FIA race director Michael Masi says the governing body and F1 will consider introducing a rule that would see a driver causing a red flag in qualifying lose their fastest lap time.
Such a rule is already in force in IndyCar and it was brought to light last weekend when Monaco Grand Prix poleman Charles Leclerc crashed in the dying seconds of last Saturday’s qualifying session and triggered a red flag that prevented several drivers who were on a flyer from challenging the Ferrari driver’s fastest lap.
Asked after the Monaco Grand Prix weekend if Formula 1 could follow IndyCar’s lead and amend its sporting regulations, Masi said the rule would be considered.
“Like when everything arises, the FIA, Formula 1 and the teams look at everything and consider it on its merits,” Masi said.
“Yes, I know the IndyCar rule, which is also a rule in a number of other FIA international series and domestic championships around the world.
“We’ll look at it and, together with all of the key stakeholders, determine if it’s suitable or not.”
In the past, last minute crashes or incidents in qualifying have drawn the scrutiny of the stewards to determine whether foul play may have been involved or not.
Such was the case at Monaco in 2006, when Michael Schumacher was stripped of his pole position after suspiciously “parking” his Ferrari at La Rascasse in the closing stages of qualifying.
Leclerc’s crash last weekend at the Swimming Pool complex inevitably triggered the odd conspiracy theory, but Masi said that it was “quite clear” that the Scuderia charger had made a mistake.
“Having looked at it, looked at the data and also listening to the team communication, I don’t think any driver would go out there to severely damage their car to that degree, in any circumstance, because of the consequences that may arise out of that,” Masi said.
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