellow was thrown the moment he went down the escape route. Further, the yellow will stay out until the driver clears the car or the car gets back underway. Reversing and rejoining the track is not a dirty trick, it is actually the FASTEST way to clear the yellow.


      1. MikeyB says:

        Thanks for that, JS – it’s just what I was looking for.

  3. Richard says:

    Yes perhaps deleting the fastest time from the driver causing the problem might be a solution, and certainly would be a deterrant against foul play, however it does not entirely solve the problem because drivers blocked may not be in the position they would have finally won if they were allowed to improve normally. Perhaps there is no perfect solution but at least in this case the driver at fault would be penalised.

    1. Sebee says:

      But they look at the data now. Rosberg was under the microscope for this one.

      Deleting a time is quite serious, considering the time they have in Q3 and chances of another decent time standing up.

      But if we want lottery grids, this may be the way to do it.

      1. Richard says:

        They are able to look at things very closely, but what all the telemetry, and video does not show is intent, and as it’s quite fesible to fake such a runoff (you do it for real) that really does not help. There is a need for a deterrent to prevent cheating, and deleting the fastest time is not as severe as being disqualified and put to the back of the grid. I think it’s a good compromise. There have been lots of suggestions, but cars really do need to be on the track at the same time to minimise changing conditions. In short wrong doers should be punished and as it is Rosberg has got off scottfree.

      2. Sebee says:

        So now mistakes aren’t allowed?

        Isn’t F1 overly 1984ish already?

      3. Doobs says:

        If some random event penalises Lewis, then the rules must be changed immediately, all times nullified and the offending driver excluded from the results. If the same thing happens to another driver, that’s just tough luck.

      4. sebsie says:

        Sebee – mistakes are very much allowed. What many of us are objecting to is the person making the mistake profiting the most from it.

  4. egal says:

    “The same thing happened in Monaco in 2006″

    So, 2 events in 8 years and we need to find a solution to a major problem?!

    Teams choose to run late. Pay any consequences then. If I leave home late and arrive at my destination late then it’s my fault. If I know there is going to be trafic I leave early so that I avoid as much as possible.

    1. AuraF1 says:

      +1 And if you leave late and hit traffic it’s not like you had a 36 strong team of strategists who’s only job is to check traffic for you…I’m not sure they can complain when they leave it til the last minute – especially Monaco!

      What if they fail to put in a fast time in the dry and then it rains much like in Malaysia a few years back when Ferrari and McLaren got caught napping? I know the FIA is powerful but I doubt sanctioning the clouds will achieve much…

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        Even Mr E can’t control the local weather at a grand prix………..he hasn’t quite got that much power……..

      2. AuraF1 says:

        I have this image of God sat a table shaking his head saying, ‘I think I’ve just been Mr E’d…’

      3. Journeyer says:

        I have heard that they deliberately ensure that it can’t rain during the Singapore Grand Prix…

    2. DB says:

      F1 is about managing risks too.
      And if a driver is caught doing it on purpose, by all means, exclude him from the race and give him lots of licence points.

    3. Phil Glass says:

      I would agree. It’s only been a problem twice in so many years.
      There is no system that man can devise that will save Lewis every time from wiley young Rosberg !

    4. Antti says:

      Exactly! It’s one thing if someone deliberately causes yellow flags (there should then be a penalty for the driver), but if you lose a lap just because you waited until the last minute and someone slipped off-track, then too bad for you, there was plenty of time to come do your lap before.

      There is no problem here that needs to be fixed.

    5. Jordan says:

      I agree with you 100%. There are too many penalties which are forcing drivers to play it safe and avoid risks. Its like Ric said in the post qualifying interview – they left too much on the table. When they choose to run and how hard they push is a decision which is up to the teams and there should not be a perfect answer for every situations.

      I couldn’t disagree with James more – the last thing F1 needs is yet another band-aid on the regulations. Particularly not another penalty. The most I would consider fair would be adding a couple of mins to Q3 to open up the chance of getting another hot-lap in when a yellow flag does occur.

    6. Sebee says:

      But you have Google to help you with traffic when you’re late!

      Speaking of which, what does F1 look like in the era of driverless cars? Get ready for Formula Google! We’ll have driverless cars in our lifetimes. Seriously, start changing your brain software right now so you’re ready to adopt quickly. There is way way WAY more good in this development, and it absolutely trumps our “rights” to individual expression through automotive means, “compensation of inadiquacies” through engine size and number of bi-turbos, etc. Right C63? ;-)


    7. Mhilgtx says:


    8. H.Guderian (ALO fan) says:

      It’s LEWIS!!!!

  5. mem says:

    Monaco seems like a special case with its lack of runoff so deleting best time of offender seems like a great solution.
    Would have thought this would have been put in to place after the last time this sort of thing happened.

  6. Godiego says:

    Drivers should have a minimun number of hot laps that need to be done. Iff an incident prevents them from reaching this minimun number, then only those drivers could get an extension to their time.

    1. Femi-Akins says:

      This I agree with

  7. Sebee says:

    There is no perfect solution to this problem.

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      Agree, there’s always going to be controversy when you have lots of fast F1 cars being driven by lots of fast F1 drivers on the same track at the same time……………..
      I would just chalk up Nico Ros’s “adventures” on Saturday as a racing incident, and move on from it. Motor sport will always have a bunch of drivers who disagree with each other because it is so competitive.

    2. erik says:

      And why is that….? Let`s just stop that madness and sue the owners of f1 for giving the people a change to kill themselves!!!

      Or….. let`s demand more blood.

      There is no blood, no fair changes, no equal machinery, no noise, no durable tires… .

    3. Msta says:

      What if for Q3 all drivers have 5 minutes to set a banker lap time. This lap time then dictates the order for a final top ten shoot out with the fastest time running last. Each driver would then have a dedicated hot lap with a free track to better their lap time. The fastest time out of both the banker lap and the shoot out lap gets pole.

      1. Sebee says:

        Things can still happen in the 5 min. thus giving someone a disadvantage.

  8. john snow says:

    I disagree, if you want pole, you need to make sure every lap is quickest. Everyone had enough time to put at least one run in.

    1. Warren G says:

      Agree with this – the session is 10 minutes, and ALL times count during it. Often we’ve seen a drivers not actually improving on their final run, so why should special circumstances apply to the final minute then?

      Only way to avoid this problem is go back to the snooze fest of One Lap Shootout in Quali.

    2. Sebee says:


      How to be make it fair for those that get rain in the last 5 minutes of Q3? Or cooler track? Or more marbles? Or as we saw, an incident?

      There is never going to be a perfect solution to Quali. Go out there and lay down the lap. If it’s the fastests, than is it a real problem to have shown your hand 6 minutes earlier? Either you’re unbeatable, or you are.

      As you say john, the solution is start early, don’t leave it for last or you may not get a chance. Don’t be the guy looking for a girl in a club at 3AM after last call!!!

    3. Richard says:

      Doesn’t work that way because tracks rubber in and conditions sometimes change. – And of course drivers get baulked by other drivers.

      1. Voodoopunk says:

        …and some get affected by rain, should they then stop qualifying to make if fair for everyone?

      2. sebsie says:

        So you’re equating rain to someone cocking up (under pressure)?

    4. DJ Canada says:

      Q3 has been extended by two minutes to
      12 minutes ( up from 10 minutes last
      year). They now have extra time to get
      a good lap in. The FIA made the right

    5. james encore says:

      Exactly. Lewis said himself he should have gone quicker earlier.

      There’s an advantage (real or perceived) in being last to run; it comes with a risk that someone in front does something which louses-up that late lap for you.

    6. Richard says:

      No the way Lewis does it is the correct way going quickest last, because drivers all want to put the quickest lap in last to secure pole. Rosberg rarely does that often not being as quick in the second attempt in Q3. It’s very easy to say things in retrospect but often it’s not that simple.

  9. the_rh1no says:

    Definitely some good ideas for the debate. What about a quick fix relating to how they see whether drivers have slowed down. On SKY they stated that the driver needs to be 0.2s slower through the remainder of the sector – seems harsh considering that this was the first corner of many in quite a long sector. Can the FIA reduce their margins of what a sector is on a corner by corner basis. Not perfect, but that could have at least allowed hamilton and anyone else behind him to push from the hairpin onwards.

    1. Richard says:

      That’s not practical drivers need to push as hard as they can throughout to improve.

  10. Monji says:

    They should probably leave it as is, since Nico wasn’t penalized, it means there’s nothing wrong. Or else they’re (The FIA) acknowledges the guilt in Nico but just won’t say it.

    1. Trent says:

      I assume the telemetry is the same as what Lewis is referring to when he says he wishes the media could see it.

      So I’m intrigued to know how the Stewards can find the data absolves Rosberg, and yet leaves Lewis convinced that it was deliberate.


      1. formula says:

        Mark Hughes shed some light on this on one of his comments in his articles. He says “He (Nico) braked late and hard, but not outrageously so. I was told they (stewards) looked at the standard brake, throttle and steering traces, but not the tyre load data. Had they done, I’m pretty sure they’d have found an inconsistency between what the tyres could take (as seen on previous run) and how much steering input was made. As DC said, he appeared to be sawing at the wheel even when the car was clearly planted to the road. That is very much what it looked like from front-on – with the car simply following his steering inputs. It’s was as if he’d expected that sawing to create a twitch and when it didn’t and he found himself arriving at the turn-in point with the car slowed and stable, he then locked up, ensuring he couldn’t make the turn. It’s the locking up of the wheels at a point where the car is easily slow enough to make the turn that gives it away” Mark also mentioned that the stewards had considerable doubt but there wasn’t sufficient enough evidence to prove Nico did it on purpose… Basically, I think it’s pretty clear cut he did it on purpose, but due to a supposed lack of evidence, he didn’t get punished. Absolutely ridiculous and that’s what happens when people get too hung up on gathering loads and loads of information to make a decision…

      2. Richard says:

        Yes I read the same article, and I agree the sawing on the steering looked very pretensive. Perhaps they did not correlate the information they had adequately because it might required really specialist knowledge to properly understand what was going on.

    2. Richard says:

      The evidence was inconclusive and so gave him the benefit of the doubt and took no further action. – Many of course including myself think it was deliberate blocking of Hamilton’s lap. When sportsmen have to lower themselves to such devious means one must ask what’s the point if they haven’t really won it fairly.

      1. George Edwards says:

        Bingo! The proof was inconclusive so he got the benefit of the doubt. Hamilton, as well as the majority in the pit lane thought Nico’s action was deliberate. Hamilton is feeling cheated and is correct to make a big deal of it if only to ensure careful scrutiny of Nico going forward. I am convinced that if the roles were reversed people would be howling for blood (and Hamilton would have been sanctioned). It’s a pattern I’ve observed. There’s lots of hate directed at this young man. Pole practically guarantees victory at Monaco and this is a fiercely contested championship. Hamilton wants to win or lose it fairly. He’s always been consistent in that regard. He does not cheat nor ask for preferential treatment, he just wants to race fairly. Give the guy a break people.

      2. Richard says:

        George absolutely agree with what you say. Hamilton races hard, but plays fair.

      3. Dr Lewis says:

        Well said!

        I find myself defending him – not because I am whatever the term is they use these days – fan something, but because he is often treated harshly by the haters, marshals, scrutineers you name it, yet even in the RB years, he has given us more race wins, poles and just damn good races than even Alonso!

      4. Hansb says:

        In normal life you are innocent until the opposite is proved.
        Only thinking or assuming is not enough.
        Accept it.

      5. Richard says:

        until the opposite is PROVEN! Well this is not a court of law and even in law miscarriages of justice occur. Hopefully the FIA will introduce a deterrent to avoid cheats repeating this.

      6. Hansb says:

        Yes my English is bad….
        But F1 is like court or law. How can you punish someone if you have no prove whatsoever??
        Good old Mr Warwick, the British steward at Monaco cleared Rosberg of any wrong doing.
        This after studying all Mercedes data including Lewis’s and that from the FIA, onboard shots, circuit shots and overhead shots.
        Either Rosberg did the perfect crime or he is innocent.
        Pick your choice but you can’t punish him because you have a vague suspicion [mod]

      7. iceman says:

        The evidence was non-existant, not quite the same as saying it was inconclusive.

      8. Richard says:

        Afraid not! The word is that the evidence was inconclusive and they gave him the benefit of the doubt. I gather the stewards were split in their views over it. Only the naive and Rosberg fans can think otherwise. Wise up man of course he did it, but he’s hell as not going to admit it is he? It’s just another Schumacher-esque way of preventing your opponent from taking pole. He should have been disqualified and put to the back of the grid.

      9. iceman says:

        Whose word, Richard? Not the stewards. Their verdict was – and I quote – that they “could find no evidence of any offence”.

        So are they naive, or Rosberg fans?

  11. rbarros says:

    Or the format could be radically changed, to something like every driver having two, three or four chances of a flying lap, one (driver) at a time.

    The order for the first lap would be defined by simple sortition or by driver championship points (least first).

    The next lap(s) would be decided by the time done on the first lap (slower cars go out first), so it would keep saving the momentum for the final runs, as nowadays, without taking away the importance of the previous laps.

    And the sponsors would be thankful, since they would have exposure time even with the smaller teams.

    1. Andrew M says:

      We had one-lap qualifying for four (?) years in the mid-2000s and it never really took off. Plus you had situations that were much more unfair than what happened on Sunday, like Suzuka 2005 where the drivers who were fastest in pre-qualifying were actually disadvantaged when it started raining at the end of the session.

    2. AuraF1 says:

      +1 I think this is the only ‘solution’ if you want to change Quali. Just make it like Olympic time trials – solo runs in order, no traffic, just a clock. And yeah every driver gets one (or 2 or 3) shots at it. No pressure for traffic or overtaking inlaps etc, the only pressure is everyone is watching you and analysing every movement you make – but that could actually make interesting watching.

    3. rbarros says:

      The problem with this is: rain would affect even more, since it could be falling for some drivers and then stop, giving huge advantage for the others.

      Of course, if everyone has more than one timed lap, a specific driver could be injured on his first attempt but not on the following one(s), for example.

      Anyway, regarding intermittent rainfall we already have had “problems”, like Hulkenberg being able to make pole in Brazil driving a not so good Williams, due to the improvement of the track after the rain ceased.

    4. dazza says:

      Can’t happen because the track evolves

    5. Andrew Carter says:

      And qualy would last for ever, particularly at Spa and Singapore.

  12. Dom says:

    Could the top 10 not have 2 or 3 timed runs like with skiing? Sure there’s some advantage in going later, but randomised orders would fix that.

    1. Andrew Carter says:

      They can have as many runs as they like within the 12 minutes allotted. At most tracks they make 2 runs, at Monaco this year most went with 1 run of multiple laps because it took a while to get the tyres switched on. Are you suggesting we have single lap, one at a time qulay again? That was really boring when we last had that.

  13. Chuck says:

    If you don’t want traffic issues, why don’t we go back to one car on the track at a time during qualifying? Didn’t it used to be three timed laps, keep your best? Every race and every session somebody is complaining about blocking. Remove the blocks and make it fair for all.

    1. cartweel says:

      That format was incredibly boring…

      These are big boys- let them drive. Head out early and bank a lap if you are than concerned- otherwise, suck it up and live with your result.

      1. danny almonte says:

        That is exactly what happened. Both drivers had banked a hot lap. Rosberg lost control when trying to match Hamilton’s late braking technique.

    2. Mike Martin(HAM fan) says:

      One car on track but only with the final 10(Q3)
      The driver who has been fastest all weekend(times done in all sessions) is awarded to go out as last driver. If a driver sets no time in a session before qualy he get’s the 107% rule time automatically.

      This also prevents drivers skipping sessions and sandbagging.

      So Q1 and Q2 stay the same but Q3 changes.

      If a driver is blocked in Q1 or Q2 and he can proof by his previous times he would had made Q3 he can use a joker or a point added to his license. Jokers are limited obviously. There are some unfair perks like changing track conditions on Friday and Saturday but it should be doable.

  14. Neil says:

    I like the idea of deleting the fastest time of a driver that subsequently causes a yellow or red flag as it sounds like a very simple approach to what could be a thorny problem.
    The downside, however is that if the driver gives cause for a yellow or red flag when they are trying to better that time the evidence would have to be conclusive for the stewards otherwise the driver will be demoted without good cause.

    Will be fascinated to see other people’s views on this matter.

    1. Richard says:

      I also like the idea, but perhaps it should be considered together with the underlying circumstances.

    2. Rockie says:

      So when Hamilton ran wide in Bahrain and brought out the yellows it would have been okay for his time to have been deleted and started 10th?
      Or is it just when you are on provisional pole should your time be deleted.

    3. Gazza says:

      How about just a three place grid penalty if you cause a yellow that affects following cars.

      Same as if you are guilty of blocking.

      Doesn’t destroy your race but would be a deterrent to anyone considering causing a yellow on purpose.

      Even if you cause a yellow totally innocently shouldn,t you not gain from destroying the runs of those behind you.

      Can’t see what the difference is between that and blocking.

      1. warley says:

        I agree with gazza – a 2 or 3 place grid drop for causing a yellow in the last 5 mins of Q3 irrespective of whether deliberate or not. That should be enough incentive not to try it and not too harsh if it happens by accident. Seems fair enough.

      2. Gazza says:

        and……its got nothing to do us Lewis fans wanting the rules changed for his benefit.

