Toto Wolff calls for FIA intervention to end qualifying impeding

Max Verstappen and George Russell both created a traffic jam in the pits during Q1 at the 2023 Mexican GP.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has called for the FIA to talk to the teams and the drivers about how to end impeding once and for all, with it continuing to be a pressing issue in qualifying.

Qualifying at last weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix was yet another fiasco, as some drivers opted to stop at the end of the pit-lane to create a gap rather than go slowly in the final sector.

Completing a very slow out-lap is now effectively impossible due to a maximum lap-time having been imposed by race director Niels Wittich, which has arguably caused the pit-lane drama.

Both Max Verstappen and George Russell stopped momentarily in the pit-lane during Q1 last weekend, which caused a traffic jam.

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It meant several drivers were stuck in the pit-lane for longer than planned, compromising their run plan.

Neither Russell nor Verstappen were penalised, as the FIA acknowledged that the two drivers stopped in the pits to avoid going slow in the tight final sector at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

Verstappen also stopped at the end of the pit-lane at the Singapore Grand Prix but on that occasion he received a reprimand.

Wolff isn’t a fan of drivers stopping in the pits as it “looks awkward” and can result in some being unable to complete their hot lap before the timer runs out, something which is completely unfair if it’s as a result of being stuck in a queue.

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The Mercedes boss believes action needs to be taken to end impeding, although he’s unsure how that can be achieved.

“I think the FIA needs to sit down with the drivers and Sporting Directors and ask what is it exactly we want to achieve?” Wolff told the media, as reported by The Mirror.

“In the end, fundamentally we don’t want any impeding at all, we don’t want anybody stuck in the pit lane. So how can we achieve that? I understand it is better to be stationary in the pit lane than to block someone out there [on track] but it still looks awkward. It is not right because some people may not make the lap.”