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
Why unseen Hungary heroics could be Latifi's making Prime

Why unseen Hungary heroics could be Latifi's making

The chaotic start to the Hungarian GP set the scene for F1's less heralded drivers to make a name for themselves. Esteban Ocon did just that to win in fine style, but further down the order one driver was making his first visit to the points and - while the circumstances were fortunate - took full advantage of the chance presented to him

Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings

This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The "heart-breaking" call that led to Ocon's Hungarian GP triumph Prime

The "heart-breaking" call that led to Ocon's Hungarian GP triumph

Set to restart the red-flagged Hungarian Grand Prix in second, Esteban Ocon had some doubts when he peeled into the pits to swap his intermediate tyres for slicks. But this "heart-breaking" call was vindicated in spectacular fashion as the Alpine driver staved off race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel for a memorable maiden Formula 1 victory

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Prime

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall...

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Prime

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Prime

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed.

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Prime

How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021