Lando Norris was not too happy after F1 Saudi Arabian GP after the red flag ruined his strategy as Andreas Seidl feels they need to rethink it.
The rule of drivers getting to repair their cars and most importantly change tyres and escape pit time loss has been hotly debated for some time now. Every time when a red flag situation benefits someone, the discussions are back on about the rule.
The F1 Saudi Arabian GP brought the discussions back after the first red flag period aided several drivers including Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. It didn’t set right for McLaren’s Norris who had just pitted for new tyres when the safety car period was on.
His teammate Daniel Ricciardo, however, gained from it having not stopped. It was an ironic scenario for McLaren where they gained from one and lost for one. But Norris was certain that the red flag rule has to be gone and he would delete it straight up.
“It was just a long race, sucked a lot cause the whole race got taken away from me with the red flag and people being able to change tyres for free,” said Norris to TV media. “So it was frustrating because we had such a tough weekend, we then did a good job in qualifying and I think it’s just a stupid rule to have from being able to change the tyres for free like that. The thing is it obviously benefits people.
“Like every time it’s happened like Monza last year, I’ve seen it happen and we should’ve had a 1-2 with Daniel and myself and then of course Pierre won. Mugello last year as well, or two years ago maybe, last year? And here again. I’ve always been on the bad side, so I’ve always been the one who’s been unlucky and its not as simple as just saying wait longer and whatever, especially today it was like 4 / 5 laps of VSC or safety car and then they brought the red flag out.
“So, I don’t know what to say, I just try so hard, I put so much effort in and like people just get free pit stops and I get completely put to the back of the grid for no reason. There have been too many discussions that it needed changing. I think they should give me access to the rule book, the official pdf and I press edit and I just erase it. Select it, right click, delete,” summed up Norris with a smile.
His team boss Seidl did agree to have a rethink on the rule, even though he agrees that it does benefits sometimes. “First of all, people were all sitting in the same room and deciding this rule and so there is no point in criticising it too much,” said Seidl to media including FormulaRapida.net.
“I think with what happened now and the last two years, let me get this clear, it is just not fair from a sporting perspective and we will definitely advocate now to change it just from a sporting perspective. If you cause a red flag and then you’re allowed to repair your car and actually you’re in a better position than before, plus you can change tyres – that is something which just the sporting side doesn’t make sense.
“Sometimes you benefit from it, sometimes not. But I think overall it’s the wrong thing from the sporting perspective and that’s why I think we should sit together again all as a group and push for a change,” summed up Seidl, who was a bit happy with McLaren managing to score the 11 points after a three races accumulating only four.
“Overall, I’m very happy with the outcome I have to say because after the three difficult weekends we had, it was simply important to have a good result again for the team and seeing all through the day we had a competitive car here,” said Seidl. “Daniel was obviously able to show that. On Lando’s side unfortunately with the red flag and the red flag rule how it is at the moment with being allowed to change tyres. there obviously his race was screwed and he could not do more than get back to P10. So very unfortunate for him and that’s pretty much it, an executive summary for you.”
While Ricciardo had to battle out against Valtteri Bottas, teammate Norris did put up a fight back into the points, even though it was just the one amid an intense race on a tough circuit. “I think it’s probably, mentally one of the toughest or probably is the toughest of the whole year just cause because there’s so many corners things can go wrong, basically every single corner something can happen,” he said.
“The majority of them something big and bad can happen and what makes it even tougher is because the walls are so close, you have a lot of this like everyone calls it the pumping effect but like the slipstream effect and cause of the walls all the air is going with the cars, so if you’re like 10th or 13th or 15th you basically have zero downforce and it’s like one of the trickiest things in the world to try and manage and like Fernando spun because you get like these pockets like one second you have downforce the next second it’s completely gone so like it’s hard to describe how difficult and how much you risk and push and risk crashing every corner just to get one point at the end of the day,” summed up Norris.
Here’s the incident which changed the course of the race for McLaren