        What happened in Monaco is done and dusted.


        imagine if the reverse happens and Lewis runs off destroying Nico,s last charge at the last quali of the season, totally innocently.

        Why not sort it now?

      3. KRB says:

        A good idea. Impeding will usually net you a 3-place drop. Maybe that one should be a 2-place drop.

        I was thinking that maybe they could apply the SC delta time to the driver causing the yellows, for all the sectors that were affected, to their best lap time.

        JA, for Monaco, how many timing sectors would there be around the whole track, and would they more or less follow where the marshal stations or light panels would be? There were 19 light panels around Monaco this year. I would expect that light panels #5 and #6 were yellow for the Rosberg incident. So replace Rosberg’s best lap time through those sectors with the SC delta time, for his ‘corrected’ lap time.

        Another thing that I had to wonder about, was how Warwick was the drivers’ steward. In the story about his decision, he stated that “you could argue that as president of the BRDC I would have a reason to come to a decision that would have favoured the British driver, but obviously that is not how I would approach it. I am there to be independent.” But the simple fact that he included that shows that it was on his mind. If he and the other stewards had found Rosberg guilty, what would the headlines in German F1 publications have read?


        … and the like. I hope Warwick didn’t let Rosberg’s mistake slide just so that he didn’t become the story. Really, he shouldn’t have been put in that position to begin with. I realize McNish can’t marshal b/c he has obligations with the BBC. But where was Pirro, or Derek Daly?

  15. justin says:

    With the technology these days they should be able to tell whether a move is deliberate or not. This is racing, these things happen. Had it started raining, or a piece of debris on the track, etc we would have had the same result sometimes things just happen that can’t be avoided. Time to move on.

    1. Mike84 says:

      Any time someone is being judged by appearances, they can draw mistaken judgment by creating false appearances if they plan & execute it well.

    2. Richard says:

      I think that’s just a bit too pat! Things do not just happen as there is always a cause, and the problem in this case is that it is so difficult to prove. What matters is the intent Rosberg had when he ran off.

  16. Aaron says:

    Couldn’t they just lengthen the qualifying sessions at street-circuits like Monaco & Singapore where there is a far greater likelihood of a car blocking the circuit? It would seem to be the easiest solution.

    1. Dr T says:

      Wouldn’t solve the problem – people would save their tyres and wait for others to rubber the track in for them

      1. Aaron says:

        Then tough. If everyone has sufficient time to give themselves another lap should they be blocked or slowed on one of their hot laps then tough. That’s a risk they chose to take.

      2. Dr T says:

        Yes – but the issue is that the sport doesn’t want qualis where the track is empty for extended periods of time – people wouldn’t tune in to watch.

        Hence the current format of qualifying designed to forec activity to make it watchable and thereby bring in eyeballs to see the sponsors logos

      3. me says:

        They already have enough time with 12 minutes now, so what’s your point?

    2. Mike Martin(HAM fan) says:

      No, it’s all about that fresh set of tires and the most rubber on the track. Changing session times will not solve anything.

      Your idea/suggestion also cost more money.It’s exactly what F1 does not want.

  17. Paul Hallett says:

    I am not too sure about the removing of the drivers best time set, as maybe it could be a genuine mistake, but possibly remove the driver from Q3, reset the clock to the beginning of the drivers warm up lap that preceded the accident and give the other drivers, who were impeded, an extra set of tyres to use.

    That way, the driver who made the mistake is punished by not getting another go, and the other drivers, can then all pile into another shot at pole.

    Unless it is deliberate, then give them 12 points, put them at the back of the grid and remove their recent contract extension.

  18. Andrew says:

    Why not just a 60m session where everyone drives around. Like the old days. Everything is getting too complicated.

    1. Jonathan C says:

      Unfortunately this would just result in nothing happening for 55 minutes, and then a mad dash at the end. Everyone would be trying to save their tyres, engines and gearboxes.

      Not much fun for paying spectators, or TV commentators!

    2. Andrew M says:

      Because the rack rubbered in significantly at the end, so you had numerous sessions where no-body would go out for 30-45 minutes.

      1. Gary says:

        How does the track rubber-in if nobody is driving on it?

      2. Andrew M says:

        They will at some point, and the advantage will be to the people who go out the latest. None of the teams will want to go out first and give that advantage away, hence they’ll go out as late as possible; surely you can see that?

    3. Gary says:

      hear hear!

  19. Ben Osborne says:

    Why not something like the Aussie V8 Supercars, where they have a Top 10 shootout. Top 10 qualifiers from Q2 get 1 flying lap with no traffic on the lap. Immense pressure on the drivers, but would remove this type of issue in the future.

    1. Martin says:

      I like this solution a lot but maybe make q2 a struggle to get into the top 5.

      Then the top 5 shoot it out, one at a time, so the audience gets to see the whole lap, including live onboard footage.

      The possibility is that someone’s run could be affected by rain .. etc, but the worst they could finish is fifth so not much harm done.

    2. Dean says:

      Thats what I was thinking. Only problem is, what if its your turn last and it starts to rain?

      1. Samo says:

        Bad luck. But it sure makes it interesting and would make for a VERY interesting sunday with the fast drivers out of position. The V8 supercar top 10 shootout makes for great TV and would slot into the current qualy format very easily

    3. Femi-Akins says:

      This I like too

  20. dufus says:

    Why cant the Hamilton fans just move on ?
    There are a million examples of bad luck for teams and drivers. Everybody else has to wear bad luck and this should be no different because his name is Lewis Hamilton.

    1. Messrine says:

      Right on my friend! Totally Agree!

    2. Gazza says:

      It wasn’t,t Hamilton fans that suggested it.

      Unless you think the FIA is pro Hamilton

      More likely they think it denied the following drivers a fair go at the lap because one driver cracked under the pressure.

    3. Mike from Colombia says:

      There’s bad luck..amd then there’s putting up with an injustice as a result of perceived cheating by many…and not just fans.

    4. Richard says:

      That’s just it! In my view it had nothing to do with fortune ill or otherwise, but a deliberate attempt to block a qualifying run.

    5. Kramgp says:

      I am a Lewis fan of sorts but I am loosing patience with his sulking. He should have moved on Saturday afternoon and accepted his defeat like a man on the Sunday. The long face is like rag to a bull for Nico. Bring on canada

      1. jack says:

        couldn’t agree more ..well said

  21. Owen Brooker says:

    A rule change is definitely needed and deleting a drivers fastest time would seem to be the fairest way. It would also encourage drivers to make more runs in qualifying to ensure that they get a “banker”.

  22. I am sure if this was a German F1 website there would be more phrase here for Nico, maybe were getting all tense about it, it certainly is great to experience this rivalry and it suits the fans 100% were short of foaming at the mouth!!
    Who Will Cry First????

  23. George Debenham says:

    I would like to see the Q3 qualifiers to run one timed lap individually, each going in reverse order to their Q2 position thus giving the fastest in Q2 the advantage of running last.
    This would also make for better viewing enabling
    the ten fastest laps to be seen in total.

    1. Jon says:

      Problem with this sort of stuff is changes is environment – rain, cooling/heating/drying track etc.

      Then going earlier or later (or even mid-session) can make a huge difference.

      At present, the teams have to make their own call on how to read the environment to make the most of it.

    2. PaulL says:

      Great suggestion. This makes Q2 more interesting also.

    3. Richard C says:

      An option that is consistent in outcomes regardless of track configuration except in respect to incoming weather.
      Fastest preliminary qualifiers in other race categories around the world have been previously disadvantaged as rain set in on their “hotlap”. As previously mentioned above, there is no perfect solution.

    4. Pete says:

      It does sounds like a cool idea… until a few months down the line the bloke who was fastest in Q2 has to do his “showdown” lap in rain conditions worse than the previous nine guys and we all bemoan the new system…

      1. Pete says:

        Having said that, this problem is mostly fixable by not enforcing a “reverse order” rule, but having a “nominate when your run rule”. Think conditions will worsen? Choose to go first, think they will ramp up go last etc…

        Possibly would make q2 TOO important

    5. James Clayton says:

      I disagree. I like the last 2-3 minutes of Quali; getting myself into a frenzy trying to pay attention to ten different drivers all at the same time! :) Yes it’s an anti-climaxes shame when yellow flags come out, but it’s ll part of the game.

      Anyway how would you order who goes last in the shootout? I suppose the person who goes fastest in Q2 could get to go last etc… thus making Q2 more important than it is now.

      But then what if there’s weather coming in and the person who sets their fastest time in Q2 ends up being the only one who has to go out on a wet track? Point is there will always be variables that’s going to make somebody feel unfairly penalized at some point.

      We have paper tyres, push to pass wings, double points… and people seriously think *qualifying* is the aspect of F1 that most seriously needs fixing?!

    6. Samo says:

      This is the V8 Supercars method as mentioned above. It works extremely well in that category and makes for excellent TV

  24. Greygamer says:

    I am going to say that Rosberg didn’t crash on purpose. But also that he didn’t care if he caused a yellow.
    Mercedes can avoid this by sending out the faster driver (after the 1st run) second and I will be surprised if that isn’t the case at future races.

    However I think after Schumacher’s antics in qualifying the stewards should have put the burden of proof on anyone causing yellow flags. Unfortunately the regulations stop them from doing so.

    1. That would be a big mistake, to consider somebody guilty until that person could prove otherwise. That would be treating F1-drivers worse than criminals..

      Just imagine how many complaints and protests this would cause.

      Much better to keep it simple and just accept that sometimes shit happens.

      Rosberg didn’t do it on purpose. You can practically see he was torn between trying to take the corner or use the runoff-area. The funny part is this: If he had tried to take the corner and crashed the result would have been the same. The only difference would have been the conspiracy-theory..

      1. KRB says:

        If he crashed I’m not sure he’d be allowed to take up his pole position. I can’t find anything in the regs about this, but I know a car is supposed to make it back to the pits under its own power, and be able to give a fuel sample. Could be wrong.

  25. Rob says:

    Perhaps don’t hold races at tracks which are not suitable for purpose?

    1. HP says:

      Monaco will always be on the calender.

      1. Rob says:

        Then maybe they should have single lap qualifying then?

      2. HP says:

        We used to have that, wasn’t too exciting. And the problem with is the last person to go on the track kinda has an advantage.

    2. Gary says:

      Yes, much better to hold F1 races at soul-less modern Tilke-dromes, which can fit five cars acroos and have 200 meter runoff strips on either side of the highway, covered with astro turf and painted in gaudy primary colors. Lovely.


      1. me says:

        He’s not wrong though.

  26. Jonathan C says:

    Not an easy one.
    Perhaps for Monaco only, instead of a 12 minute Q3, it is broken down into two 5 minute runs, with a new set of Q3-only tyres in each. Any yellow flags affecting a hot lap and all times are discarded and the run is restarted.
    (Q3 cars would then have choice of starting tyres).

    But still far from perfect.

  27. Mitchw says:

    James, any sense on how Mercedes views the controversy? Lauda talks like there’s no issue since there was no penalty from the stewards. But how does the board react to three journalists, Hughes, Saward and Windsor, reporting that most drivers privately believe Nico did something deliberate? When Warwick talks about the severity of the penalty weighing on the steward’s decision, isn’t it fair to infer that there was something untoward in Nico’s drive? Does this not harm MB’s marketing interest? I know that for me, Nico’s sawing at the wheel looks like an attempt to unbalance the car under braking, with the late initial braking point being mere prelude.

    1. seifenkistler says:

      Guess there is a bit of difference who at Mercedes you ask: sport or sales people.

      For sales people Mercedes is a mature car for mature people and if one of the drivers would have to go to keep peace they would choose the most unmature one, and this is Lewis.

      Not only at soccer people dislike players who demand yellow or red cards for the opponent or even a penalty. A mature Hamilton should have done a private talk to Nico followed perhaps by a intern group meeting. Someone should be innocent until proven otherwise.

      For the rule changes, if any, just automatically to a red light at the stearing wheel of a car who is off and has no chance to do a better time anymore or cross the line before race end. At red light do anything to vanish from the track in a way to do a minimal damage to others.

      Driving late is a risc the drivers choose and the only problem is if a driver who has no chance anymore goes back to the track. In Nico’s case the yellows were out right away and they would have been out until the car was removed. So no need to discuss returning back to track here.

      What would have been the possibilities after the driving error:
      hitting the wall = quali stop
      doing the emergency exit = yellow
      going high riscs to get the curve and not failing but being a slow duck for some curves = ruins the time of the car(s) just behing him

      1. Ade Abiose says:

        You’re missing the point Badstubber.
        The other 8/9 drivers who were prevented from setting times by appearance of the yellow flags are unfairly done by and the FIA are looking for ways to correct this in future.
        Only Lewis was seriously hampered by this instance being the only driver in an equally competitive car to Nico. Any other year where the cars of the other compromised drivers are nearly as competitive giving each of them a shot at pole,I am sure their protests would be forthcoming albeit not as immature as Lewis’s.

    2. AuraF1 says:

      Not to comment either way on the controversy – but I would have thought MB’s marketing interest was best served by keeping the championship alive and right up to the wire.

      They can’t really lose the constructors now. But they could end up in a Vettel situation if Hamilton ran away with it, where Vettel didn’t get hardly any airtime as he was often so far in front the FOM tv directors focused on battles further back (much to Infiniti’s displeasure it’s been rumoured).

    3. Richard says:

      Mercedes view things a bit differently than F1 fans in that they basically interested in maximising points rather than who wins them. Personally I’m 100% convinced Nico did that stunt deliberately because it is an act of desperation having been drubbed by Lewis in the last four races, and had he not done so the roles would have been reversed at Monaco.
      Well all he’s really succeeded in doing is getting Lewis’s back up and I expect him to absolutely trounce Nico at the next few races baring of course any issues.

      1. Bradley says:

        Rosberg was faster on Sunday in two of those four races, and Rosberg felt aggrieved by unfair defending in China. Hamilton got the points, but it was hardly a drubbing to a neutral observer.

      2. Richard says:

        Yes, but it isn’t driver related, it’s to do with set up which affects car performance. So if you look at it neutrally it was a drubbing because Rosberg had the faster car and still could not take the win. Hamilton use of the engine mode in China only reflected Rosbergs previous use of the same mode in Bahrain. Anyway either driver could have used it in either race, however they have now been forbidden to use it except for qualifying.

      3. KRB says:

        China?! Rosberg was nowhere near Hamilton in China. Bahrain maybe? I sure didn’t see any unfair defending there. Even Rosberg said he only had a problem with one of Lewis’ moves, when he cut across him at Turn 2.

        In Bahrain Nico had every advantage b/c of the SC, and still couldn’t win. For me that was the watershed race of the season, and for the Merc team especially. Merc the team could of course anoint either one as champion this year if they wanted to. But next season, or the one after that, when other teams have caught them up, which of their drivers can make the final difference and turn a natural (for the car) 3rd or 2nd place, into a win? The answer was likely known before Bahrain, but it was crystal clear after it.

      4. AuraF1 says:

        The thing is if Hamilton had been faster on his banker lap, Nico’s dastardly plot would have been pointless! So the lesson here is just go faster on your first attempt and stop moaning if your last minute dash is ruined.

        Nico can only have conspired to pull this off if he was faster than Lewis all session and Lewis was leaving it until the end to go for a very risky final run. So if Nico did do it, the only way to plan it was to determine to go faster than Lewis right up until the final minutes.

      5. aveli says:

        it is not hamilton’s fault for not setting a bunker lap because that is within the rules.

      6. aveli says:

        isn’t it a futile act? I wonder what plans he has for the rest of the season.

  28. Sanky says:

    Yes, I like the other suggestion to just delete the fastest time of the driver making the mistake or maybe giving him 5 grid penalty …Adding extra time might not necessarily help if it takes too much time to clear the car and track/weather conditions change in the meantime.

    1. aveli says:

      how about if the culprit had set 2 fastest times faster than the field?

      1. Sanky says:

        Yeah then the 5 place grid penalty will be a better solution :)

      2. aveli says:

        f1 needs to demonstrate that there is no room for cheats in the sport. otherwise all the youngsters will come in with the aim to cheat to get ahead.

  29. Sudeep says:

    Deleting a yellow-flag-causing driver’s fastest time from a session seems like the best idea so far – they could still qualify high up the grid if they’ve done more than one good lap, and if they’ve made it to Q3, at worst they’ll still be in the top 10.

    It’s a little on the harsh side – particularly if a technical problem causes the yellow flags, but probably better than doing nothing at all and better than adding extra time to the end qualifying.

    1. That would be a terrible idea as it might result in drivers giving less than 100 percent in qualifying. I wouldn’t like to see that happening.

      If you try to make a rule for every concievable and inconcievable possibility then you just might kill the show. Otherwise sport is going to be like the rest of society, totally regulated.

  30. goferet says:

    Right, this may not be 100% fair due to the chance of things like rain affecting Q3 but my suggestion is for a rule to require the provisional pole sitter to be the last car to set off the road.

    For example in Monaco, it would have been Rosberg as the last man out of the pits and so if there were a chance of a yellow flag, at least suspicion would have been removed from the result.

    I think this should be the rule for every Q3 running at every circuit just to be on the safe side.

    Yes, the idea of adding extra time to qualifying is also good and with the more durable tyres, this would mean more bite from the tyres as they have had a full spins to get up to temperature.

