F1 Winter Break
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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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.


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?


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.



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.


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.


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


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!


Very much agreed. This kind of risk has always been part of F1 quali.

Let's move on!


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?


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.


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.

IgMi (Kimi fan)

Agreed. Let's move on.


+1 ...Move on


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.


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.


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


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?


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


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


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.


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


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.


But HE, yes NICO made the mistake!


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.


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.


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


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.


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...

danny almonte

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.


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


That's exactly what I was thinking.


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.



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.

Andrew Woodruff

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.


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.


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.


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.

Rodrigo Martins

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


Well said.

dimitar kadrinski


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!


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.


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.



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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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?


Spot on.


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!


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


@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.


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.


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?





completely agree



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?



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.


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!


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


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.


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

Not even close to being true.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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!!!!!


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.


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


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.


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].


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..


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.

Bjornar Simonsen

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


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




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?


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.


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.


at least rosberg won a race with hamilton on track.


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


There was no cheating…

Move on.


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


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...


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.


you took the words out of my mouth.



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.


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?


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


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.


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.


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


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

Michael in Seattle

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.


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.


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?


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


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).


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.


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.


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.



Thanks for that, JS - it's just what I was looking for.


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.


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


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


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


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.


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).


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


So now mistakes aren't allowed?

Isn't F1 overly 1984ish already?


"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.

H.Guderian (ALO fan)

It's LEWIS!!!!




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? 😉



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.


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.


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 !



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.


+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...


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


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


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


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.


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.


This I agree with


There is no perfect solution to this problem.


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.


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


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... .


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.


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.


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.


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.


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



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


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


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



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!!!


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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


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?


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.


In normal life you are innocent until the opposite is proved.

Only thinking or assuming is not enough.

Accept it.


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]


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.

George Edwards

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.


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!


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


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.



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...


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.


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.

Andrew Carter

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


Can't happen because the track evolves


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.


+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.


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.


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.

Andrew Carter

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.


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.

Mike Martin(HAM fan)

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.


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.

danny almonte

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


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.


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.


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?


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?


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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


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.

Mike Martin(HAM fan)

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.


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


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.


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


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


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.


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


hear hear!


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


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


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?


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!


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.


This I like too


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


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


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.


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.


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


couldn't agree more ..well said


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.

Mike from Colombia

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.


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.


Right on my friend! Totally Agree!


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".


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????


George Debenham

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.


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

James Clayton

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?!


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...


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


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.


Great suggestion. This makes Q2 more interesting also.


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.


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.


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..


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.


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


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.



He's not wrong though.


Monaco will always be on the calender.


Then maybe they should have single lap qualifying then?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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).


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


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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



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!


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


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???


armstrong the cyclist was shot down for doing just that.


'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.


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.


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.


"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.


@ 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.


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.


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.


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.




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


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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...


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...........


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).


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


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


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


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!!


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


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.


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.


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


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.


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.

Christopher Cathles

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?


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 .


'I have my suspicions'

Equivocation or what.

Come on James,come of the fence.


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.


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.'


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.


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.


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.


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.


You are 100% wrong.


you are 100% right.


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.


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.


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.

Frank Oosterhuis

Lewis should have started his run before Nicos.


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


Yes! A common sense post.


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.


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.

Jamie Richardson

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?


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 😀 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.


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.


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


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"

German Samurai

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.


Turn Q3 into a hotlap format.


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.


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.


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.


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