Norris Slams The Red Flag Tyre Rule As The Worst Ever Rule Ever Invented – WTF1

Norris Slams The Red Flag Tyre Rule As The Worst Ever Rule Ever Invented

How do you hit control-alt-delete on the F1 rulebook? That’s the exact question Lando Norris will be asking himself after the ability for drivers to have an effectively ‘free’ pit stop during a red flag ruined his race once again.

Lining up in seventh for the first-ever Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, the McLaren driver was set for a solid haul of points as he made up one place at the start. With Mick Schumacher’s crash into the Turn 23 barriers triggering the safety car on Lap 10, the McLaren dove into the pits to swap out his softs.

Problem was that the safety car soon turned into a red flag. Unfortunately for Lando, that allowed Esteban Ocon, Daniel Ricciardo, Carlos Sainz and Antonio Giovinazzi to jump ahead of him and change their tyres without losing the usual 22 seconds needed for an average pit stop.

What makes it even worse is that his teammate Ricciardo, who started 11th, eventually finished fifth. His ex-teammate Sainz also went from 15th to eighth thanks to the rule. That’s a tough pill to swallow.

Forced to settle for a single point in tenth after having his race ruined, Norris didn’t mince his words and blasted the rule as “probably the worst rule ever invented by someone”.

“Not to take anything away from Pierre [Gasly] because people will probably say that’s what I’m trying to do, but with the Monza race last year when Pierre got to change tyres for free like, I don’t feel like it’s deserved in a way,” he told Sky.

“It’s just complete luck, and it’s luck that doesn’t need to be given to someone. It just ruined our race today. It feels like you do so much just to get it all taken away. This crap rule ruins everything.”

Lando has come a cropper to this rule before at last year’s Tuscan and Italian Grand Prix. Monza saw McLaren miss out on a double podium because of the rule, and the Brit isn’t the only one to have voiced their unhappiness at the loophole.

Frustrated by his third tenth-place finish in four races and being outscored by both Ferraris, Norris now sits sixth in the drivers’ championship on 154 points, four points behind Charles Leclerc.

Should drivers be allowed to change their tyres during a red flag? Let us know in the comments below.

12 thoughts on “Norris Slams The Red Flag Tyre Rule As The Worst Ever Rule Ever Invented

    • It’s more the absence of a rule to stop tyre changes if there’s a red flag.

      IMO the red flag is a pause in the race and anyone that wants to work on the car should do so from the moment the green light goes on. and start from the pitlane not the reformed grid. The cars on the gridshould be exactly as they were when the red flag was first waved.

      • I think the way to do it is that if you want to work on the car, pull it into your pitbox and out of the pit lane, essentially losing your spot in the queue as you would pitting under safety car. It allows you to keep the safety aspect of working on a damaged car without unfair advantage. Then you can still choose if the tire change is worth it or not.

    • An accident that causes a red flag is likely to leave debris across the track which others may run over with a potential puncture risk hence the opportunity to change tyres for safety.

      Demonstrating the need to change tyres is open to abuse.

      I would suggest a 3-5 place grid penalty on restart. Enough to deter changes not required for safety, but not so much that where there are genuine issues, there is the opportunity to change tyres.

      I think other repairs convey some luck, but at the same time, it allows as many cars as possible to continue racing.

  • If allowed it should be l Ike taking a grid penalty at the start of the race. 5 spots. If everyone does it fair, of only a few then measured.

  • Norris is absolutely right.
    If under normal circumstances a racing car can not continue the race it shall abandon the race.
    Why is it that a car under a red flag can be worked on, change numerous parts and continue the race? This injustice can change the driver’s and constructors’ championships.
    This happened this year at the British Grand Prix race. Indeed car 44 took out car 33 early in the race. A red flag was deployed. Car 44 needed extensive repair to the front of the car (nose, etc.) and continued the race thereafter to win it.
    Under present rules it is permitted, yes, but is it fair, definitely non.
    A red flag is needed to repair track safety structure, etc. but not to give an edge to a team. Work on a car should not be permitted, if needed to continue the race then wait to do it under green or abandon like others have to do under green.
    Norris is right, he lost valuable points that hazard took away from him: this is not racing.

  • Anthony Schroeder says:

    Meh, I think the way to fix the rule is nothing more or less than expressly forbiding that to count as the change of tire for the race purposes. It is a bad and unsafe idea to not allow changes to tires in general (look at Hungary this year) but it cannot be allowed to generate such an absolutely huge advantage. By forcing a pit regardless, there is still benefit to fresh tires sure, but the skip 30 seconds and track position jeopardy is removed.

  • Would he feel the same if he had been on the positive side of the red flag? It seems there is a lot of complaining when the rule doesn’t help you but when it does, crickets. It could have been equally a problem for others who didn’t pit under the yellow flag if there hadn’t been a red flag since their pit stops would have been more than 2x as long as others who had pitted. So, many of you are fans of taking a “cheap pit stop” under a yellow flag but against taking a free pit stop under a red flag? This whole, “I’m a victim” nonsense these guys engage in is making this F1 like football with the fake falls trying to draw penalties. Next race, you can bet old NOR will be changing tires if there is a red flag.

  • great_cleopatra says:

    great and all – but it would be fantastic if before shitting on peple Lando would check his facts 🙂 pierre did not change his tyres under the red flag in monza, it was lance.

  • No work to be done on cars during red flag interval. Vettal won Monaco a few years ago with new tyres fitted in red flag interval

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