Monza "absurdity" an escalation of recent tactics - Wolff

Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff believes “none of us have ever seen such an absurdity” as the farce that ruined the end of qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix.

Monza "absurdity" an escalation of recent tactics - Wolff

Almost all of the nine drivers participating in the final segment of Monza qualifying failed to cross the line in time to start their last run as they slowed down too much in a desperate attempt to avoid missing out on a tow. 

The final lap was placed under investigation by the FIA and this ran well into Saturday evening, leaving the outcome of qualifying – topped by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc – uncertain. 

“For the fans that were present, we lost a climax, the last qualifying lap,” said Wolff. “But at the end of the day, none of us have ever seen such an absurdity.”

Read Also:

Last week’s qualifying session at the Belgian GP also featured heavy queuing, while Formula 3 qualifying at Monza on Friday was ended early for safety reasons amid farcical backing up and resulted in penalties for 17 of the 30 drivers.

Wolff said that Monza and Spa “are very specific with the tow, and motor racing has always been about tows”, which is why it has been so problematic here. 

Though he acknowledged that the incident “certainly creates some topic for discussion” he admitted it was not a flattering sight for F1.

“These things can happen, in a way it is also a chess game on obtaining the best grid position,” said Wolff.

“But at a certain stage it escalated, starting at Spa, and then we could see it in F3 yesterday, those games cutting the chicane and reducing the speeds to minimum level. It became disproportionate. 

“What we saw today is the consequence of all cars missing the last lap. It’s just a shame for Formula 1. It doesn’t do any of the teams and the drivers any good.”

The anti-climactic end and sight of every driver except Carlos Sainz and Leclerc being greeted by the chequered flag before starting a final flyer has been widely condemned by fans and onlookers. 

Racing Point team principal Otmar Szafnauer, whose driver Lance Stroll was part of the pack at fault, said: “In my 20 years, I’ve not seen anything like it. Before that, I don’t know. 

“I understand why it happened, no-one wanted to give up an advantage and that to me is the epitome of F1. You push to the limit. 

“We saw the time ticking by, we knew how far he was: ‘you gotta go, you gotta go, you gotta go’. But you can’t really push because people are in front of you.”

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl added: “I think in the end what we have seen today in qualifying was not ideal for the show. 

“We should also point out for the fans, because the fans want to see the fights on-track between the quickest cars at the end of qualifying.”

Additional reporting by Adam Cooper

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90, leads Alex Albon, Red Bull RB15, Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90, and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W10, out of the pits

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90, leads Alex Albon, Red Bull RB15, Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90, and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W10, out of the pits

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Sutton Images

shares
comments
Trio reprimanded for "significant role" in Q3 debacle

Previous article

Trio reprimanded for "significant role" in Q3 debacle

Next article

Verstappen's Rosberg comments made Hamilton "crack up"

Verstappen's Rosberg comments made Hamilton "crack up"
Load comments
The details that boosted Verstappen and held back Hamilton in Austin Prime

The details that boosted Verstappen and held back Hamilton in Austin

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon in Texas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Prime

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment.

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement Prime

Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man Anthony Peacock explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it).

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
How Verstappen has become F1 champion material Prime

How Verstappen has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle Prime

Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be set to be another close contest.

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Prime

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Prime

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021