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Formula 1 Monaco GP

FIA implements new rules in F1 pitlane queues

Formula 1 race director Niels Wittich has implemented some new pitlane etiquette rules in a bid to avoid problems with cars jumping the queue in qualifying.

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR24, Daniel Ricciardo, RB F1 Team VCARB 01, out of the pit lane

As part on the ongoing policy in qualifying of drivers needing to build their gaps coming out of the pit lane, rather than slowing out on track, there have been repeated issues of drivers forcing their way into the queue at the exit.

Drivers do not want to be left at the back of the train of cars because that risks them not getting their laps in, so there can be some frantic jostling for position.

With Monaco being the shortest track of the season, and avoiding traffic a major advantage when it comes to getting a lap time in, the situation is expected to be especially fraught on Saturday.

In a bid to avoid problems, Wittich has introduced some new guidelines that should provide some extra clarity about the order in which cars line up.

If there is a queue of cars at the end of the pit lane, then the rules are clear that drivers have to leave in the order they arrived in the fast lane.

However, this has proved quite troublesome in the past with cars at the bottom end of the pits sometimes trying to push their way in to avoid being forced to wait until the train has gone past.

For this weekend, Wittich has said that a driver can only stake their claim to be in the fast lane if their front wheel has crossed over the solid yellow line.

Valtteri Bottas, Kick Sauber C44, Daniel Ricciardo, RB F1 Team VCARB 01, Zhou Guanyu, Kick Sauber C44, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-24, all leave the pit lane

Valtteri Bottas, Kick Sauber C44, Daniel Ricciardo, RB F1 Team VCARB 01, Zhou Guanyu, Kick Sauber C44, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-24, all leave the pit lane

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

In revised event notes for the Monaco GP, Wittich said: “It is noted that a car will be considered to be “in the fast lane” when a tyre has crossed the solid [yellow] line separating the fast lane from the inner lane, in this context crossing means that all of a tyre should be beyond the far side, with respect to the garages, of the line separating the fast lane from the inner lane.”

Then beyond the regular stipulation that drivers should blend into the fast lane as soon as they can, without impeding other drivers, he also said that drivers had the right to find a gap if one opened up.

Wittich added: “Thus, after the start or re-start of a free practice session, qualifying session, or sprint qualifying session, if there is a suitable gap in a queue of cars in the fast lane, such that a driver can blend into the fast lane safely and without unnecessarily impeding cars already in the fast lane, they are free to do so.”

The new rules should ensure that drivers need to be convinced there is a gap for them to get their entire front wheel across the line, rather than simply hoping a rival lets them in to avoid a collision.

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