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How F1's 'gentlemen's agreement' gets screwed up

How F1's 'gentlemen's agreement' gets screwed up

F1 News

How F1's 'gentlemen's agreement' gets screwed up

How F1's 'gentlemen's agreement' gets screwed up

Lando Norris has explained why the so-called 'gentlemen's agreement' between F1 drivers has consistently failed during qualifying sessions this year.

In qualifying sessions, an unwritten agreement exists between drivers whereupon they will not pass rivals when a traffic queue has formed with each attempting to create a gap to the next.

From the first race of the 2021 season, when rookie Nikita Mazepin fell foul of this arrangement, there has been consistent violation including at the Styrian Grand Prix with Lewis Hamilton, amongst others, flagrantly ignoring it.

Assessing the situation, Norris said: “I think, it doesn’t happen at every track, it happens at some. I’m not sure. I think honestly, we have to just speak as a bunch of drivers. I can’t comment on everyone else’s behalf or anything.

“Some places it is fine and you don’t even have to speak about it but when people don’t want to go first and that is what the issue is, you get people overtaking into the last corner, that is what screws everything up.

“I don’t know if a rule needs to be in place or what. Maybe it does because people can just get caught out for no reason and for doing the correct thing they can get screwed over and caught out which isn’t fair in my opinion.”

Ricciardo proposes vigilante justice

Following an incident at last weekend's Austrian Grand Prix where Sebastian Vettel impeded Fernando Alonso's timed effort - the German having been passed by numerous drivers - FIA race director Michael Masi suggested drivers may need to speak about and revise the agreement.

Rather than create an official ruling, however, Daniel Ricciardo suggested drivers should be less forgiving to offenders on the track.

He explained: “I think at the end of the day, if someone is being a bit cheeky or taking advantage of a situation that maybe we’ve agreed no-one should, I’m okay with also nothing happening and I think say that driver or those drivers should expect a bit of s**t to come their way at some point. That is the decision and the choice they make.

“I’m also happy for us to sort it out our own way.”

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