Blocking or failure to meet the maximum time is resolved after each qualification. According to Christian Horner, instead of sticking a band-aid, it is necessary to look for the primary cause.
The drivers created gaps in the practice lap – both to have a clear track in their fast lap, but also to warm up the tires in that practice.
The FIA introduced a maximum time for all laps, effectively relegating drivers to the pits where they created gaps by parking at the end of the pit lane.
Another change came at Interlagos. The race director’s notes state that the drivers are to space out between the lights at the end of the pits and the second safety car line. But some did not stay far enough to the left in qualifying and received a penalty for blocking an opponent – this applies to the riders Alpine and Russell. Others had to go around opponents who were parking or driving slowly. Max Verstappen called such a solution “terrible”.
“We’re just overcomplicating it,” Horner told Motorsport.com. The Red Bull boss watched as Verstappen had to weave his way around the other cars in the pit lane this weekend as a result of the new regulations.
“There is a rule for exiting the garage, driving in the pit lane and driving out of the pit lane. You have to go to the basics: why do riders have to do these exit laps and such? Go to the root cause.”
“Is it tire pressure? Is it tire temperature? We have to go to the root cause of the problem because it is something that has not been in F1 for 50 years. So why is it only now a problem?’
“I think for me it’s more about finding the root cause than sticking band-aids that keep happening.”
“You have a lot of very smart engineers who are always trying to find an advantage, and tires are a bit of a black art. There’s a certain mystique to getting the tire in the right window, and the tire plays a big part in the car’s performance. You can see why so much effort is put into the preparation.”