Formula One drivers call for clearer rules
By Abhishek Takle
BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Formula One drivers have called for the sport's rules to be made clearer after several high-profile incidents over the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend triggered debate on how they should be applied.
Nico Rosberg was allowed to keep pole position for Sunday’s race after stewards deemed he had slowed enough for waved double yellow flags, despite the German going faster in the sector in which the flags were shown on his way to his benchmark time. Drivers are required to reduce speed significantly and be prepared to change direction or stop under double waved yellow flags, which can be deployed to warn them of marshals, stranded cars, or recovery vehicles on or beside the track.
Other drivers, including team mate Lewis Hamilton — who was forced to abort his final crack at pole — slowed down enough to hinder their overall laps.
Stewards' acceptance of Rosberg’s argument he had slowed enough, raised questions over just how much drivers were required to reduce speed.
“The issue is not that he didn’t get a penalty,” said reigning triple champion Hamilton, who won the race.
“It’s about being prepared to be able to slow down...if there was a marshal back there... None of us want to take out a marshal or a driver."
“We didn’t set a correct example yesterday,” Ferrari’s four times champion Sebastian Vettel said.
"Next week there will be a go-karting race and there will be a double yellow waved flag somewhere... Then, the way the kids think is, well I don’t need to lift much because in Formula One it’s okay.”
In another incident after qualifying, several drivers including Red Bull’s third-placed Daniel Ricciardo were at risk of losing their grid slots for not qualifying within 107 percent of the fastest time in the opening 18-minute phase.
Stewards decided to let some of those drivers keep their positions, while those who hadn’t made it past first phase had their times taken away, even though the grid order didn’t change.
In Sunday’s race, Jenson Button ran foul of tightened radio rules, collecting a drive through penalty when his McLaren team informed him how to get around a hydraulics issue that was causing him brake problems.
“The sport is good in so many ways, there are so many improvements coming, but I mean common sense should prevail and we shouldn’t get a penalty for stopping an incident,” said the former world champion.
“It’s a shame that the sport is where it is with these regulations.”
(Editing by Rex Gowar)