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Christian Horner

Horner urges 'back to basics' FIA rethink over new F1 rule

The Red Bull Team Principal believes F1 needs to look at the cause of why drivers are slowing during out-laps in qualifying, rather than introduce rule measures which seemingly end up getting broken by drivers.

Russell green light Mexico
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Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner believes Formula 1 needs to stop with "sticky plaster" rules to prevent drivers from impeding during qualifying.

A new pit lane exit rule was implemented at the recent Sao Paulo Grand Prix aimed at preventing drivers from going too slowly in the pits, but it was quickly branded "absolutely terrible" by Max Verstappen.

George Russell was one of the drivers to fall foul of the spirit of the new rule, along with Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly.

With the FIA focused on ensuring that drivers do not unnecessarily slow down to create a gap in the traffic to prepare for flying laps, Horner believes there is another area that is being overlooked.

Horner urges rethink

"We're just making it too complicated. There was the rule for driving out of the garage, driving in the pit lane, driving out of the pit lane," Horner told media, including RacingNews365.

"You've got to go to basics: 'Why are the drivers needing to do these out laps or whatever?' and go to the root cause. Is it tyre pressure? Is it tyre temperature?

"It's something that didn't exist in F1 for 50 years, so why is it an issue now?

"For me, it's looking at the root cause rather than the sticky plasters that keep getting applied."

Since their introduction in F1 during the 2011 season, Pirelli tyres have been tricky for drivers to master, in terms of looking after them over a race stint or maximising the grip on a qualifying lap.

Horner believes teams will always try to exploit areas in the rulebook to their advantage, which is why drivers preparing for their laps has become an important element in qualifying.

"You got a lot of very clever engineers that are always looking to find an absolute advantage," he added.

"Tyres are a little bit of a black art, there's a certain mystique to being able to get the tyre into the right window and the tyre is so much to the performance of the car.

"So you can see why there's so much effort that goes into the preparation [of a lap]."


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