The FIA has taken action in an attempt to minimise the chances of Saturday’s qualifying session being disrupted by traffic.
Single seater qualifying sessions at Monza have often been derailed by drivers tripping over each over at the final corner when trying to strike the balance between receiving a tow and clean air.
On Saturday, Formula 3 qualifying saw the session red flagged when Rodin Carlin’s Ido Cohen and team-mate Ollie Gray collided as the field bunched up on the approach to the final corner.
In response, the FIA has expanded the usage of its minimum lap time rule to include any lap a driver completes. This rewording of the rules crucially applies to out-laps as the FIA hopes to tackle the traffic.
“4.2 For the safe and orderly conduct of the Event, other than in exceptional circumstances accepted as such by the Stewards, any driver that exceeds 1min 41sec from the Second Safety Car Line to the First Safety Car Line on ANY lap during and after the end of the qualifying session, including in-laps and out-laps, may be deemed to be going unnecessarily slowly,” the race director’s notes now read.
“For the avoidance of doubt, this does not supersede Art. 33.4 and Art. 37.5 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations, which apply to the entire Circuit. Incidents will normally be investigated after the qualifying session.”
With just six proper braking zones, the high speed 3.6 mile long circuit promotes the formation of queues as drivers seek a competitive advantage from a slipstream effect from those ahead.
Infamously in 2019, the practice led to a whole group of cars failing to set a final lap time in Q3 after the traffic caused confusion and disorder on the out-lap, seeing the clock run down before drivers were able to begin a lap.