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      Interesting idea. I think it could be a plausible idea for street tracks, absolutely.
      However, you know what the FIA are lacking – common sense. I doubt they read motor sport forums such as this.
      Mind you, if they are……get rid of that silly double points at the last race rule please ASAP!

  31. Michael says:

    Why do all the drivers want to go last? Because thats when the track is, generally, the fastest. Whats the risk of going last? Someone might cause a yellow flag and you wont get a good time.

    Risk is you might not get a good time, the reward is you get the best possible chance of setting a good time.

    If Lewis is so good why was his first run in Q3 not the fastest? Or why did he not go out before Hamilton for the second run?

    Looking for a solution to a problem that does not exist.

    1. Richard says:

      Fully agree. This is the fundamental concept of this qualifying format. You have X minutes, where the risk of going later increases. You can argue too, that people push harder at the end so a yellow is more likely.

      At it’s core I don’t see how this is too different to issues mid-race that compromise a driver’s position inadvertently. To me, this is racing.

    2. Richard says:

      You better believe it where there’s two drivers with the potential of winning the championship the pressure to cheat if you are losing is quite high. – And that’s what Rosberg did.

      1. Bradley says:

        No proof, no evidence, no prior history, no suggestion correlation between Rosberg’s personality and what you say he did.
        I think your claim says a lot more about how you choose to interpret what you saw, than it says about Rosberg.

      2. Richard says:

        Well let’s just look at what you’ve said. You have to accept that Rosberg has not been in a situation like this before with a potentially championship winning car so there would be no prior history or opportunity to bring this out in his personality. It could be that the information has not been properly correlated, but even if it isn’t what really matters is intent and only Nico really knows that and he sure isn’t going to admit it is he? Beyond that the stewards were split over it, and said that the evidence was inconclusive.

  32. F Zero says:

    This is part of F1. It’s part of the game, and the win-at-all-costs attitude is what people like, even if they just enjoy complaining about it.

    F1 is not fair. Sometimes it works for your favorite driver sometimes against.

    We just saw a week of Senna tributes all across the internet. The most revered driver in F1 history and his overt tactic was to crash into people to win WDC’s. I have no problem with that at all.

    Not to mention Michael Schumacher on Hill and Villeneuve.

    I hardly think a little shenanigans in quali is worse.

    Personally I think it’s possible that Nico may have made a genuine mistake, then realised he had an opportunity to bring out a yellow and ducked down the escape road.

    If he did it on purpose, good on him. It’s that kind of craftiness that wins WDC’s.

    1. Paul Hallett says:

      So, let me see if I have got this right, cheating is ok with you? I was never ok with Senna, as I thought he had no respect for the sport, or his other drivers. As Brundle pointed out, he used to position his car, somewhat illegally and metaphorically state to the other driver, ok, you yield or we crash. If Senna were racing today, he’d be considered along with Maldonado – Quick, but dangerous. He’d most certainly have spent quite a lot of time on F1′s new naughty step.

      At best, it was a mistake which was exacerbated by him reversing, at worst it’s cheating. Call me old fashioned, but I still consider this a sport, and it’s one I actually am fond of.

      I have spoken to a lot of US Motorsport fans and they believe removing the fastest time of the offending driver has reduced a lot of so called mistakes over there. Maybe it’s worth a bash.

      What is interesting, however is:
      1. The FIA are making noises about it now, which kind of looks bad on ROS.
      2. Wolff has stated Ham thinks it’s black and a foul, ROS thinks it’s white and a mistake, but the truth may lie in it being a bit in the middle.
      3. Wolff has stated it might be considered pay back and that whilst he believed ROS’s story, he conceded others didn’t – Did he mean within the team?

      Makes for an interesting season, but for me, the horse has already bolted. With ROS using an engine mode in BAH, Ham then getting his own back in SPA and now this on MON, it should set a few fireworks off at the rest of the venues.

    2. Richard says:

      “Personally I think it’s possible that Nico may have made a genuine mistake, then realised he had an opportunity to bring out a yellow and ducked down the escape road.”

      As opposed to what? Crashing into the barriers? I’m not sure that argument stacks up. Nico made a genuine mistake, braking exactly as late as Lewis did. He managed to get the car down the escape road. Whether he then stuck it in reverse makes no difference, the yellow flag was out anyway.

      1. F Zero says:

        @ Richard As opposed to actually being able to slow down enough to make the corner and continue back to the pits.

        It’s just another possibility that I have not seen mentioned. Every one is so black and white on the issue.

        @Paul Hallet I get where you’re coming from, I was just highlighting the disconnected way people think about these things. Senna glorified, Rosberg demonised.

        I wouldn’t call it cheating, more like gaming the system. It’s part of the DNA of F1 as is engineering loop holes, the politics and the money. I’m totally OK with the ferocity of competition, that uses all these things to win the sport. Championships are won off the track also.

        F1 one is not really a sport though is it? It’s an advertising business and money making machine. It’s just advertising that is fun to watch.

      2. aveli says:

        how about piquet and the great schumacher?
        when senna played his out, he told the world what he was going to do and explained why he did it. he was being bullied and he refused to allow the bullies to get away with it.

    3. Alex Ward says:

      Agree, i hope nico did do it intentionally, it wasn’t very dangerous, it was devious, but nico is going to need to be devious and use every trick he can.

    4. Phil Glass says:

      You often hear this kind of opinion, not least from pundits and bloggists, but never from James.

      Well, I don’t think cheating is great. I have no respect for it, and reading the views of folks who cheer it on is toxic.

    5. Ole says:

      I totally agree why fix something that is not broken. The amount of tension, drama and controversy that the current rules in quali provide in Monaco is great. If the rules had been “fixed” 8 years ago after schumi and Rascasse we would not have had the incident this year and this is what we have been waiting for (team mate drama) than the notion of FAIR sportmanship which is so popular and politically correct. However no world champion won by being a correct bloke, but by using every advantage possible (fair unfar, legal or to be contested etc). It also shows more character if drivers have a chance of behaving on the limit of what is acceptable than a sanitised PR show. I though it was pretty amuzing to hear the Mercedes team emphasise on the friendship between LH and NR. Happy that is over as what I and perhaps a lot of others watch motorsport and F1 for is to see a show of individuals taking on the whole grid. If I wanted to see a buddy movie I would put on my DVD when I had time, but Sunday live F1 should be about drama and how will they react to this and that potential injustise or advantage across from the other garage.
      For me the season just started now and I am sad people are trying to fix rules which bring out drama. F1 had its biggest press day of all year due to this and you want to get rid of this???

      1. Ray c boy says:

        ‘FAIR sportmanship which is so popular and politically correct’

        Rules and political correctness are two completely different things, and sportsmanship doesn’t need to be qualified with the word fair.

      2. aveli says:

        armstrong the cyclist was shot down for doing just that.

    6. Rossi says:

      Maybe Hamilton and his race engineer will consider the fact that letting Nico go out 1st all the time isn’t always going to work in their favour.

      Everybody is talking about 2006 but there was the incident with Hamilton/Alonso in 2007 Monza qualifying. There wasn’t calls for changes after that and Alonso was found to have been guilty!

      1. aveli says:

        why cross the road at all if you know there is a chance of being run over?

    7. aveli says:

      senna told us what he intended before doing it. he told the media of the bullying and wasn’t afraid of them.

  33. Panayiotis says:

    I don’t think the rules need any change. If someone has an incident further up the road, then tough luck. Same goes during a race and the effect a Safety Car can have on one’s race. Luck has always been a part of this.

    The stewards have so many tools in their hands to try and take the fairest decision, and surely they will have more tools in the future. If someone is SO good at bending the rules and manages not to be caught through so many data and cameras, then so be it.

    1. aveli says:


  34. VV says:

    So what can be done to prevent this happening again?

    We can make sure that drivers take less risks, which will make qualifying less appealing, or we can create a system whereby the stewards decide to increase time available to compensate, which will become a problem in much the same way the current system has already.

    We already have a powerful incentive not to deliberatly cause a hazard, and that is movement to the back of the grid, and penalty places for blocking.

    There is always risk with running late in Qualifying, it could have rained, or a serious accident could have cut qualifying short, or anything else outside the drivers control. This is called Tough Luck

    1. aveli says:

      how about the stewards simply following the current rules correctly, allowing each driver involved in an incident to present their case before the decision is taken?
      hamilton would have no need to say he wished the media saw the data. bullying must be weeded out.

  35. kingszito says:

    I think the best way to tackle the problem, is that the drivers have a compulsory one or two runs in Q3 like in DTM or WCC.

    1. aveli says:

      if hamilton took advice from horner and presented his case to the fia court and won, will they throw the book at rosberg?

  36. Fernando says:

    The solution is obvious: push harder at the start of Q3. Waiting until the very last lap leaves a driver vulnerable to the unexpected.

    1. aveli says:

      my suggested solution is that all the drivers involved should be allowed to present their case to the stewards to help them make the right decision. hamilton said he wished media saw the data while warwich said hamilton should man up in response.
      he could’ve at least said ‘watch it’ or something along those lines.

  37. DMyers says:

    The assumption here is that Rosberg acted deliberately, despite the Stewards’ decision. The rules are there and they are meant to be the same for everyone. And if Lewis is moaning about it, let’s not forget that he lied to the Stewards in Melbourne a few years ago.

    1. AuraF1 says:

      Let’s not forget Lewis has lost it on the exact same bit of track at Monaco himself previously. And in a car with supposedly vastly more downforce and less torque. So everyone suggesting Nico HAD to force the error might want to check that Hamilton hasn’t always managed that same corner much better in quali…

  38. Gaz Boy says:

    To be honest, what happened at Monaco qualifying is unique to Monaco (and Singapore to a certain extent) because of the hemmed in nature of the circuit.
    I wouldn’t tinker with qualifying because most of the dedicated race circuits of the world have miles of run offs these days. For example, lock a front axle at Silverstone or Hockenhiem as Nico Ros did at Monaco and a driver will run wide and then re join the track.
    However, perhaps a slightly tweaked qualifying format for Singapore and even Abu Dhabi could be implemented – that would be common sense I suppose.
    Mind you, the walls at Montreal are very close to the driving line………..

    1. Rishi says:

      I also think it’s mostly unique to the street circuits, though may be worth keeping an eye on how things develop to see if there’s a repeat. When Rosberg made mistakes on both his Q3 fast laps in China he lost out; when Lewis made a mistake in Bahrain he lost out. So it is usually the guy who makes the mistake who loses out.

      It also showed both guys were really pushing the limits, which we wouldn’t want to see go away because of the threat of seeing times deleted. That said, the obvious incentive is there at some circuits to bring the yellow flags out so it is worth keeping an eye on. Moreover, it is important for stewards to exercise flexibility when there’s a critical yellow flag on circuits with more run-off. They should acknowledge the flag, e.g. by lifting fractionally, but not necessarily drive to a delta of losing a set amount of time (I’m assuming it’s not a serious accident here obviously).

  39. Ronnie says:

    Come off the ‘fence’ James! Do you believe it was deliberate or not???

    1. James Allen says:

      As it’s been studied by experts with all the data available and they could find no proof, then you have to take their word for it.

      I have my suspicions, like many others, but I’m satisfied that the stewards did their job so that’s that.

      1. Ade Abiose says:

        ‘I have my suspicions’
        Equivocation or what.
        Come on James,come of the fence.

      2. Kamikaze says:

        I think that is a fair response from James.

        There are many of us who believed / suspected it to be deliberate on the basis of publicly available footage. However, if the stewards, after carefully studying precise and conclusive data, have decided to not hold NR culpable, then you have to respect and accept that as the most possible explanation (and reconsider any suspicions / opinions you had formed previously).

        Clearly, in my mind, after the stewards decision, the balance has tilted in NR’s favor and I am willing to give him the benefit of doubt.

        On a lighter note, if Nico did indeed do this deliberately and still manage to line up all the technical data perfectly to “pull wool” over the stewards eyes, then I guess he deserves to keep the position just for the sheer perfection in managing this.

      3. Rosberg is a clever bloke .. just like his Dad , perhaps there was stratergy talk with close family and friends over qualy 3 at Monaco last lap. Im all for it as it spices up the championship. Lewis and the rest need to adopt a pole stratergy otherwise the clever thinking race driver will get ahead. This years racing is good but to accurate with fuel saving , tyres etc… it needs drivers to think ahead and be bold .

      4. Christopher Cathles says:

        Nicely put. The only other thing the Stewards could have done would have been to drop Nico a few grid positions for dangerous reversing – does anyone know if this was videoed, or how far towards the track he reversed?

      5. Mat says:

        They could find no proof. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t deliberate. Just that they could not prove intent. When drivers are on the limit, with so many different variables at play, it is not hard to disguise intent. At most tracks it is easy to engineer a spin off. At Monaco, it is very difficult to have a mishap that doesn’t involve hitting the barriers, but Rosberg managed it.

        The real point it all comes down to intent, something that can never or at least very rarely be proved beyond reasonable doubt. In that context you have to at least remove the incentive for drivers leading the times by either (1) punishing every error that causes the yellow with a grid spot or time penalty; or (2) eliminating its effect by extending the session.

      6. Richard says:

        Actually I’m not sure about what they are expert at! The fact is to correlate things properly it’s more in the province of the engineer/scientist to understand the implications. I accept they examined all the info they had, but it becomes a scientific exercise, and for which I suspect they are ill equipped.

      7. Ronnie says:

        The Stewards could find no proof of a deliberate action by Piquet Jnr in Singapore either…. post hoc ergo propter hoc perhaps!

      8. aveli says:

        that’s interesting james, do you know what the stewards looked for in the data? did they try to find out if the offence took place or to find out if the offence was deliberate? i don’t remember reading the stewards report apart from the no further action to be taken bit.

    2. DB4Tim says:

      Who care if is was deliberate or not..THAT IS RACING

      1. Ronnie Palmer says:

        Qualifying actually! But I get it…its only deliberate if you get caught and ‘clever’ if you don’t.

      2. DB4Tim says:

        Exactly…..is he the first….or maybe only the twentieth.

      3. Ronnie says:

        I thought the perceived wisdom was that Lewis is ‘thick’ because he cannot setup his car, diddn’t realise his lack of ‘intelligence’ was related to an inability to intentionally reverse car onto a live track. Guess Rosberg has a PhD in this. Boy, do you live and learn!!

  40. aveli says:

    I find the idea of deleting the culprit’s fastest lap interesting as it raises numerous questions. what if the culprit posted 2 laps faster than the fastest lap of all the drivers behind?
    the current system is good enough if the stewarts and the teams are honest enough in it implementation.
    first of all the drivers involved, supported by 1 or 2 engineers, should have been asked to present their cases in analysis af the data to assist the stewards in their decision making. secondly, if some of the drivers involved were from the same team, then the team should make available, two sets of engineers to support each driver in presenting their case. if hamilton was allowed to present his case in this manner, it would have helped the stewards to make a better decision and not feel guilty afterwards.
    how did mercedes present their case? did they present their case in support of hamilton that rosberg did it deliberately or did they present it in support of rosberg that he made a mistake?
    i am convinced that the rules are good enough to have dealt with this incedent without causing such a controrvecy only if the rules are followed honestly and fairly. all the other drivers whose laps were ruined would also have presented their case along side their engineers and it would’ve been a lot clearer to the stewards. why were the drivers who suffered as a result, not given the chance to present their cases to the stewards, in analysis of the same data?
    wariwick and his team’s decision was a brave one in that it keeps the championship alive, on the other hand, it appears that other drivers are being bullied inorder for the championship to be kept alive for the financial gain of others. those who earn big bucks because the viewing figures go up.
    in conclusion, the rules, if correctly followed, are good enough for the right decision to have been made but they weren’t followed. the decision makers minds were corrupted by the zeal to keep the championship alive. this mean hamilton only had the media to present his side of the story to. his sentence which grabbed by attention was ‘i wish you could see the data.’

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      For what it’s worth, I think qualifying at Monaco is always going to, er, bizarre, but now its over and F1 can get back to proper grown ups tracks I doubt qualifying issues such as what happened on Saturday will be a massive issue, apart from perhaps Singapore, and that’s a few months away yet.

      1. aveli says:

        very true, but the stewards should follow the rules themselves to catch cheats and throw the book at them like they did with piquet jnr.

  41. loddy says:

    But what happened in Monaco is just part of how qualifying has been for a long time. It has ben more controversial this time because it is so close between Lewis and Nico. But how many times has qualifying been red flagged due to an accident and some innocent driver being adversely affected, let alone how often yellows can occur.

    It happened to be Nico that caused yellow flags, but what if one of the other cars in front had crashed – Lewis would still have missed his chance at a late fastest lap.

    There is a risk trade-off between going out last in the hope that the track will be at its best, versus the risk of any of the other 9 cars in Q3 having a mishap, with this risk obviously higher at Monaco.

    A different way of organising qualifying would be to change format of Q3 so that each driver goes out alone and doing a single lap (or 2 laps) with a clear track i.e. one driver at a time. Order would be decided by their Q2 times.

    So whoever finishes Q2 in 10th place, goes out first in Q3. And fastest in Q2 would have the last chance, with track at best and knowing what time needed to be achieved so have glory.

    It would however take a longer time, and hence wouldn’t fit into tv schedules etc.

    1. aveli says:

      what happened in monaco is no different from what nelson piquet jnr did to get a win for alonso in singapore. it’s looks like. cheats a fashionable in f1 again.

