F1 drivers invited to react to Verstappen’s reprimands in Singapore

A recent dialogue, in the 2023 Singapore Grand Prix thursday press conference, has surfaced diverse viewpoints on incidents involving Max Verstappen during the qualifying last week in Singapore. The conversation was sparked by Max receiving reprimands but no grid penalties, leading to discussions about the consistency in the enforcement of rules and the fairness of penalties.

Adam Cooper of Motorsport.com initiated the conversation, inquiring about the drivers’ reactions to the lack of stringent action against Verstappen and their concerns regarding the uniform application of rules. Pierre Gasly’s dissatisfaction with the incidents and his plans to bring it up with the FIA added fuel to the debate.

Nico Hülkenberg (NH) acknowledged seeing the pit lane incident but admitted to having limited knowledge about it. He highlighted the fine line in such situations and mentioned that the authorities had looked into it. He stated, “I mean, I’ve seen it. I know too little about it… I think it’s a fine line there.”

Alexander Albon (AA) emphasized the importance of consistency for drivers, teams, and viewers but also pointed out the need for flexibility in some cases. He mentioned his own incident with Sergio Perez as an example of consistent but potentially unfair penalties. “For example, you could take my incident with Checo, when he has a five-second penalty, it’s consistent with everything else, but is it really fair? Maybe not.”

Lando Norris (LN) expressed his reluctance to create controversy but was candid about his views on blocking on the track. He believed that harsher penalties should be imposed for blocking as it ruins laps and Qualifying for other drivers. “I think the blocking one on track should have been a penalty… it should just be harsher penalties for blocking people, because so many people do it, it ruins your lap, it ruins your Qualifying.”

Yuki Tsunoda (YT) chose not to delve into the specifics of the Singapore incidents but mentioned his experience of receiving consistent penalties. “I don’t want to really talk about like Singapore… but in general to be honest it feels like I’m quite getting consistent penalties, to be honest.”

Sergio Perez (SP) chose to remain reticent on the matter, offering no comment. “Nothing to say on it,” he stated succinctly.

Lewis Hamilton (LH) raised pertinent queries about the legality of parking at the pit lane’s end and emphasized the imperative need for consistency in enforcing rules. “Are you allowed to park at the end of the pit lane on the way out?” he questioned, emphasizing the need for clarity and consistency in rule enforcement.

Charles Leclerc (CL) voiced his surprise, particularly about the pit lane incident, and highlighted the importance of open dialogues with the FIA to articulate drivers’ viewpoints and work towards enhancements in the sport. “I was a bit surprised especially the one in the pit lane because that could open quite bad situations in the future,” he remarked.

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