Russell: F1's red flag rules need changing

Williams driver George Russell has backed calls for changes to be made to Formula 1's red flag rules, after his rivals gained an advantage thanks to race stoppages at the Tuscan Grand Prix.

Russell: F1's red flag rules need changing

Just a week after calls were made to tweak some area of the regulations, especially the freedom drivers have to change tyres when races are stopped, Russell says he lost out on points at Mugello because the regulations worked against him.

In particular, he felt Ferrari's Charles Leclerc was able to benefit because he was out of sync on his strategy at the second red flag, and then lucked into a second free pitstop.

"I do agree the biggest thing is the tyre change in the pitstop," explained Russell. "These guys are getting free tyre changes.

"We were on a good strategy, the tyres were great for us and then suddenly people can box and put on whatever tyres they want. They ultimately get a free pitstop.

"I was ahead of Charles. He didn't box, he lucked into the red flag, and then he's ahead of me and can just put a new set of tyres on. So I lost a position to Charles under the red flag."

While the free tyre change element of the red flag rule has been in place for years, the benefits it can offer have only been highlighted in the last two races because there have been three red flags.

Russell felt that, if the FIA was going to use the red flag more frequently, then perhaps it would be right to adapt the regulations.

"If you're going to continue to do this more often, they need work on a couple of rules," he explained.

"You shouldn't be allowed to have a free tyre change as part of the race. You're in the race. You need to stay on the tyres you are on at that time.

"People plan their strategy around a normal race not around races that are getting two red flags in."

The issue of free tyre changes was first highlighted at the Italian Grand Prix when Lance Stroll gained massively from a free tyre change during the Monza race, which left him in second place and on new rubber for the restart.

shares
comments

Related video

Was Bottas doomed to lose at Mugello?

Previous article

Was Bottas doomed to lose at Mugello?

Next article

Five tech talking points from Mugello

Five tech talking points from Mugello
Load comments
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
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Prime

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Prime

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021