      1. Barry says:

        You are 100% wrong.

      2. aveli says:

        you are 100% right.

  42. Scott Brown says:

    Taking away the fastest time of a driver that causes a problem is a ridiculous idea. Let me explain why…

    Since Pirelli came in, drivers, spectators, team members and sponsors have all been complaining at various times that drivers cannot push during races. The only time we get to see the raw pace of the cars is during qualifying sessions. Due to the tweaks to the qualifying format over the years, we have ended up with a good, watchable solution that is sometime even more interesting and exciting that the race itself. We are watching drivers in highly pressurised situations pushing the limit of their own ability and the capability of their car. Do people really want a driver that runs wide or spins thus causing a yellow flag to have their fastest time taken away? If they do this on their 2nd run (likely, seeing as they’ve already set a time and want to beat it) they will lose their first run time and be relegated to 10th, assuming they’ve made Q3.

    It’s not only unfair on the driver who has lost their time by making a mistake in the first place but to the spectators, team members and sponsors mentioned earlier who demand these on-the-edge performances. All this solution can possibly do is hand out unfortunate penalities and/or slow the drivers down. None of us want that.

    If people are desperate for this not to ever happen again the solution is to send the cars out one-by-one as they used to – which wasn’t entertaining – to ensure that each driver gets a clean lap.

    I know which method I’d choose.

  43. AM says:

    Agreed something needs to be done. I’m not one to believe you should come out tops due to your own mistakes. Rosberg arguably won the GP due to his mistake in qualifying which doesn’t seem right does it?

    As a solution perhaps a 5-place grid drop for causing a yellow in which it impedes a driver that hasn’t another chance (running out of time) to set another time. Hence minor excursions off the track are not penalised unless they have held up a driver and they have either dropped out of Q1 or Q2 or ‘on a lap’ in Q3.

    Another solution is maybe adding on 3 mins to qualifying if a yellow flag has been out for say 30+ seconds? Giving time to come in change tyres if need be and set another time.

  44. Carl says:

    Rather than creating a new rule perhaps the existing impeding/blocking rule used in qualifying could be applied to the situations similar to the one that occurred this weekend?

    In the case of impeding another driver, intent does not have to be established only that the driver behind was effected.

    This rule would apply perfectly to the situation at Monaco. Rosberg’s mistake regardless of intent lead to multiple drivers fastest laps been effected.

  45. Frank Oosterhuis says:

    Lewis should have started his run before Nicos.

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      Yes! A common sense post.

    2. AuraF1 says:

      Insanity! How dare you use common sense when we can have a massive uproar and weeks of drama! ;)

  46. Michael says:

    James, as far as I know there was never any definitive proof that Schumacher deliberately stopped on track, it may well have been the case and I don’t particularly care either way all this time later but I don’t think the data proved anything, it was simply inferred. I think it’s the same this time around.

  47. Elie says:

    James I think with Monaco the Marshalls are trigger happy on the yellows. Peter Windosr and a few others rightly stated that the minute someone locked up a yellow was shown albeit briefly.

    I did suggest on on a previous post this needed review- Not because of the Mercs – I hope its a little more well thought out than this. I think it goes a bit deeper than the last minute. Its more about drivers loosing too much quali time through no fault of their own when there are a few yellows for longer than a minute each. 1 yellow shouldnt change that but if you have a few yellows then obviously several drivers are likely to be disadvantaged so it makes sense to add enough time for 1 lap – 2 minutes.

  48. Jamie Richardson says:

    Rather than a huge penalty would it not be feasible to add say 0.250 of a second to the fastest lap time of the offender for bringing out a yellow flag and disrupting others lap times?

  49. Pkara says:

    Toally agree with erasing the time of the driver who causes the yellow flag to be brought out. Also extending the qualification phasee is beneficial. In Indy Car Qualy when yellow flag conditions occur the perpetrator has his/her times scratched from the board & they start race from a lower grid position.
    It shouldn’t benefit the Numpty who caused the debacle.
    Unfair for him to start on Pole. Might as well hand him a goody bag & a free holiday & the trophy & Bernie Ecclestones secret pin number of his Swiss Bank account :-D or Todt & Yohs Hidden Dragon Crouching Tiger Positions :-D.
    I digress from the subject at hand.
    Yes to extended Q1, 2, 3. if yellow flag occurs & scrub the times of driver causing yellow flaag conditions.

  50. Mikeyd says:

    The way I see it, Nico losing control and driving down the escape route was not the problem. The real issue is him trying to reverse back onto the track.

    There was no way he could have got another lap in and he must have known that doing this would bring out yellow flags. Maybe this would constitute dangerous driving?

    I would imagine a “back marker” attempting to rejoin the track in a dangerous way would be penalised for dangerous driving.

    I would give him the benefit of the doubt on the initial action, but deliberate reversing was no doubt a sneaky trick. In my mind it was totally indefensible.

    1. Elie says:

      The yellow came out the sec he went into the escape road. Quali was effectively over right then even before he attempted to reverse. So this whole business is ” a storm in a tea cup”

    2. Ronnie says:

      That’s the elephant in the room and therein lies the most deliberate act.

  51. German Samurai says:

    Maybe have the top ten do a single lap shootout for Q3 for Monaco only.

    Drivers make mistakes in their final laps in Q3 all the time. It’s just that at Monaco it will bring out the yellow flag and force everyone to slow down for that sector even if the car isn’t on track.

    I can’t understand the fascination with Rosberg’s mistake. He was pushing very hard going into a bumpy, downhill corner, chose the run off instead trying to make the corner, possibly clipping the wall and giving his mechanics a long night in the garage and giving Rosberg a penalty. The reaction people are having is hysterical.

    Monaco is not suitable for F1. And I’m not even talking about what happened in qualifying. In so many areas, especially the first corner there’s no catch-fencing protecting the marshals. I don’t want to think about what would happen if there was a repeat of the Derek Daly crash given the speeds they do today.

    I feel like nothing will happen until wheels do clip and we get something like Webber in Turkey or Grosjean taking everyone out at Spa. Only then will anyone say how primitive Monaco is and how mad they were to allow these cars to race there.

    I wouldn’t feel like much is being loss if Monaco is turned into a time trial event.

  52. PaulL says:

    Turn Q3 into a hotlap format.

  53. Sergio says:

    Only for those drivers that, at the moment of the flags, where on an improving lap versus their previous timings,

    it could be made their Q-Lap Time the result of the sum of their best timing for each of the three sectors done on That qualifying session time.

  54. Mat says:

    First of all, the stewards in the Rosberg case did not take action because they didn’t have clear evidence he cheated. That’s not the same as saying they believed he did not cheat. It just means that the evidence was mixed and not compelling or definitive enough for a guilty verdict. I think he cheated, but also that the stewards’ decision was understandable. It is a matter of opinion. The Scuhm situation was not that different. They had no proof then either. It was down to opinion. But back then, stewards were less accountable and their actions less transparent.

    Comments here about how teams should just focus on getting best laps in early etc ignore the fact that the current scenario does provide an incentive to a driver with the best lap from the first run to create a yellow. Whatever you think about the likelihood, the combination of (1) the inherent difficulty in proving guilt and therefore good chance of getting away with it; and (2) as a tactic, it is likely to be successful and maintain pole, is a problem.

    1. Ellen says:

      I like what you said, Mat. You cannot ignore the opportunistic element in Rosberg’s apparent mistake. This will happen again in future – it’s too easy.

      1. Richard says:

        That’s why the FIA need to put a deterrent in place.

  55. JF says:

    This is just a knee jerk reaction to what was really a non-issue anyway. Merc was going to get 1-2 either way.

    I think that F1 needs some elements of random chance to keep things exciting. Sometimes it works in someones favour, sometimes not.

  56. Mike84 says:

    Eliminate single-lap and knock-out qualifying. Make it one very long session where all of each driver’s lap times are averaged, and everyone gets the extra set of option tires, not just the top 10 at the end. If there’s a yellow flag, anyone who had a hot lap compromised gets to do an extra lap at the end. If anyone gets crashed out by someone else and it was not strategic trickery like a Toro Rosso bumping a Red Bull into a minor crash, then as long as they can fix the car within an hour of the end of qualifying, they get to go back out and finish their session from where they left off, including an extra lap if they were crashed on a hot lap. There would be some difference in track condition (usually for the worse) but it would still be more fair than just being out.

  57. Wade Parmino says:

    I have said many times before that the third session of qualifying should be a single lap opportunity per driver. Each driver will be guaranteed a clear lap and will be under pressure to make no mistakes which could result in some surprises. Two positives in my opinion. :)

  58. AuraF1 says:

    Ah that’s just silly talk.

    Adding extra time to quali? Why? If the leader gets hit on the final lap of a race, do we add a few extra laps on so they can have ‘a chance’ to catch up? Why not just keep adding time and laps until everyone gets a go?

    As someone else above said, they all have the chance to put banker laps in. And go fast. Anyone who leaves it until the last 2 minutes of Q3 to put in a fast time is running the risk of yellow or red flags. Especially at Monaco! How many times have drivers put it into a wall or recovery road? Nico is hardly the first (Probably need to keep pointing out that Lewis hit the barrier at the exact same point in 2009 and ruined his own quali). The only way to avoid this is to give everyone a single sudden death qualifying lap with no other traffic on the track – everyone gets one chance, one shot, no traffic, no hold ups. If they put in a good time – great, if they don’t tough.

    As for the deleting the fastest time – again – how do we know that they caused an incident deliberately? Or do we delete the fastest time of everyone who causes flags for any reason? So what if they have an engine or gear failure? What if they hit a manhole cover? What if they get a puncture? We say ‘oh you ruined it for everyone so your pole lap is deleted.’ How is that any fairer? That’s just going to lead to drivers tip-toeing around afraid to rag the cars in case they make a tiny error.

    F1 community has this weird thing where they ignore the REAL problems for decades but a minor issue and they all dive in with new regulations to change what wasn’t a problem at all.

    No adding time on. Tell everyone to put in banker laps and stop complaining. If Lewis had been faster earlier he wouldn’t have the issue. Yes it looks dodgy and it’s sad for him, but he is paid millions and has a massive strategy team – if they thought Lewis could have matched Nico earlier they should have said, look this is Monaco, people bin it in the walls all the time in Quali, you’ve done it yourself Lewis, so why not go fast now and get a pole lap before there isn’t enough time to match it?

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      Well said.
      To paraphrase a certain Midlander slightly:

      “Me think the spectators doth protest too much”.

      Perhaps another (modified) quote from Mr Shakespeare:

      “To be first on the grid or not to be first on the grid, that is the question.”

    2. ManOnWheels says:

      “F1 community has this weird thing where they ignore the REAL problems for decades but a minor issue and they all dive in with new regulations to change what wasn’t a problem at all.”

      Exactly and this is natural. Read this for example. It’s not about Formula 1, but it explains the mechanics very well:


      1. AuraF1 says:

        Thanks – a fascinating read.

  59. JohnBt says:

    Maybe they should’ve red flag quail after Rosberg’s incident just like extra time in soccer. In this manner the rest who need to complete the last flying lap have a chance especially for Q3. Just a thought.

    1. KRB says:

      Except there would only be 15 seconds of Q3 left, not enough time to get out of the pits and around to the start-finish line. Maybe instead of saying that cars must have passed the start-finish line before time runs out, say that they must have left the pit before time has expired, and that they’re then allowed to cross the start-finish line two more times, to start and to finish one flying lap.

      Even with 15 seconds, you might not be able to get all 10 cars out of the pit lane in that time!

  60. zx6dude says:

    as far as I’m concerned no changes are required for yellow flags.
    It is racing – incidents happen.

  61. Alex says:

    I don’t think it an issue that needs a fix, but how about a Q3 time based on an average of each competitors times in that Q3 session?

  62. Bart says:

    I hope the deletion thing will not deter drivers from pushing 100% in qualy. I am afraid whatever they decide to do they will get a huge backlash from some fans and drivers.

  63. HP says:

    If it ain’t broke, Don’t fix it.

    You can’t penalize a driver for causing Yellow/Red flag (as long as it wasn’t done on purpose of course-> as it was in Rosberg’s case).

    Yellow/Red flags can be caused by anything tbh, what if a piece of front-wing brakes and flies off onto the middle of the track? Is that a driver’s fault? What if a car behind gets a puncture because of debris on the track, is that a driver’s fault?

    If FIA decided to penalize the drivers for causing Yellow/Red flags in the qualifying, then they surely have to penalize the drivers who cause them in the race too! What if a driver on the penultimate lap of race caused a Yellow/Red flag, this would surely mean anyone that had a chance to overtake someone now cannot!

    I can go on creating scenarios but you all get the point I am trynna make.

  64. kenneth chapman says:

    this whole lot of argy bargy can be sorted by simply having the top ten set their time individually like it used to be. this can’t be any fairer.

    it is simple and it can’t be manipulated.

    1. Richard says:

      They have to go out at the same time as track conditions change.

    2. Voodoopunk says:

      But apparently it’s boring.

      And what if it rains when Hamilton goes out, who would be penalised then?

      1. kenneth chapman says:

        hahaha obviously the rain god cheated!!!!

  65. BW says:

    I don’t really understand why is it discussed at all. What about situation when someone is on his flying lap and then there is a crash in some other part of the track, causing the stoppage of the session? (yeah, happened quite a few times) It’s as unjust to him as it was to Hamilton.
    And, mind you, had Hamilton gone out for his FL earlier than Rosberg, then there would be no case at all – but he preferred to stay behind. It’s always more risky then, and this risk turned against him. And he could also bring a faster lap previous time, of course.

  66. glen says:

    Nothing needs changing. Qualifying is a free for all and everyone knows the risks.

  67. iiro says:

    No change needed. Running last gives you the advantage 95% of the time and the stewards make sure cheating is punished.

  68. AuraF1 says:

    Maybe Lewis can take it to the FIA Court of Appeal – where he can use as evidence that he was absolutely positive he was going to get the pole lap by waiting until the end to go faster than Nico…

    I admire Lewis a lot but I do think this uproar is still based on his absolute declaration that he was going to be on pole when if he’d been genuinely faster than Nico he probably could have shown it several times – if he’d just put Nico in his place earlier, Nico’s accident (or dastardly plot – delete as appropriate!) would have been useless.

    Ah sorry – I get Lewis’ disappointment and anger – and I respect everyone having a different opinion on Nico’s actions – but we can’t change Quali just because it annoys a particular driver.

    1. Ellen says:

      I’m an LH fan and I agree with you – you can’t change quali rules because it annoys one driver. But what I’m saying is the application of penalties…..what’s happened to the rule of “impeding other drivers on a FL” (by reversing onto the track like “unsafe release”) Or, the rule about “gaining an unfair advantage” like having to give the place back???!! Rosberg’s mistake was certainly an advantage he’d gained which ultimately consolidated the result.

      1. AuraF1 says:

        I think the rules on impeding are actually getting too harshly enforced, if a driver gets out of the way, they are entitled to continue their race as long as they don’t actively cause a detriment to the faster cars.

        The same with Yellow flags/Red flags – unless we can divine malicious intent (which nobody could with Rosberg) then the penalty is inherent in the accident – it brings them to a halt/slows them down already.

        If we start suggesting every yellow flag incident is penalised further as a possible malicious act we end up making every driver into terrified risk-avoiders who dare not push the limits.

        Frankly everyone is taking a risk running late in quali. There is always the chance that someone will go off or break down. It’s just part of racing which admits human error and mechanical breakdown. Races have been won and lost on a lot more than skilled overtakes – it’s often about minimizing mistakes and praying for decent reliability.

        I just think in the same way teams try to factor in Safety cars, they need to admit leaving your fast run to the last dying gasps of qualifying is a calculated risk. Yes the track might be faster, but the cars ahead could crash, stop, breakdown, anything. It’s possible Nico could have just run out of fuel, or hit the barrier – either way, Lewis’ lap was over and ruined. Nico taking the exit road brought out the yellows and reversing made no difference, the flags stay out in the cramped environs of Monaco (look at any year when someone is in one of the tiny escape roads – the flags aren’t lifted just because they reach the end of the lane).

        I think we want mixed strategies and inherent risk. I don’t think we can eliminate cheating by penalising any possible error just in case it was malicious.

  69. Dr T says:

    We are only talking about this because it was Nico who was the one who went off. If it was Massa or Perez or anyone else who you would care to name (sorry, can’t remember who was in Q3) that caused the yellow we would all be sitting here saying “poor Lewis, it happens in quali sometimes, bad luck sport, show must go on chaps (now I’m just taking the you know what)” and everyone would move on.

    If it were a road circuit Nico would have just locked up, taken the corner wide and gone on.

    Lewis’ bad luck that he went out second. His side of the garage could have always put him out first. It’s immaterial who goes first or second over the line on the last lap – if the driver ahead of you goes better you can’t change the first part of your lap to try and catch up after you’ve already driven it

  70. Harvey says:

    All the weeping caused by Lewis. Not too many were calling for changes to quali when he used to go out with a light car and not enough fuel to get back to the pits. Fortunately they fixed that one. Go back to one car at a time on track in Q3 so there’s no funny business, lengthen it to 30 minutes if Charlie wants, further regulate the amount of fuel and weight of the cars in qualifying, and be done with it.

