Azerbaijan Grand Prix stewards have suggested a Formula 1 rule should be reviewed after an investigation into an alleged Haas F1 incident during qualifying in Baku.
Mick Schumacher and Kevin Magnussen were investigated for not leaving the end of pit lane in the order in which they arrived in the “fast lane”.
This is a rule that governs how cars must line up in the pit lane when a session starts or restarts, as was the case during Q1 in Azerbaijan.
A red flag with less than three minutes remaining set up a short race between the teams to secure a final flying lap, with several cars queuing in the pit lane well before the session resumed to secure position on the track.
The Haas F1 team are positioned at the very end of the pit lane as they finished last in the 2021 Constructors’ Championship. Their cars were out of the garage and ready to join the fast lane but couldn’t as the Mercedes and AlphaTauri were doing already lined up in front of the Haas garages, then all the other cars in line behind.
Stewards investigated the incident – likely because Magnussen technically entered the fast lane first, but then let Schumacher pass – but effectively concluded the rule could not be applied with precision in many such situations.
They wrote in their report that “the positioning of the pit garage for the team made it impossible under the circumstances for either of the team cars to line up in order in the fast lane, given the number of cars that were already there.”
Both cars were deemed to have left safely and the Stewards acknowledged that it “would have been extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the team to determine in what order the cars should start, leaving the only option to start behind all the other cars”.
“This effectively means that teams who are allocated pits at the pit lane exit will always have to exit last, unless they choose to leave their garage much earlier,” the stewards said.
“The Stewards recommend that this particular settlement be reviewed, as this case is almost identical to the one involving Williams in Mexico City in 2021, where no sanctions were taken.”