Ricciardo’s Plea: Pause Time for Red Flags

red flag f1

Daniel Ricciardo has voiced a suggestion to the FIA: consider pausing the clock during red-flag disruptions in Formula 1 practice sessions. This comes after a red-flagged FP2 session in Abu Dhabi saw limited track time, affecting drivers’ preparation for qualifying and the race.

Between the lines:

  • Ricciardo proposes a rule change to extend practice sessions when red flags eat into valuable track time.
  • The suggestion follows a disrupted FP2 at Yas Marina, where drivers like Verstappen and Hamilton lost significant practice due to red flags.
  • Hulkenberg supports Ricciardo’s idea, while Bottas believes the current amount of practice is excessive due to advanced simulation tools.

Go deeper:
In the twilight of the Abu Dhabi circuit, what should have been a crucial hour of practice was truncated to a mere 26 minutes of active driving. The cause? A duo of red flags that first waved goodbye to Sainz’s Ferrari and then to Hulkenberg’s Haas ambitions, each incident chewing up the clock like a hungry caterpillar on a leaf of lettuce.

Daniel Ricciardo, known for his grin as wide as the Australian outback, wasn’t smiling as he mused over the lost time. His solution? A pause button for the session timer, allowing drivers to reclaim those precious lost minutes. It’s not just about the laps, but the quality of the practice under race-similar conditions that had drivers like Leclerc, Verstappen, and Hamilton feeling the pinch.

While Ricciardo’s idea might seem as sensible as wearing sunscreen in the desert, it’s not without its complexities. Hulkenberg, who found himself part of the red-flag narrative, acknowledged the ripple effect such a change could have on the meticulously planned F1 schedule and broadcasting slots.

On the flip side, Valtteri Bottas, the Finn who’s as cool as a cucumber in a bowl of hot soup, isn’t convinced. He argues that with the tech wizardry of modern simulations, the need for real asphalt time is as outdated as a flip phone at a tech conference.

The debate is set to continue, likely in the drivers’ briefing room, where they’ll hash it out like a family deciding on pizza toppings. It’s a discussion that could lead to a rule change, or it might just be another lap in the ongoing race to perfect the sport.

As the engines cool and the sun sets on another day of F1 drama, fans and drivers alike are left to ponder the balance between practice and unpredictability. Stay tuned to see if the FIA will give the green light to Ricciardo’s time-pausing proposal or if it’ll be left in the dust like a backmarker on race day.