  71. Jodum5 says:

    James, I don’t believe anything needs to be done. It’s a very long championship so maybe Rosberg unfairly gained from a sloppy mistake but Hamilton has plenty of chances to make up for it. We really shouldn’t be changing the regulations after every incident.

    If a change must be recommended: Why not simply stop the clock if an incident happens during the last minute of qualifying allowing time to clear the incident. The car that causes the stoppage is done for the day while any others that were on their final fast lap would have a chance to do another.

    Honestly, though this doesn’t happen often enough to go tinkering with the rules. As you said the last time it happened was in 2006 and the driver was severely penalized (not to mention humiliated).

  72. Josh says:

    What about a top ten shootout, where each car/driver gets the track to themselves for one lap.

  73. Ben G says:

    Deleting the last time is a good idea.

    Seems clear to me that Nico did it deliberately. The front on shot is damning – the back did not step out at all.

  74. cartweel says:

    I agree with those that say this is an over-rated situation that doesn’t need fixing.

    Racing is racing- let them at it. In my mind blocking is a much worse problem.

    If ANYTHING is done (and nothing should be), they should make the rule such that you need to be traveling at minimum 95% of the speed of the track at any given point to stop the cars from “stopping” on track to make gaps…

    Deleting last lap time is not fair- you want drivers pushing the limits in qualifying and if they have an off they effectively go to the back! That is just bad for everyone. Drivers that get caught out by a yellow have only themselves to blame- but they will still cry about it and some will listen (unfortunately).

  75. Kenneth M'Boy says:

    Give him a polygraph test.

    Q.”Did you mean to cause a yellow”
    A. “No” (some scratching)

    Q. “Are you and Lewis friends?”
    A. “Hell no!” (Straight lines)

    Q. “In this media battle, are you Senna or Prost?”
    A. “Mansell….no, no wait, Rosberg, as in Keke.” (Sweating and scratching)

    Q. “Are you German or Finnish?”
    A. “I wish this was finished” (machine explodes)

    1. KRB says:

      On the last question, I think he’s actually said he is “European”.


      “I had to choose one of my nationalities. Since I am a driver who does not have any big corporate sponsors behind me, it is easier to get into Formula One if you are seen to come from a big country the size of Germany.”

      He’s dual-national, Finn and German. But he doesn’t speak Finnish, and although he was born in Germany, he’s lived in Monaco since he was six. When he started racing karts, he raced in the French championships.

  76. cameron says:

    Have a top 10 shot out. 1 timed lap each with no-one on track but 1 car. First out slowest from Q2 to last out fastest from Q2. Like Bathurst 1000. U stuff up at worst start 10th and can’t stuff anyone else up.

    1. me says:

      Too bad about changing weather or oil on track etc etc.

  77. kfzmeister says:

    “It is unfair for a driver who is behind on the road, to lose a last minute chance to take pole through someone else’s actions.”
    I think this statement needs to be challenged. Everyone decides when to go out. When you push it to the last minute, you take certain risks. It keeps the racing interesting. Why does this need to be fixed? So what if Hamilton didn’t get another opportunity?

  78. fox says:

    Just allow them to run entire hour, may be exclude slowest cars (107% or so) after 15 minutes, then spend 45 minutes for whatever they want.

    Once in France Alen Prost parked the car in the middle of the quali and said he could not make better time. If Senna could make it better then he [Senna] deserved it. Senna did not make it better. Why such cases are not cases anymore?

    Also I vote for refueling during the race, but with opportunity to run entire race on single tank. So it should be unknown how many stops they will have on various tracks, especially with interesting weather forecasts.

  79. i see no mention of any reviews about him reversing onto the track ?

    Assume that part is in the rule book and perfectly acceptable ?

  80. snarfsnarf says:

    Okay my idea is fairly simple. If a driver goes off and causes yellow flags in the last 5 minutes of the session, an extra 5 minutes is then added to the session. This allows cars to go back and switch tyres etc and come out. This penalises no one individually and everyone has another fair shot at going fastest. The driver that goes off might struggle to make it back and out in 5 minutes and that is his penalty.

    In the new final five minutes everyone has a chance again, surely the same driver will not attempt to falsely go off twice. However, a team may attempt to go off to get a second shot… That is fine because their opponents get another attempt as well. I feel this is the only way as there are too many variables. Ultimately if a team wants to truly cheat they will find a way.

  81. Texas T says:

    Back in the day, F1 used to be run on Friday & Saturday – two timed sessions, with the aggregate time from the two sessions becoming the qualifying time. This rewarded consistency as well as speed.

    Why not keep Q1 & Q2 as they are (albeit shortened) and have the top-ten shoot out as two short timed sessions? No one can play games when its an aggregate time over two separate sessions.

    Simple & could be very exciting as it puts more emphasis on the top-ten shoot out.

  82. Laws and Disorders says:

    The qualy format is basically the same since 2006. It’s a good format, can’t see much fault there. Even with the 12 lap qualifying system, there was a chance of somebody stopping on the circuit. Now suddenly we wake up? Why not 50 years ago? God knows how many times in the past such tricks were used, but overlooked by the stewards. This seems to be the nature of F1, many regulations, but always rushed and rarely well thought.

    It is quite funny that serious faced stewards were even discussing whether Schuey or Rosberg did it deliberately or not. Deliberate what? Why connect the legality with something utterly vague and indeterminable?
    I think the drivers should be allowed to drive between the 2 white lines only. During their go kart days, they could do it,they had to do it. Now, in a series, which is promoted as a pinnacle, they can drive all over the place and get away with that. Firstly, stop them going off the circuit to avoid yellows. Secondly, delete the times of the competitor who causes the problem.

    But adding extra time for the session would be unfair for those who got it right during the normal time. Think again…Driver A overcooks it. His teammate, driver B parks his car, to give another opportunity for driver A.

    Whatever the decision will be, rulemakers, take your time not to make things worse.

  83. Mike from Colombia says:

    Why does the FIA not just give drivers

    a) a lecture on ethics
    b) oblige a handshake at the end, regardless or circumstances
    d) delete fastest time for yellow flags. I do not view this as being any more “unfair” as when a driver would go off under one lap qualifying in the early 2000s.

    Also, some common sense needs to come in and not just looking at telemtry and worrying about how Mercedes would react to accusations of cheating. Every single camera angke tells the same story. Rosberg messes up, over exaggerates steering movement and then craftily parks it whe.n we was more than capable of bringing it round that corner.

  84. Bru72 says:

    No changes are needed, especially for this ridiculous reason. If Lewis is that paranoid that Nico did this on purpose, and would do again, all Lewis has to do is make sure he is in front of Nico (track position) when putting in his quali lap.

    1. JohnBt says:

      Majority are gunning or very sure Lewis will take the WDC even myself, but I don’t think we should take it for granted that’ll he’ll take all the poles and races.

      Mind you Nico and Lewis scenario is very different from Vettel and Webber. Well at least we have the two leaders slugging it out which keeps this season alive.

  85. jpinx says:

    What I don’t understand is why NR was not penalised for reversing, when he clearly knew he’d blown his chances of setting a faster time — or am I missing something here ?

    1. alex says:

      your missing the fact that:
      in q3 each car must make it back to parc ferme so if he hadnt got back to the pits he might of got a penalty. dint he wait for the cars to go by before reversing(we didnt see anything on tv)

      1. jpinx says:

        So I’m guessing the yellows were out in spite of the fact that he was up an escape road and out of the way? If not he could have waited to let all the hot-lappers past before reversing? Something doesn’t add up here. ;)

    2. Chris G says:

      You’re missing the fact that the yellow flag was already out and was not connected to his reversing (that is the only run off area in that part of the course and it is not very long). Hamilton would still have had to slow down, and until Rosberg’s car had been removed (either by him reversing it out or removal by crane/marshalls) the yellows would have remained in place.

      1. jpinx says:

        As I understand it yellows mean “slow down to something not exceeding your previous run/sector time”. Would the laptime have been enough for pole if the unspoiled sectors were added to the sector times in the previous unspoilt run?

  86. Hiten says:

    FIA did look into all evidences elaborately , right? if it was not done deliberately then no point in looking for solution.

    like ppl here said what if it had rained!! Move on!

  87. peruvian says:

    So what we are saying is that, a driver caused a yellow flag and there is no consequences for his actions, it is the way it is and life goes on.
    I think it is WRONG WRONG WRONG to send that kind of message to people in general… every action has consequences in real life, F1 should not be different, or are we teaching young kids to do illegal things if they are not caught, and if there are, well there is no consequences life goes on….

    I believe punishment should be rather harsh for F1 drivers specially and for teams that like to break the rules, to set an example for viewers and the rest….

    F1 is a gentlemen sport, not a bunch of F$#@ cheaters, I despised dishonest people… I qualify them as ignorant, we all know, that life is like a restaurant, no one leaves without paying the bill.

  88. Chris Kirby says:

    Easy – any incident causing a yellow flag within the last 1 minute of Q3 automatically brings out the red flag. The cars then go back to the pits until the track is clear and then Q4 starts with 2m30 on the clock to enable each car to do an outlap and start a proper lap in clean air. Limited to 1 lap only if this occurs.

    1. me says:

      And how many times can this occur? Do they get free tyres after the 3rd time, 4th?

      1. Chris Kirby says:

        Hi, well its not up to me to decide – I think it provides the most workable solution to the current format – although individual one shot flying laps as suggested above I think sounds ok – its too much of a step away from the current format to be implemented anytime soon.

        To qualify for Q4 you have to be starting a hot lap behind the car that causes the yellow/red flag within the last minute – the car that causes the session to be flag is also excluded from Q4 of course – and you would get a fresh set of tyres to complete this lap (would not have been too much of a concern with P2 being wet this year there).
        Perhaps this could go on to Q5 but given the parameters to qualify for any Q4 session, there would not be many cars in it so the liklihood of going in to Q5 are extremely slight in my view.

  89. Ahmed says:

    Canada can’t come any quicker…

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      And hopefully a sprinkling of rain for the Montreal area on the weekend of 6/7/8 June…..

      1. Ahmed says:

        Lol… U do realize that if we get rain, it will mean nico will have an excuse as to why lewis’ beat him to pole and he will harp on about having it his way on saturdays 2-1 in the dry.

  90. bmg says:

    I’m not sure what is the best way to police this but it was very clear that Rosburg would benefit.

    Is he that ruthless to this, yes Schumacher would and maybe Vettel.

    But Rosburg strikes me as a clean skin.

    I can’t think of any other current drivers that would do this.

    Maybe the drivers should have a say in the kind of penalty or solution to this clear problem.

    I was very surprised he did not get some kind the penalty.

    1. luqa says:

      Out of the current driver line up, only LH has been caught lying to the Stewards.

      It says a lot of his lack of character when he accuses others of [mod] without clear evidence when he himself has been caught with his pants down..

  91. Mike says:

    Absolute rubbish. The current quali format is almost spot on. There has to be an element of risk that your run won’t be completed. As Hamilton said “I should have set my fastest time earlier.” The only change needed in my opinion is to have the top 10 start on their quali 3 tyres again and remove the extra set.

    F1 tried a “fair” one lap quali and it was dull dull dull.

    1. JF says:

      Agree: I like the current rules as well. Single lap was miserable.

      As said by many, there is a random element in any sport, sometimes it helps sometimes it hurts.

  92. Ellen Chen says:

    I agree with F Zero – Whilst Rosberg may not deliberately cause the mistake, it certainly provided him with the opportunity to make sure that LH couldn’t finish his lap either – that element you can’t ignore which is precisely why LH was fuming especially at the way Rosberg was celebrating his pole (at all cost). Unfairness always brings out the worst in people, not just LH. But the ultimate fault lies with the FIA – what happened to this “impeding” other drivers bit and….if this rule doesn’t apply, how about “gaining an unfair advantage” and has to give the place back bit????!!!!!

    1. Dave says:

      Those penalties are all avoidable incidents. If a driver runs off the track through out-braking themselves, or otherwise, this is not avoidable, unless you expect drivers to be machines who don’t miss braking points.
      To impede you have to get in the way AND be in a position to have gotten out of the way.
      To gain an unfair advantage is to gain an advantage through a circumstance you control or can rectify, like cutting a corner during an overtake.
      Sport requires a human element. We can’t just put on a pair of white gloves and push a car who was unlucky onto the front because ‘we felt the other guy needed to be punished for making a mistake’. You should not penalise an innocent party so another innocent party doesn’t feel as wronged – this applies to everything. Penalties are there to prevent bad intentions and not innocent mistakes.

  93. AlexD says:

    Best Solution: “Another suggestion, from some of the engineers working in F1, is to delete the fastest time of the driver who causes the problem.”

    Go for it!

  94. Andrew Carter says:

    IndyCar get’s it right in this sense, you crash and cause a stoppage your 2 fastest laps get deleted. In F1 terms it would work best if causing a double waved yellow or red flag gets your fastest lap deleted.

    In most cases, crashing in qualy tends to come from someone doing something stupid so in that sense it will be fair and will guarantee that no one ever considers deliberately causing a yellow in qualy ala Schumacher in 2006. It’s a low risk problem but this would mean that it never will happen again.

  95. Stephen Taylor says:

    Here are the changes I would like to see for the race weekend
    1 Scrap the 3 practice sessions before qualifying
    2 New Maximum rev limit of power 10,500 rpm for qualifying and a maximum 10,000 rpm for the race.
    3 For qualifying to be a continuous 35 minute session
    4 Drivers who cause cause an avoidable accident in which another driver retires should be black flagged.

  96. cheesypoof says:

    After reading Derek Wawrick’s comments regarding his and the other stewards decision, I’m even more convinced that they made the right call. It really is ridiculous how some ‘fans” are making a huge deal over nothing. Incidents happen. Get over it. Now if only Lewis would also.

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      Well said.
      A driver has the best of times, a driver has the worst of times. That’s F1. If a driver doesn’t accept that, then make way for a driver who can.

    2. JohnBt says:

      Have you ever thought if Nico was sent to the back, the race would have been super boring? Just saying. In any case Lewis never gave us a hint he was going to pass Nico at any point in the race.

  97. WG says:

    Looking forward to just moving on to Canada. But if we’re making suggestions. I’d say one or a combination of, deleting the offenders fastest lap, and or, anyone who was on a hot lap with no time on the clock when the yellow flags come out are allowed to run one more time lap next time around with the same tires on. Gives them a chance at least but a slight disadvantage with the used tires for taking the chance of waiting until the last moment.

  98. TheDude says:

    People are mistaking rational evaluation for sour grapes. Indeed bad luck does strike occasionally and that is part of the sport, but James is pointing out that the system is fundamentally susceptible to abuse. We don’t want systems with such a weakness, so we should change them. That’s all.

    What about adding “injury time” to the end of the session? The car causing the flag is excluded from the remainder of the session but his fastest time is honored. Qualifying should not punish risk-taking. It’s the only time when we see the unrestrained performance of car and driver.

  99. Trebor157 says:

    My suggestion would be that the top ten in Q3 have 4 laps each one out lap 2 timed laps and one in lap. With just one car on the circuit at a time, the slowest from Q2 starts first and the quickest last.
    If possible the drivers do not know each other’s drivers time until all 10 drivers have completed their runs in Q3. Then the top 10 grid positions are announced by the Stewards.

  100. Pem says:

    Has any body sat down and worked out
    How many poles have been won on the
    Last lap

    1. JohnBt says:

      Nope, but Vettel did that a lot!

  101. goggomobil says:

    It does not matter which way one slice it, Roseburg caused the yellow flags in its final lap,thus Lewis could not overtake.
    Where I question Derek Warwick on his coments be it intentionally or unintentionaly Roseberg cause the yellow flags and should have been penalised.

    1. DonFernando says:

      Yes because every driver who has caused a yellow flag in qualifying has been penalised so far, right. Oh no wait its the new Hamilton fan laws who rule F1.

  102. Thabang says:

    I agree with Jonny Herbert, Robert unsettled the car deliberately. Finnish and klaar.

  103. AlexD says:

    Specifically on Lewis/Rosberg case from the recent race. I really like what Gary Anderson said, fully agree with his opinion:

    ON MERCEDES: “At a time like this, the firm hand and logical thinking of Ross Brawn will be sorely missed. He’s someone that both drivers knew would not take any b***; they both respected him for his achievements, his ability to get the job done and, most significantly, his fairness.

    With the management structure Mercedes has now, it’s difficult to know who should be the one person that lays it on the line and takes control as Ross would have done. Is it Niki Lauda, Paddy Lowe or Toto Wolff?”

    ON LEWIS: “From what I’ve seen and heard, Hamilton was the one that started throwing stones. His statement about being hungrier for success than Rosberg was actually a little sad. He talked about living on his dad’s settee while Nico was living it up in Monaco. Give me a break.

    His dad gave him everything he could, and Lewis first got involved – on merit – with McLaren when he was 13. How many drivers of potential world championship calibre never got to show what they were capable of because they never had such an opportunity?

    During a race, we also hear a lot on the radio about what everyone except him is doing wrong. In Monaco it was about the pitstop timing and how the team should have brought him in the lap before the safety car came out; and now in the media it is how McLaren would have done just that.

    Teams make right and wrong decisions. Behind closed doors, say what you feel you need to say; but on the radio, when potentially the world can hear, keep your mouth shut.”

    I think Lewis is behaving like a spoiled kid, not like a confident man.

