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Jost Capito, CEO of Williams F1, McLaren Chief Executive Officer Zak Brown and Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner attend the Team Principals Press Conference prior to final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of USA

Brown On Qualifying Penalties: “That’s An Easy Solution”

The McLaren CEO expressed his opinion regarding the possibility of introducing penalties for drivers who cause a red flag in qualifying

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McLaren CEO Zak Brown expressed himself in favour of imposing penalties on drivers who cause red flags during qualifying as a way to solve deliberate incidents for personal gains. 

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36, leads Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari F1-75, Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR22, and Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT03
Sao Paulo Grand Prix. Image Credit: McLaren Media Centre

Following the Brazilian Grand Prix, the struggle between the two Red Bull Racing drivers surfaced doubts regarding qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix. In particular, on that occasion, Sergio Perez had lost control of his RB18 causing a red flag which eventually conquered him P3 for the race in front of his teammate. Paddock rumours now believe that crash to have been intentional and at the source of Verstappen’s refusal to help his teammate in Brazil.

The discussion on penalties for drivers who happen to cause red or yellow flags during qualifying is not new within the Circus but the accident made the conversation reopen abruptly with Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz being one of the main supporters of the case, as quoted by The Race:

“Without commenting on if it was on purpose or not, I think it’s for real now that all drivers want some kind of a rule that if you generate a red flag or a yellow flag, if it’s intentional or not, there should be something done to that driver because you’ve compromised the other nine on purpose, or maybe not.

“But you should get a penalty for it. If not, we’re all going to start playing around with it, and I’ve seen over the last few years a lot more playing around with it than what you might even have picked out in the media.”

Brown: “It can be implemented right away”

Agreeing with Sainz, McLaren CEO Zak Brown also believes penalties to be necessary, as reported by “I think what Carlos said, I think it should be red flags or yellow flags, for effectively impeding a driver from completing their lap.

“They do that in other forms of motorsports, the penalties, you just lose your fastest lap from that session, and all the drivers tend to do one lap runs so that would penalise the driver if it was intentional or unintentional. Because you’ve messed up someone else’s laps.

“I think that’s an easy solution, it can be implemented right away. You cause a driver to have to back out, you lose your lap, you get to go again and maybe you won’t have a chance. Maybe you will or you have to use another set of tyres. I think that’s the easiest way to solve it.”

Headline Image: Red Bull Content Pool

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