Martin Brundle agrees with McLaren boss amid calls for key rule change

Max Verstappen and George Russell both held up several drivers by stopping in the pit-lane during Q1 at the Mexican GP.

Ex-Formula 1 driver turned pundit Martin Brundle has agreed with McLaren team principal Andrea Stella that a “better solution” needs to be found to solve traffic during qualifying, as drivers are now opting to stop in the pit-lane.

Max Verstappen and George Russell both came to a complete stop in the pit-lane for several seconds in the closing stages of Q1 at the Mexican Grand Prix last weekend, causing a traffic jam.

Both drivers were investigated after the session for their actions but no penalty was awarded, after the stewards deemed that they’d taken safety into consideration.

Verstappen and Russell argued that it was safer to stop in the pit-lane to create a gap rather than drive slowly in the final sector.

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To stop drivers from completing incredibly slow out-laps, race director Niels Wittich introduced a maximum lap-time which must not be exceeded; however, a way around this is stopping in the pit-lane before entering the circuit.

Stella has called for “immediate action” to be taken to stop this from happening as he deems it as being “unfair”.

The McLaren boss has raised the argument that a team has no idea when their driver will enter the track if they get caught up in a pit-lane traffic jam, something which could be the difference between progressing and being eliminated.

“I think immediate action needs to be taken,” Stella said, as reported by The Mirror.

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“It’s not a good spectacle. It makes the operations very difficult because you send your car and you actually don’t know when your car is going to get on track.

“It puts all drivers too much at the mercy of the other drivers. And this for me starts to be unfair. We need to create policy aspects and ruling aspects to control the situation, which I think is just inappropriate.”

Brundle agrees with Stella but has suggested one possible solution at venues with wide pitlanes.

The ex-F1 driver believes the drivers that want to stop could do so in the middle lane, allowing others to still safely pass by.

This, of course, wouldn’t be possible at the likes of Monaco, where the garages themselves only just fit.

Brundle does see how stopping in the pit-lane can be “unfair” to others and believes a “better solution” needs to be found, in regard to how drivers can prepare for their hot laps.

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“Perhaps [drivers] should be obliged to stop in the middle lane rather than the fast lane,” Brundle wrote in his Sky Sports column.

“However, there are two issues there, the cars wouldn’t then be spaced out particularly well on track, and some circuits like Monaco don’t have the space for a spare middle pit lane like that.

“It does seem unfair for teams positioned at the far end of the pit lane, and those drivers who need to get out and get on with regard to their qualifying lap preparation.

“For now, I guess we have to explain that it’s an acceptable practice by precedent, let the drivers and teams sort it out among themselves, and look for a better solution.”