  104. Dave says:

    Lack of ‘luck’ is part of sport.[mod]

    Adding extra time is unfair to the drivers who got through in time – conditions may change, also gives those on a slower lap that got caught out have a second bite at the cherry.

    For the second option. Imagine overcorrecting a slide, causing a yellow flag and to add insult to injury you have your time wiped – that is almost blind robbery. The whole excitement to one lap qualifying is that mistakes occur and if you get caught out in traffic or rain, then tough luck – the qualifying system has put risk back into F1.

    The current system means you are saying to all the drivers – we’ve given you all an equal chance, up to you to use it. Strategy is key and if you run a high risk strategy (especially in Monaco) of going last, then you have to accept the consequences whether good or bad.

    It’s like getting caught out by bad weather – are we going to let those drivers go again because they miss timed their run and got caught out by heavy rain? No, they should have gone out whilst they had the chance like the drivers who did.

  105. Rod says:

    Monaco and Hungary, or any other circuit, could have special rules. Some flexibility would be fun.

    1. AuraF1 says:

      Maybe Monaco should go down to Talladega Nights style Q3, the drivers get out of the cars and race each other on foot…

      Might be Jenson’s best chance of pole before retirement though as he’s the triathlete…

  106. Jim Streets says:

    Why would we want to avoid a repeat of the Monaco controversy!?

    1. moxlox says:

      Hehe! Exactly. Now the season’s entertainment is very well set up for us. Pure spice added by this.

      Plus like others have said here, leaving your qualifying to the last minute is the risk you gamble (of an incident causing you a problem). No need to change anything.

  107. Olivier says:

    The yellow flag in Rosbergs case was a bit unnecessary. He was no longer a danger for the other racing cars as he did take the escape road.

    I understand that a yellow flag is there to warn the racing drivers from changed track conditions. Like oil, or marshals on track.

    It is part of the Q3 drama to have yellow flags that could cut Q3 short. I wouldn’t change the format. Unless of course getting rid of the Qualifying format altogether and have the cars start the next race in the order they finished the previous one. Now, that would be an incentive to give it your all in Spain :)

    1. Olivier says:

      What about having an orange flag for Rosberg?:

      Car off track with no immediate danger for the racing cars. No need to slow down. Hamilton on pole!

  108. DonFernando says:

    Since Schumachers botched qualifying in 2006 there have been hundreds of incidents were drivers couldnt make a final run in either Q1, Q2 or Q3 because of some mistakes by other guys, debris on the track, sudden shower, blocking by drivers and for countless other reasons didnt get the result they felt was possible. Guess what they had to live with their time from the first attempt. What about Kimis crash in Q2 in Australia that cut short several drivers attempts to get into Q3 as a recent case. Didnt remember any article on James Allen for any of these incidents and why the system should be changed. I also wonder how much more articles we can expect from now on in which this insinuation that Rosberg might have [mod] pops up despite there beeing no evidence. Martin Brundle has taken the same line with his piece for Sky, but what else can you expect.

    As for the idea itself that whoever causes a yellow flag in qualifying (and this includes Q1 and Q2 as well) should be punished with his best time being revoked or even more draconian that he is sent to the back of the grid is just dumb and not cleverly thought out. It would just result in drivers who have made their first flying lap and who made a very good lap think twice if they do a second attempt out of fear they could make a mistake and get punished. For instance its Q3 and Hulkenberg puts his Force India with his first attempt on grid position 7, naturally he is overjoyed but under the current rule he would still make a second attempt to try and improve on his time and why shouldnt he. Now with your proposed rule changes why would he risk another run in Q3 when at best he might improve his start position by another place but if he causes a yellow flag (it doesnt have to be driver error, cars can brake down on the track) he will be demoted to the back of the field. Not very encouraging ! What nonsense, we would have far less action in qualifying and drivers who think twice about going to the limit because the risk-reward ratio would be upside down. Less driving but more slow driving would be the outcome. LOL

    The alternative is just accept the outcome of this weekend instead of trying to change the whole format of qualifying and all that just because Lewis Hamilton didnt win in Monaco !

    1. luqa says:

      Well said..

    2. Inner Circle says:

      Totally agree. If you go and try to bend the format to prevent the last offense happening again, you’ll end up with a set of rules that are more complicated AND will invariably fail to prevent another slightly different offense. “+5 grid places to a driver who causes yellows without damaging their cars” – OK, then they’ll make sure to scratch the chassis somewhere. Would it be better?

      Perhaps the teams could come to a gentleman’s agreement so that the driver who leads the Q will not lead the last charge. But even that won’t work, as – if nobody brings out yellows – he’d be in the best position to even further increase his lead.

      So, just leave it as it is.

  109. erik says:

    These guys put their own life at risk stepping in to the car and other people are trying to make their risks smaller, flags are there for safety reasons.

    What is more important- drivers safety or fare change to do maximum. You can not have both.

    Lose all flags and let them drive as fast as possible and if something happens it`s just bad luck. At least it will be exciting and much more drama to sell.

    Or don`t let them race and they will be at safe. We all are happy because they are alive. Period.


  110. Carlos Marques says:

    Just don’t leave it to the last minute to do your best lap. This is Monaco after all.

    …or, position yourself to be the first in line for that final lap, like Rosberg did. Especially at Monaco.

  111. ManOnWheels says:

    “adding some extra time onto the end of qualifying” is not an option, sorry. It could be exploited as well. Don’t get a proper lap, cause a yellow, try again. Not cool.

    “delete the fastest time of the driver who causes the problem” is not fair, if that problem was caused by a driving error. Driver’s won’t push as hard as they could, they get their banker in and call it a day to be sure. Not cool.

    It’s normal that people overreact to rare events, that’s because they are not used to it and what’s unusual is even more unpleasant.
    But since something like that rarely happens it is a non issue. So if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it, all it would do is make things worse.

    My golden tip: don’t change a thing. Qualifying is fine as it is and this little controversy is also fueling the drama that makes Formula 1 exciting.

    1. Scuderia McLaren says:


      I posted a similar overall notion. It’s Monaco. F1 is sterile enough. Leave it.



  112. Chaz says:

    No need to screw with the rules any further… deleting times is stupid. It was a “sucks to be you” moment and Lewis and Daniel got caught the short end of it this time.

    It is the game of risk in qualifying that “stuff” can and sometimes does happen at any time.

    Karma has a way of evening all things…

  113. Babs says:

    I don’t generally post on these sites, but the quali incident in Monaco has left me feeling really dissatisfid. We keep hearing that fans are complaining about the (lack of) noise. Perhaps (though I think if F1 cars were totally silent that would be utterly awesome) but what this fan wants to see is racing. I really wanted to know if HAM would beat ROS or VET would beat RIC and whether ROS cheated or not I definitely feel cheated. There is something deeply wrong with regulations that penalise a driver for a gearbox change (out of his control) or for impeding another driver, and yet give no penalty for provoking yellow flags. Whether the mistake was genuine or not there is no doubt that HAM was impeded in his lap. The lack of penalty leaves an obvious incentive to behave recklessly in the situation in which ROS found himself – even without invoking premeditation. I find this deeply dissatisfying and unfair on other drivers and suggest an automatic 5 grid place penalty for any driver causing a yellow flag in quali without the need to show intent. Yes, genuine mistakes will be penalised, but then there will be a serious incentive to keep the car on the road. If a driver causes a collision with another car the current review process is fine – with a minimum 5 place grid penalty for the guilty party. In the case that it is a “racing incident” in quali then perhaps both drivers could lose 1 place. Push hard yes, but know the limits.

  114. james encore says:

    The only way I can see it working is a new Red flag protocol for quali. Basically no waved “slow down” yellows , Red or nothing with these strings.
    * If you’ve passed the accident you can finish the lap.
    * Anything which requires drivers to abort a flying lap brings out a red, which resets the clock to a minimum of 5 minutes.
    * Drivers on track having completed an outlap get a tyre exchange – the used ones can’t be used in the race.
    * Whoever caused the flag takes no further part in quali. No further sanction.

    Deliberately causing an incident – if proved – needs a sufficient penalty to make sure no-one tries it.

    Assume for a moment Rosberg did [mod] and weighed it all up between Casino square and the braking point for Mirabeau. “If I leave things as they are Lewis gets 25 points and I get 18. But if I stick the car off the track at the next corner it’s sure to bring out a yellow – and there’s nowhere else I can do that. Getting pole should gain me 14 points relative to Lewis but if I get busted for it at worst I lose 18″ [And he works all that out, and pulls it off without leaving enough sign of wrong doing to get busted] … A nice conspiracy theory – if a bit incredible, but would he think that it was worth gambling on not being caught if he didn’t just got to back of the grid but got a multi-race ban too.

  115. Richard D says:

    I liked the qualifying format where each driver did a lap starting in the finishing order from the last race and in their second and third runs in order of fastest in the qualifying. The only flaw in this format was that occasionally a driver who had completed his fast lap could get in the way of the next driver, but this was quite rigorously enforced with penalties for blocking. I suppose one car on track at a time didn’t work too well for TV but I still think it was the fairest way we have had.

  116. Scottjw says:

    Qualification format currently works well and I wouldn’t really want it changed. The strategic element of picking when to be on the track, timing across the line so you are last etc all add to the excitement.

    Possible solution: If a driver’s lap is compromised due to a yellow, take their previous fastest time for the SECTOR(S) where they have to lift for the yellow and create an aggregate lap-time.

    Example from Monaco:

    Nico Qualified in 1:15.989

    Lewis was compromised in Sectors 1 & 2 due to yellow (ideally the yellow only affects a single sector but due to location needs to be sector 1 AND 2 at Mirabeau)

    Lewis Best Sector 1: 19.906
    Lewis Best Sectir 2: 35.140
    Lewis Best(Can’t find actual for final lap) Sector 3: 20.935

    Lewis Agregate Laptime: 1:15.981 = POLE by .008

    I don’t think it matters about Lewis’ actual time for the example above for the last lap as he would of backed out of it. But if this aggregate time was in place, drivers lift for the yellow as required, and push hard the rest of the lap.

    Still not perfect, but would be interested to see how the Schumacher timing would of panned out in 2006 for Alonso.

  117. Tom Westmacott says:

    Glad to see this flaw in the regulations being addressed. It’s a very sound general principle in any competition that no-one should benefit from their own mistakes. Moreover, if you impede another driver while on the track, you will receive a penalty. If you crash during Q1 or Q2 and are unable to return to the pits unaided, you are unable to join the next qualifying session. Yet we have this anomaly where a driver can crash on his second Q3 lap, and effectively end the session at a time of his choosing.

    By creating this perverse incentive for a crash, one then sets up a situation where a perfectly innocent mistake comes under suspicion as an unfair move.

    In order to prevent cheating, and also to prevent innocent drivers being unfairly suspected, the only reasonable thing is to restore the principle of not allowing benefit from one’s own mistakes.

    To me, going off and bringing out a yellow flag is little different from unintentionally impeding another driver on a hot lap, and should be treated the same, with a grid penalty. Fix this now, otherwise we’ll be back here in the future, wondering the unknowable about another driver’s true intent.

  118. Adam says:

    As unfortunate as it is, this sceanrio is no different to blocking, or the incident where Massa was forced out. Even a penalty to the offender does not help the victim. There is no fair and effective solution, so just accept these things happen.

    1. Mat says:

      But in the case of Massa, Ericsson had no incentive to do what he did. In fact, quite the opposite. Rosberg had an incentive to get a yellow. And if Rosberg had been punished with a grid penalty for having his best lap removed, it would have benefited all of the victims. Regardless of whether it was deliberate in his case, it would have been closer to fair.

      In retrospect, it’s surprising this hasn’t happened more often. It would be much easier to do at most other circuits. A spectacular spin with no risk of hitting a barrier and manage to stall it just off track…yellow out and everyone else is effectively done.

  119. Kris says:

    “Another suggestion, from some of the engineers working in F1, is to delete the fastest time of the driver who causes the problem. ”

    This line of thinking is where the answer is to be found. There are too many offences in Formula 1 that constitute mild slaps on the wrist for the offending parties but don’t compensate the victims of such offences in the race. It’s the same with stop-go or drive-through penalties for those guilty of causing collisions or ruining others’ races. I don’t know what the answer in such circumstances but the sport needs to make more of an effort to ensure victims of offences are offered better compensation.

  120. Dan says:

    The crying and moaning from the British press on this is almost as bad as from Hamilton himself. LH (grow up!) is not doing himself any favours with team management except showing them what happened at McLaren with Alonso.

    Kudos for Mercedes allowing them to race (as it should). Whoever keeps their head screwed on the most appropriate way will be champion.

  121. Apollo says:

    No change please! this kind of “accident” has happened twice in the past 8 years or something around 1.6% and only in Monaco.

    Not a considerable risk! The current format is exciting. do not open the door to more interpretation! The current FIA racing and qualifying rules are restrictive enough. Even I go further and say it is too restrictive specially when it comes to racing day.

  122. James says:

    In 2009 Singapore qualifying, Barrichello crashed, and Hamilton held provisional pole. The red flags were brought out. If my memory serves (which it may not), Vettel was challenging that lap time, and lost the chance to go quicker, even though he was further down the road from the incident. If anyone cares to check that…? Anyway, my point being that Hamilton, like many drivers, has benefited in the past, so why get so annoyed by this? In 2007, the Alonso/Hamilton relationship really went sour at Monaco, then deteriorated further. Hamilton had the team behind him that time. This time?

  123. Rayz says:

    I think the current quali format has needed changing for a couple of years now. Q1 and Q2 are grand as they are. But I think Q3 should be a one lap shootout with the man in 10th place from Q2 setting a hot lap, followed by the 9th place man from Q2 etc etc…

    Pros to this idea;

    -One lap nerves not two runs
    -We get to see everyone lap instead of seeing snippets of a couple of guys. We keep missing superb laps as all 10 cars are on hot laps together.
    -No yellow flag issue as the driver who makes a mistake is affecting nobody. The next driver is only on his outlap.

    -Rain or changeable conditions may give an unfair advantage or ruin it for some. Lottery element but that could spice things up. Luck of the draw still exists anyway with rain.
    -Q3 would take 20mins instead of 12mins as we have to get thru 10 hot laps but at least we get to see them all and surely TV cant be unhappy with that. Could always drag Q1 down to 15mins and Q2 to 12mins if it was an issue.

    James et al, thoughts on this idea…… largely positive response last time I pitched it in 2013

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes, I’ve replied to the same suggestion elsewhere

      It’s a good format, much better for TV and no chance of missing the pole lap. I’ve always argued that you could use different graphics on that single lap format which would help fans understand more of what the driver is doing, his lines, where he’s gaining, losing etc. At the moment it all just happens at once and is hard to take in

      1. Wayne Brannan says:

        My only concern with this is the rain, as Rayz mentions above. On the one hand, if the track starts dry or if there’s a bit of drizzle but gets wetter as Q3 goes on then those running last are massively disadvantaged and they’re not all getting a fair shot at earning their truly merited starting grid slot. It would likely result in a grid the same as the order in which the cars went out.

        Conversely, if the track starts very wet but the rain has stopped, then the grid will simply be the reverse order of the cars going out as each improves the track for the man behind him massively.

        In both cases, Q3 is largely a waste of time.

        That said, I do love the suggestion, Rayz! How about we implement your idea with a caveat that Charlie gets to revert to current Q3 format where either:
        1) Wet track, OR;
        2) Official F1 weather forcast is >25% chance of rain in Q3


      2. Rayz says:

        Yea I agree the rain could cost somebody. Your solution would certainly work but the only thing is that in the changing conditions, yellow flags are even more likely…. so it brings us back to the same issue as last weekend in Monaco.

        My opinion is that drastically changing conditions over such a short session (Q3) is so rare (1/2 time per year max), that its worth leaving it up to luck. If the last guy out gets the worst of the conditions, worst case scenario he starts 10th so its not a disaster.
        In the old days of 20 cars qualifying sequentially, if it rained late on, all those guys would be down the back of the grid.

        Would make for an entertaining race if once or twice a year, Rosberg and Hamilton had to start 9th and 10th and make their way to the front.

      3. Richard says:

        While it might be good for TV the single lap format is unfair as you well know track conditions can change rapidly particularly as it rubbers in or conversely when the rain comes down. They have to go out at the same time!

      4. Rayz says:

        I take your point but track evolution benefits the last driver out so it puts emphasis on getting a good Q2 time which spices that session up a bit. At the moment, Lewis and Nico are holding back in Q1 and Q2, saving themselves for the big lap in Q3. This way, there is an incentive to push hard to be fastest in Q2 to be last out for Q3.

        As for rain, it has been mentioned elsewhere but luck has always played a part in this sport. I think it was Spa last year where DiResta nearly bagged pole by going out early in Q3 and then the rain got heavier.

        It might only happen once a year that we get a mixed up Q3 grid order but we might then get to see a great race because of it. And let’s face it, it’s very rare that the Q3 conditions would change drastically… its such a short session.

        The main fault with the old sequential lap quali format where it was based on your result from the previous race is that the session lasted an hour so conditions were more prone to changing. My method would at least limit any rain interference to the guy who gets the bad luck starting 10th at worst, so it’s not like Suzuka 2005 where you had Raikkonen, Alonso and Schumi all down the back of the grid. Incidentally, one of the best races of all time however as they made their way thru the field.

        Spices things up all round.

