Mazepin: F1's qualifying no-overtaking etiquette is flawed

Nikita Mazepin says Formula 1's gentleman's agreement about qualifying car order doesn't work, after he was handed a three-place grid penalty at the Spanish Grand Prix for blocking Lando Norris.

Mazepin: F1's qualifying no-overtaking etiquette is flawed

The Russian was caught up in a bunch of slow cars ready to start their qualifying laps in Q1 at Barcelona, when Norris's fast-approaching McLaren came up behind them to finish a quick lap.

While drivers are supposed to stay in order prior to starting timed laps, Mazepin had found himself jumped by both Kimi Raikkonen and Yuki Tsunoda, who were finishing timed laps and also wanted to get out of Norris' way.

Mazepin felt that it would have been dangerous to follow etiquette and hold his place behind them to let Norris through, so elected to push on and start his lap.

This meant Norris lost valuable time stuck behind the Haas driver for the run through the final corner, which forced him to run again to be sure of progressing to Q2.

Read Also:

A stewards' investigation determined that Mazepin could have waited longer and slotted in behind Norris, resulting a three-place grid penalty and a point on his licence.

Reflecting on the incident, Mazepin reckoned that the agreement between drivers about keeping in order ahead of the start of laps was flawed.

Speaking on a video call with media about what happened, Mazepin said: "Well, if I'm not mistaken, somebody from this call previously was asking about the drivers gentlemen's agreement into the last corner in Bahrain. I think it was a very prime example of that not sort of working in Formula 1.

"I was really trying to keep to it, ever since I took note of it, but it is very difficult when two cars overtake you going into last corner, which is very slow and tight.

"With the length of a car, which is two and a half metres, you just cannot put a third car there, and especially if the fourth car is arriving at full speed. So, I didn't feel like boxing up behind was an option, because that would have left my rear end on the racing line.

"The only option was to go, which I did. And yeah, unfortunately, it's just all these things coming together.

"I'm not upset about it, because there's really not much I could have done, apart from, you know, disappear. Which unfortunately I'm not yet able to do."

Mazepin's grid penalty will make no difference to his starting position as he qualified 20th.

shares
comments

Related video

De la Rosa knew Hamilton would be a "problem" after two runs

Previous article

De la Rosa knew Hamilton would be a "problem" after two runs

Next article

Hamilton: 100th F1 pole "feels like one of the first"

Hamilton: 100th F1 pole "feels like one of the first"
Load comments
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Prime

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery Prime

Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi...

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1 Prime

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Prime

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. Damien Smith brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1.

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Prime

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus Prime

How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Prime

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Prime

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says Stuart Codling.

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021