    2. Liam in Sydney says:

      For Q3 re the rain problem, how about 5 mins before Q3 commences the Stewards make a call as to whether the single lap format will prevail (i.e. no rain) or ‘all-in’ quali (i.e. rain). Keeps the teams/drivers on their toes if they know there is the likelihood of a wet quali being called.

  124. David says:

    I don’t really understand the issue. If a driver spins off, causes yellow flags and thereby slows down (ruins) the qualification of another driver, or a whole bunch of them, they should get a grid penalty – the same as obstruction. Rosberg could have been pushed back 3 or 5 places, rather than being disqualified, say, which would have been drastic. (Though if FIA decided that the crash or spin off was deliberate, disqualification should apply from qualifying and the race).

    I don’t see what would be unfair about that. Part of driving is staying on track, and failure to do so is a driver or team (mechanical) error.

    1. Babs says:

      I agree. It is inconsistent to penalise obstruction and impeding in some circumstances and not all. It is asking for cheating to allow drivers to profit from their mistakes. Some fans actually want to know who is fastest and not see a driver error (even if it is an error) equate to fastest. Passions are roused by the personalities involved, but the issues are more important than that. In football you don’t have to prove intent for the referee to give a red card – it just has to be a foul!

  125. James Roller says:

    Guys I’m from Australia and love formula 1. Over here we have a category called V8 Supercars. They use a great qualifying format which I think is reminiscent of the old days in F1. Its called The Top Ten shoot out!

    Let me explain The Top 10 shoot out.

    Firstly Q1 and Q2 would remain the same format as it is today.

    Q3 Would allow each driver in the top ten 1 flying limit on the limit to secure Pole. This also includes Warm up and Warm down Lap, 3 laps total.

    Slowest runs 1st and the quickest runs last from Q2 finishing order.

    Very good as a spectator because everything is on the line for 1 lap.

    No blocking, now excuses, just pure driving on the limit.

    Love it.

    james your thoughts?

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes, I like that format. I enjoyed commentating on single lap quali in F1 back in the early 2000s.

      Also added an element of intrigue when it rained near the end so you might get an unpredictable pole sitter and fast cars out of position lower down the top ten.

      It’s a much better TV format too, as the director doesn’t always catch much of the pole lap in the current format, with 10 cars circulating.

      1. seifenkistler says:

        And then we will see someone who starts in Q3 as 10 knowing rain will come.Somehow he will manage to damage his car on the out lap so he is needing 20 minutes for it.
        The more rules the more holes will be there.

        How about a 2+10+2 minutes Q3?
        The first 2 minutes everyone who caused a yellow the last qualifying or same day has to drive out. After 2 minutes all others will join. The last 2 minutes the yellow-flagged ones are not allowed to be on track anymore, so they won’t get the benefits of a track which gets quicker.

      2. justafan says:

        Yes, apart from that nonsense that the championship leader had to set his time when the track was at it’s slowest. Artificial gimmick to spice up the show it was in the first place.

    2. JohnBt says:

      They do that in SuperGT. Only 2 cars out at a time, lots of space and no excuses to do their flying lap. Some say it’s boring.

      But I kinda like the element of excitement at the end of Q3 where drivers take their chances like Vettel and Lewis, it’s like a game of poker. The final strike or blow to opponents.

      Overall it’s very subjective. Come to think of it Lewis still gained his points finishing second. So Lewis being a celeb has caused much furor. It’s not such a big deal but because it was Monaco. Good F1 publicity though. C’mon, soap opera sells, that’s the way of the world.

  126. M Wishart says:

    I love this sport for the fact that if something is wrong it can be changed and you don’t have to wait years like in say football etc.

    Since I have been watching it f1 from 1994, there have been so many different formats on a saturday and when one way didn’t work it was changed to another and now we have something good.

    BUT, to start messing around with it just because what happened at the weekend is madness…!!!

    Sorry Lewis, next time you go out before your team mate, easy.

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t start messing with this just because, just because nothing at all, its the luck of the draw the roll of the dice in Monaco and this time Lewis lost.

    MOVE ON………

  127. Joe S says:

    A ridiculous suggestion and the majority here agree. Hamilton had time before the incident where he could have got more than one lap in. Rosberg’s incident, which could and most likely was a mistake to me, is just one of those things that can happen.

    Perhaps if a Safety Car comes out, then the driver leading the race whose chances of a race win are ruined due to the SC can get some extra laps and the race length be lengthened, y’know, “to make things fair”.


  128. Mark Shueard says:

    I prefer a top 10 shootout. 1 lap each in turn from the top 10 from session 2. Slowest time ( from q2) goes first and work way to the fastest ( from q2) , one car on track at once.
    In Aussie V8 supercar series this is quite exciting.

  129. ficklesteak says:

    What’d be hilarious is if Nico managed to “mess up” somehow in a few more Q3′s .. “brake-by-wire system had an issue”, “power unit hiccupped”, “someone spilled beer and I drove over it”, or a cheeky “this time, there was dirt in .. my .. eye” maybe while doing the Vettelfinger.

    My hope, though, is that Lewis doesn’t go Senna’s route (retaliation) like he implied he would, but instead still manages to beat Rosberg despite a huge 46 points of swing through only 1/3rd of the season: 32 in MEL (25/18 turned into 0/25), plus 14 in MCO (25/18 to 18/25).

    Guess we’ll wait and see what Bernie has in store for us this time around.

  130. Scuderia McLaren says:

    @James Allen. Thank you for being able to run and moderate a site that receives many 1000′s of comments a week on 3-4 usually very good posts. It’s hard work, but it’s critical as it keeps your site top quality.

    I know of a few sites, one in particular, that can’t do this with only a couple hundred comments per week. It’s just a mess. The converse is that the site (another one I know) becomes facist in their approach to any spirited comments or contra veiws. This other site also only has to cope with one hundred or two hundred comments per week.

    So it’s either they become all out war, dog eat dog, and anything goes or a good impression of what freedom of speech is like in China.

    Anyway, reading between the lines I appreciate you are hamstrung a bit and I don’t agree with your implied stance on 1) Whether Nico deliberately engineered his qualifying accident and 2) the watering down of the Monaco qualifying magic. That’s why good drivers get good bankers too. It’s been a factor that a session could end early since Fangio. It’s perfect the way it is because there is that operational risk too in qualifying and saftey cars. F1 is sterilized enough I think.

    Cheers ,


  131. Nick says:

    No change is necessary – that’s why they give the drivers 10-15 minutes to do their best lap.

    As for people’s ‘suspicions’ that Roseberg did this deliberately, that’s just rumour mongering with absence of proof. And saying that other drivers also believe it was deliberate adds no more weight to the argument either, particularly as they are competitors and would say that.

    Has anyone thought that as he was already on pole, he just went for it as hard as he could knowing that he had less to lose. Why is that a hanging offence that so many claim it to be? And since when is it a driver’s responsibility to ensure they don’t push too hard so they don’t go off in order to preserve a free passage for following competitors on qualy runs?

  132. Pat Palozzi says:

    Why not give each of the ten driver left 6laps to try for the pole,if you spin out you are out ,and that driver will have to start tenth or lower.

  133. Andrew says:

    I don’t have a problem with the current qualifying setup. Here is a possible solution to prevent cheating.

    Phase 1. All cars are on track for 18 min like existing Q1 and times are set for an order.

    Phase 2.
    As all circuits take over one minute to complete I believe they can accommodate 4 cars with 15 second gap minimum between them.
    Cars placed 1-3 form a group, 4-6, 7-9, and so on. The last group is a group of 4 cars.
    One group go out at a time, with the cars a minimum 15 seconds apart.
    The times set the order within the group.
    Should a leading car cause a yellow, the time from the yellow sector of track is excluded from the lap and remaining green sector times are used for the other two cars. The yellow causing car is placed at the bottom of its group of three or four.
    Should a car get caught out by rain mid lap, then the biggest loss is two places.

    As the groups are based on the initial qualifying period, the pace of the cars within a group should be similar so one car should not catch another.

    Any thoughts, suggestions?

  134. DB4Tim says:

    “there is no doubt that it is unfair for a driver who is behind on the road, to lose a last minute chance to take pole through someone else’s actions”

    THAT is racing …are you “trying’ to fall prey to what F1 has become…surprised I am !!!!

  135. Justabrit says:

    Cant help wondering how much of this is due to the fact that its Lewis Hamilton. He is signed up to a showbiz media management company right, and yeah that was his choice. He did not sign up with a management company with an F1 pedigree so is he now paying the price for being instructed by a company outside the sport. Their interest is money full stop. Lewis they will dump you as soon as your earning potential drops, you are an amazing driver don’t let the bullshit mess you up!!

  136. John says:

    I think it should stay as it is. Unless and incident happens early and wrecks the whole session.
    Put in a banker lap, then try and improve. This adds a bit of risk in leaving things to the last minute. Hamilton needs to grow up. ” Man Up” Hamilton

  137. Andrew H says:

    I see NO EVIDENCE of Rosberg’s lockup being intentional.

    He locked up his fronts in the same place about 3 times that I can remember during the race.

    Sure Hamilton has the right to be disappointed, he has once again showed his immaturity & extremely poor sportsmanship once again, much like Vettel.

    If they change Monaco’s qualifying to avoid these issues, then it should be a season wide change.

    Monaco is not the only track where Yellow flags can & have hindered other drivers qualifying.

  138. Peter W says:

    I see most people here think there’s nothing wrong with the current situation, and I agree. This is not the first time someone has lost out due to a yellow – big deal. However, on current form it would seem the FIA have no interest in the opinion of fans…take the brain dead idea of double points and the universal condemnation for instance. I therefore expect to see the Lewis Hamilton free pass qualifying rule introduced before the next round.

  139. Craig in Manila says:

    No need to change anything except for the penalty for deliberate, negative actions during races or during quali.

    If the stewards catch anyone deliberately blocking or deliberately causing a yellow, then that driver should be removed from the race and also the next race. No replacement driver to be allowed.

  140. Razzle says:

    Just pause the clock for yellow or red flags if anything is done after this. Hell, have a Monaco rule about this. My big issue is that he reversed and that was acceptable, in that there’s the potential to manipulate the yellow flags without consequences. So if you want to keep the same system you’ve got to put the fear of god in them about that.

  141. Kurtis says:

    I agree with some of the other comments. This has been an issue for a long time with cars crashing causing yellow or red flags late in Qualifying thus ruining the last chance for some drivers. The solution is simple, get out in your car early and make sure you get the fastest time you can do early on. Same thing as when the weather suddenly changes in qualifying and a sudden rain at the end of the session ruins some driver’s chances at pole since they left it too late and got caught out.

  142. If it were not for Hamilton being vociferous about the situation, no one would be talking about this.

    Did any other driver make such a fuss about it?

    If no one can prove Rosberg’s move was deliberate, that’s just bad luck for whoever was behind.

    The drivers/teams who leave their lap late for optimum track conditions had to trade the risk of something like this happening in Monaco.

    Hamilton finished 2nd on Sunday, not 6th or 10th. So the point loss was marginal in my opinion.

    All in all, this will be a thing of the past when Hamilton wins in Canada, Silverstone and Hungary, were he usually has the upper hand on his team mate. He’ll probably be leading the championship with a bit of a gap by the time we get to Belgium.

  143. jon says:

    Delete Monaco from the F1-calendar instead. That would improve F1 by miles.

  144. Johnrb says:

    What bothers me in all this is the notion of entitlement, that LH’s full lap was absolutely certain to have been faster if only he had the chance to complete it; so he would have done it and the pole was rightly his, except that’s not what actually happened. If the yellow flag was associated with another driver or some other cause would LH still be entitled? Short of a blatant infraction by NR this is just racing. Way too much has been read into this. It is bad enough that stewards are pouring over telemetry traces long after the fact without thinking about creating more rules and regs to create a perfectly level playing field. This whole issue has been taken way out of proportion. At the end of qualifying in Q3 the guy with the fastest lap got pole position. Nobody stopped LH from putting in the fastest lap on the same lap as NR did his fastest lap. The teams decided on their strategy, understanding and hopefully accepting the risks involved with the choices they made. If it had been the other way around and NR put in the fastest lap because he did it at the last moment in the session would this have been unfair to LH because the track was faster at the end of the session?

    1. Voodoopunk says:

      “that LH’s full lap was absolutely certain to have been faster if only he had the chance to complete it”

      How do you know that?

      1. justafan says:

        It’s smile: Hamilton thinks he’s the fastest out there, so he must have had the God given right to get the fastest lap.

    2. sebsie says:

      If the yellow flag was associated with another driver and that driver went ahead to benefit most after the yellow flag, yes LH (and many fans) would be right to feel aggrieved.

  145. jack says:

    surely the best solutions here is to go back to a ‘hot’ lap situation for EACH car in the Top 10/ Q3 and to make this as an exception for Monaco …much like everything else at Monaco is an exception to the rest of the years calender …

    and this way, each kid gets a go at a lap …

    if they crash, all the other kids wait patiently until the mess is cleared … and then they go in turn.

    No more ‘criesee wysee’ by Lewis or anyone else …

    BTW, Im not suggesting this for any other circuit, but with Monaco, if someone crashes, they do all suffer – as opposed to other circuits.

  146. Matt W says:

    Go back to one hour, 12 laps. Sky and BBC can then fill the boring bits with the gumpf they normally put on before and after the session. Its ridiculous how the analysis seems to go on twice as long as the actual event these days!

  147. Radar says:

    As many have already said. No solution is necessary. LH took the risk to run as late as possible and he lost out ‘cos the track went yellow. A ruling has been made that Rosberg did not do it deliberately. We have to respect that decision and move on. Simple as that.

  148. MistressofSpeed says:

    Since he unveiled his 2014 helmet design Lewis has sent out a strong and powerful message.

    Maya Angelou: 4th April 1928 – 28th May 2014

    What more needs to be said – what’s that line in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet about biting one’s thumb at the enemy.

    To paraphrase Bono: “Get in there Lewis”

    Please research and google before you reply.

  149. erik says:

    To solve the problem very easy: every driver will tell before the session what they are going to do… and if the actual outcome differs from what they told, give them a 5 place grid penalty… yes, yes, yes. Then you can control uncontrollable!!!!!!!!!

    I`ll bet guys who actually racing accept the unpredictability factor. This factor is the part of sport DNA. If we talk about sport of course. And Lewis Hamilton is just thinking somehow he can whine about the essence of the discipline, call Rosberg a liar and walk ignorantly on the paddock.

    This format of qualification is very good, much better than giving separate runs, and these situations are very rare anyway, so don`t overregulate things.

  150. Ed Bone says:

    Great article, getting to the core of the problem, avoiding character assassination.

    The rules do need changing, because at the moment the door is open for a clever driver to lock pole or indeed any grid position by deliberately sabotaging the end of quali with a yellow.

    These are the best drivers in the world and I do not for one second think it is that hard to conjure up an incident that forces a yellow flag.

    A simple rule would be if you impede quali with an avoidable mistake, you lose 5 grid places.

    Some might say this makes life too difficult for the driver, but let’s face it, under normal competitive circumstances, an off like ROS did would be to throw away their lap time.

  151. aveli says:

    hamilton should ensure rosberg doesn’t go anywhere near his drink bottle and should never go to rosberg’s for anything to eat.

    1. HP says:

      Lol, but he’s hungry :P

      1. aveli says:

        he should rather starve.:-)

      2. HP says:

        He doesn’t need to, he’s not overweight(!) like Sutil :P

      3. aveli says:

        good grief! is sutil overweight? no wonder his car couldn’t handle his extra weight and hugged the barriers with so much passion.

  152. Chris says:

    There was a time in F1 when Lewis could do no right. My guess if he had made this booboo around that time he would have been punnished.

    At the end of the day guys, I don’t think he did it on purpose, but I don’t think he did everthing he could to avoid the incident. I think in the race he would have made that turn. As so many people say above though, move on!!!

    1. aveli says:

      i also asked people to move on but I have found out that I can’t just move on. I have to wait for each day to bring its drama. until canada there is nothing else to chew on.

  153. sebsie says:

    A lot of people are talking about Hamilton leaving the garage after his teammate and saying he shouldn’t. I can’t help but wonder if this has anything to do with Mercedes’ open data-sharing policy which seems to be hurting Hamilton more than Rosberg. If Hamilton does a blinder of a lap, then Rosberg’s engineer will be on the radio immediately coaching him turn-by-turn. I must say I don’t like this particular aspect of modern F1.

    1. HP says:

      And vice versa.

    2. justafan says:

      Ban team radio then.

  154. Ray c boy says:

    I’ve always liked the one hot lap top ten shoot-out format, but for F1 all we really need is a top six,five or even a top three shoot-out.

    p.s. Didn’t hear any complaints about the noise (or lack of) last weekend.

    1. HP says:

      Because it was Monaco, the sound is always a bit louder there.

  155. aveli says:

    if rosberg wins at silverstone will he get booed?

    1. justafan says:

      If there will be the same hooligans there – yes.

      1. aveli says:

        they’re not hooligans, it’s part of the drama.

    2. warley says:

      Depends if any spectators can afford to to attend. I won’t be booing!

      1. aveli says:

        don’t you want to find out what the new cars sound like, all on song at turn one, no braking?

  156. aveli says:

    hamilton said he will drive the right way for the rest of the season and that will make the difference.

  157. Richard says:

    This stunt by Rosberg is just a more sophisticated exercise in the Schumacher vein. He pre-planned it, had it in the back pocket ready to use when required. OK here’s what changes I recommend to the FIA do to the regulations. Anyone causing a yellow flag gets his fastest time deleted automatically for not taking adequate care. The driver would after all would have messed up qualifying laps for a number of drivers. If it is proven that it has been done deliberately then the driver is disqualified and removed to the back of the grid. I actually think that’s fair.

    1. aveli says:

      how many offences are qualified by the word “deliberately”?
      does it matter if it was done deliberately or not?
      if you were caught driving while accidentally exceeding the drink limit, do you expect to be let off because you didn’t do it on purpose?

  158. aveli says:

    rosberg said he made a mistake and exaggerated it.


    1. TimW says:

      was a bit doubtful but he really does say that right at the end, hardly counts as an admission of guilt I suppose, but it is interesting…

  159. MaxRPM says:

    The current qualifying format is great but maybe a tweak could make it better. My concern is that in Q3, if you are the driver with the current fastest time, and you think someone is going to beat your time, you have an incentive to prevent that from happening by fair means (new fastest time) or foul. It would be good to make a change to remove the incentive for a driver to `go foul’. I agree with the concern that added time to Q3 could be negated by worn tires. Deleting the time of the driver who makes a `mistake’ in Q3 seems harsh. Maybe a penalty of two or three tenths could be added to the times of both drivers from a team that cause a yellow flag or other Q3 interruption? With this arrangement you’d also cover the risk of the # 2 driver `going foul’ to advantage his teammate #1 driver?

  160. cometeF1 says:

    Everything has been said pretty much. For me there is no need to change the qualifying format yet again. My favorite is still the 80′s format of 12 laps with all involve, the present format being my second choice. As many said, things happen and sometime you get lucky, at other time you don’t.
    Now of course if a driver does make a mistake purposely, and it can be shown beyond doubts, then the punishment should be exemplary. I would go for X number of race ban. I understand it might be difficult to prove with certainty but I would tend to trust the stewards to know better.
    F1 and other motor sports have to evolve has it is very much geared toward technologies, but basic rules should remain. Since I started following F1 as an example, the point system as changed 4 times that I can remember. 9 points for the winner but only so many (I am forgetful.) races are counted in the tally (Prost as a fan of his losing to Senna being one of my big disappointment in 88 because of the system then in place.), then all races count, then 10 points to the winner, then 25 for first place and now, one race is worth more then all, to my dismay I must add. What other sport changes the way F1 does all the time? The one change I think that made sense is that all races count, after that I am not sure it brought much to the sport we enjoy.
    I see many, Mr. Allen included, like the shoot out type qualifications. If it is such a good format, why was it abandoned? It might be easier to follow I would agree but it is not F1. As frustrating as it might be when someone spoils the run of another driver, it is part of F1 and over time it probably evens the unfairness of the system.
    Because it happens as well during the race, should F1 start following the WRC format? I know I am being extreme but why not?
    Too much is being made of what happened last Saturday, If Rosberg did it consciously, it will comeback to him one way or the other, as I believe in Karma. But please, to the power that may be, pick a format and stick to it. The cream will always rise to the top.

    Another thing Mr. Allen. Although, I do not comment all that often, I have enjoy this site since 2009. It is easily the best I have come across and I thank you and your team for that, but I feel the quality of the comments is deteriorating somewhat. The mods are doing very well to keep it clean, and they should be commanded for it but yet the it is becoming a bit more of “my favorite driver is the best and the others are idiots and so forth”. Don’t mean to be too critical as it is still by far the more civilized one of its kind but still. I guess that the price of its/your success. Marc

    1. aveli says:

      good post cometef1, but there are only two issues I’d like to raise if you don’t mind, racing is a competition to find out who is the best and secondly there is no karma in the f1 rules.

  161. mark says:

    I love and support my Brits drivers but, this is ridiculous. Because it happened to Hammy we have to change the rules, even DC is saying we should add two pitboxes per team. I am a little embarrassed on how our British media has massive double standards.

    1. aveli says:

      he is the biggest star in the sport.

  162. Jason says:

    Had this affected anyone else, no one would be batting an eyelid. The solution to this problem is simply putting in a banker lap earlier. Something Lewis actually did and thus he started 2nd. There is no real story beyond that. In the entire history of F1 we’ve seen people lose out to yellow flags, weather, etc and with topsy turvy grids we’ve had some of the best races of all time.

    I think inventing rules right now undermines the stewards. They say Rosberg is innocent, so he is. If we lose trust in them, then we are doomed.

    There is no real solution. If we penalise the guy who causes the yellow like they do in Indy, we will never see them pushing 100% for fear of a grid penalty. The only penalty really is a 1 place penalty but then someone in 1st about to lose their spot is going to start anyway.

    So we look at 2 place penalties and suddenly a super quick Merc starts behind a Red Bull. All because a guy made a mistake.

    As for lengthening the session as suggested by Charlie Whiting, are we going to give the team enough time to get their guy in, fuel him and send him out? You’d have to think closer to 3 minutes extension rather than 1 minute at a circuit like Spa. Even then if someone is in sector 1 and a yellow flag is shown, they have to limp back to the pits and then do an out lap. Suddenly we’re up to almost 4 minutes of extra time. That will throw all TV schedules out of sync.

    The best solution is the one we currently have. The one we’ve had forever. Leave it to the stewards to decide and IF someone is found guilty, send them to the back of the grid, a suspended 2 race ban and give them 10 points on their license. They will soon clean up their act.

    1. audifan says:

      did the stewards say he was innocent ?
      or did they say there was no proof of guilt , not the same thing

      unfortunately they don’t have the availability of the scottish …not proven

      1. James Allen says:

        No proof of guilt = innocent in this situation, surely?

      2. Jason says:

        Exactly. You are either innocent or guilty. There is no middle ground of maybe in F1 or indeed the law. F1 is made up of some of the smartest engineers in the world backed up by millions of pounds all trying to find microscopic amounts of time. All of them would try almost anything to get more time out of the car. So are we led to believe the element of human emotion and error can be found anywhere on the stewarding panel?

        No, it is all telemetry, overlays, camera angles and stuff that all media guys James included would love to see. I am not saying the stewards always get it right, the inconsistency of punishments for similar incidents is hard to fathom at times but almost always they can tell if a driver has acted deliberately or not.

  163. jmv says:

    the solution (if not already mentioned):

    Make a *Monaco Q3 Special* format, where the 10 drivers are allowed 1 hot lap (just like the one lap qualifying format). The rest of the 9 cars are in the pit, or either on outlap or in lap. So basically 7 cars in pit and 3 on track.

    If they can extend the Monaco Q3 format, give the top 10 two hot laps. So repeat the cycle. Instead of 15 minutes, maybe 25 minutes.

    But only for Monaco, since a car going off can impede others. Q1 and Q2 remain the same.

    Me thinks that this will become a favorite: the Monaco Q3 Special. Sounds a bit like a cocktail.

    This format also makes sense since qualifying in Monaco is more than 70% of race outcome.. so to say. So it deserves a bit more show time.

    Bernie would agree! Just because its Monaco and therefore special.

  164. justin says:

    Why not just go back to an hours quali with three sets of tyres for every driver, if you dont go out and set a time in the first twenty minutes you lose a set, same for the second twenty minutes, if you wait to the end youve got one run and oneset of tyres?

  165. aveli says:

    hello james please answer this question, do you know why the sound was turned off at the post qualifying interview? I mean those who attended the race couldn’t hear the interview but the sound was turned on again for the formula renault race.

    1. James Allen says:

      No idea. A mistake almost certainly. You are talking about on site in Monaco, right?

      1. aveli says:

        yes james, on site at monaco. the sound was turned off after quali so no one heard what the three drivers were asked or had to say.

  166. KJ says:

    I do not understand why so many contributors are saying that LH should have done a banker lap earlier. I thought he did but his lap was not as fast as NR, so had to attempt another lap. Did LH coast/sandbag on his first run? If qualifying is for 12 minutes, surely they cannot just do their qualifying lap in the first five minutes then sit back. All drivers are entitled to use the whole allocated time and they do to maximise their chances of pole position

    1. aveli says:

      ask rosberg and he’ll tell you that if that was the case he wouldn’t have parked his car with intent.

  167. Hunter C says:

    Why can’t they just pause the timer for qualifying? Same as with red flag conditions except the cars are still moving

  168. NJ says:

    You know to me, this whole thing is really simple.

    If you go back to 2000, when Hakkinen finally lost the world title to Michael Schumacher, after everything that went on Hakkinen managed to say:

    “Sometimes it is someone else’s turn to win.”

    Schumacher of course has had a very ‘aggressive’ history, even with Hakkinen. But to be a good winner, it’s important to be also a good loser.

    When Hakkinen said that, he wasn’t being a push over… he was being classy.

    I wish Hamilton was more congratulatory at Monaco – regardless of what he personally thinks of what happened. Then he can mount his counter-attack at Canada.

    That’s being classy.

    1. Grant says:

      Congratulating Nico would have been a fake / robotic / PR-targeted move by HAM.
      I love the few heroes we have who are just genuine with their emotions.
      We have enough fakeness all around us.

      1. NJ says:

        No congratulations on SUNDAY would be just to acknowledge the fact that regardless of how you won pole you still have to pull it off on SUNDAY.

        Yes, I’m aware Monaco is “impossible” to overtake on, but we’ve seen enough people win it from P2 to know Sunday wasn’t a foregone conclusion.

        Lewis should have congratulated Nico for the Sunday.

  169. Mike from Colombia says:

    Just read Derick Warwick’s interview and have to say that some of his comments are not appropriate.

    Every case must be tried on its merits only. To come out and say that Rosberg is the most honest driver out there shows a preparedness or predisposition to ignore the facts or mould them to fit with his willingness to accepts Rosberg’s version of events.

    He should have just said…Keke is my mate and we raced togerher in the 80s. Not worth upsetting Keke or Mercedes just to get justice for Hamilton.

    Lost my respect for Warwick. My comment will probably also not get published.

  170. aveli says:

    why can warwick and his team just publish all the data and footage and telemetry which helped them to their conclusion and shut up all those who claimed that rosberg did it on purpose?
    this will make f1 so much more interesting!

  171. Marcelo Leal says:

    I think the driver that causes it should receive a penalty lose the last fastest time). If that was a rule already, Hamilton would have pole and that would be fair.
    What I did not see anyone taking into consideration, is that Rosberg could not have “simulated” the error, but forced beyond the limit, knowing that an error would not finish his race, but would bring yellow. That is what I think he did… a legitimate forced lap, and an legitimate error! There is nothing in the rules to prevent a driver of doing it. So, for him would be:
    1) pole or
    2) yellow = pole too.
    So, imho we need to add responsibility for drivers pushing beyond limits in situations he will not damage the car, but end other drivers chance to compete.
    In the end, does not matter if someone Killed other by purpose or not, it’s a crime either way.

  172. Phil says:

    This whole episode is being massively overblown. This sort of thing happens all the time, especially at Monaco. Any driver who gets two clear laps in a session can consider himself very fortunate. You’re usually luckly if you get one clear lap. Hamilton got a clear lap and had yellows on the second run, which is wholly unremarkable and not particularly unlucky. Rosberg was able to benefit from his mistake not merely because he was running ahead on the road (which, by the way, is usually regarded as a disadvantage) but also because his lap on the first run was better than Hamilton’s. Being at Mondaco, both drivers would have known there was every chance they could encounter traffic, yellow flags or even red flags at any time and so every lap matters as there’s no way of knowing if you will get another one. They were both trying on the first run and Nico was better.

    1. aveli says:

      i suspect it’s all staged, with hamilton pretending to be upset and then revealing he isn’t upset. they got the whole world talking and thinking about them for a fortnight.

  173. TJ says:

    I used to think Rosberg was ok. Never supported him, but never disliked him either. All that changed after his celebration of pole in Monaco. He may well have kept it anyway but the reality is we will never know. If it were me and I maintained pole because of my mistake I would sheepishly celebrate and apologise to all the guys I screwed over. Not jump up and down like a tool. Hope when he next gets pole someone just crashes him out of the race on the first corner then jumps up and down celebrating in his face. What a douche bag….

  174. aveli says:

    rosberg is still ok. he didn’t see why he shouldn’t celebrate after all he did nothing wrong in his eyes. if he plans to cheat his way through the championship, i can’t see how he could pull it off. the next 4 race will explain what i mean.

  175. uan says:

    no changes are required. There are a lot of “unfair” things. The biggest unfair thing is when a driver pulls a significant gap throughout a race and then it gets wiped out by an SC. Even where the SC comes out onto the track can be hugely unfair to certain drivers (Valencia 2011, iirc, comes to mind – with Fernando feeling severely penalized by it).

    No one goes on about needing to something about SCs.

    Or how about Kimi’s spin at T3 of Australia this year in Q2? It impacted both Jenson’s and Vettel’s last flying lap, where one or both were on pace to make it into Q3.

    Not a lot of whinging about that, calling for a change of format.

    Then there’s the issues of the tires, and if a lap is impacted at the end, after the best of the tire has been used, then what?

    Major changes in rules should not be implemented just for situations that rarely happen. How often has this type of situation happen? 2006 with Schumacher being the last one? That’s 8 years ago.

    So Lewis’s flying lap gets scuppered and we are all in a tizzy. If it wasn’t Rosberg’s mistake, let’s say it was RIC that did it, to no benefit for himself or a teammate, would we be talking about this now?

    1. Phil says:

      100% agreed. The idea that the rules must change because of one suspected unfair occurrance is the worst kind of knee-jerk nonsense, mostly put forward by British journos who run the risk of appearing to be aggrieved merely because a British driver has lost a shot at pole and lost the lead of the WDC.

      The only thing I would change is Whiting. I’d remove him and replace him with Eduardo Freitas, who would hopefully be capable of reading, understanding and enforcing Article 20.2 SR, where it says you can’t intentionally leave the track without justifiable reason, full-stop. It doesn’t matter if you gain an advantage or not. In an environment where that rule is enforced, it will always be incredibly difficult to pull the kind of trick Rosberg’s been accused of, because you have to disguise it as a mistake.

      And if you are quicker than your main rival and you don’t want him to be able to profit from a mistake, of either the genuine or deliberate variety, on his second Q3 run, all you have to do is be quicker than him on the first run.

    2. aveli says:

      last time someone died on track was 20 years ago, that doesn’t mean safety shouldn’t be improved whenever unsafe features are discovered.

  176. Steve W says:

    Looks like we need to go back to one-at-a-time single lap qualifying. Except that isn’t “fair” either…

  177. Abba says:

    Space out the cars well and give each driver 3 flying laps in the Top ten shoot out if they want the 3 laps, and add reasonable time to the 10 Minutes if need be especially in tight places like Monaco.

    The order at which they come out can be decided by how they ended in Q.2, with the fastest getting the simple choice of going first or last.

    1. Dave says:

      I would let them have 5 or 6 mins of normal Q3. then have them all pulled back into the pits. Then send them out of the pits in reverse time order (current pole sitter time last out). This last bit is not time limited and finishes when the last car has finished his one hot lap. No overtaking is allowed on out lap, but due to no cut off time drivers can allow the gap they need.

      Some method of getting the cars out in the right order would be the hardest to manufacture. could just have them lined up in pit lane 1 min before.

  178. TimW says:

    I don’t think qualifying should be changed as a knee jerk reaction to this one incident, the old single lap format prevented this kind of thing, but that last second dash for pole by multiple drivers was also lost.
    I know what I think about Nico’s incident but only he knows what really happened, to me the violent left/right movement of the wheel didn’t seem to match up with the off board footage of the car, with that much opposite lock applied I would expect to see the car visibly “snaking” but it seemed to be pretty much travelling in a straight line, he was also in a major hurry to get it in reverse which struck me as a bit odd. Like I said, only Nico knows for sure. I thought it interesting that the only defence to the many suspicious people in F1 is “Nico wouldn’t do that” Brundle said in the pre race show that he thought the wheel waggling looked suspicious but he just didn’t think that Nico had it in him, Derek Warwick has been quoted as saying that Rosberg is “the most honest driver in F1″, but the fact is that Nico has never fought for a championship before, the stakes have never been this high for him, people are capable of behaviour under that kind of pressure that they would never normally exhibit. I also think it interesting to see the amount of criticism that Lewis has received in all of this, I know there are plenty of people out there who never miss an opportunity for a bit of Hamilton bashing, but it seems he has had more stick than Nico! I guess Lewis could have reacted better but “F1 driver lacks sense of perspective” is hardly a headline worthy of the front page, can you imagine how much abuse Lewis would have got if he had gone off and wrecked Nico’s chances of pole?!

  179. Ian Fraser says:

    Top ten shoot out, works in Aussie V8 Supercars when used. Each driver in Q3 has1 chance to get pole, order is set in Q2 for shoot out – reverse top 10 order from Q2. Has cars on track for entire session, no more blame games just the car, the driver and the track.

  180. neil says:

    How about using qualifying composite times so the best sector times for each driver thus eliminating the effect of yellow flags making them purely a safety thing in terms of their effect on the time sheets, its just a thought but surely f1 has the technology to add 3 times together

  181. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    I told it, add extra time, put new tires and do 2 more laps, what’s the freaking problem? You can also investigate and punish the driver offender.

    That would add action to Q3, you can always add 3 minutes for the TV show for Q3 without extending the overall time allowed.


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