On lap 46 the protection automotive got here out for a fireplace on the AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly. Three laps in, FIA race management notified lapped vehicles – the six drivers from Aston Martin, McLaren and Williams – that they may overtake the protection automotive and unlap themselves.
As is customary, one lap after that message was made the protection was known as in once more. However as vehicles had been solely beginning to unlap themselves within the remaining sector, it gave them simply over one lap to catch as much as the again of the pack once more, making it not possible to take action.
That meant Lance Stroll, the chief of the prepare of lapped vehicles, crossed the restart line some 20 seconds behind the automotive in entrance.
Albon, who on the time was an additional eight seconds behind Stroll in 15th, questioned whether or not giving lapped vehicles such a restricted window to catch up was the correct option to go, because it forces them to drive flat out below security automotive situations.
When requested by Autosport if he was shocked at not being allowed to totally catch up, Albon stated: “They’ve made a rule which I assume is a part of the Abu Dhabi factor, there’ll solely be one lap just about to catch up which isn’t sufficient.
“Firstly, when it comes to a security level I assume it was fantastic, however we had been driving flat out and with the protection automotive on monitor.
“I’m unsure that’s how we wish it to be however in fact we’re going to drive as onerous as we will to catch up the main lap.
“I don’t know if it makes it higher or not. For me it made it worse because it unfold out the sector, we had been sort of in our race on the again there away from everybody else, so perhaps it’s one thing to overview.”
Alex Albon, Williams FW44
Picture by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
Whereas the rule concerned is a part of the much-discussed Article 55.13 of F1’s sporting rules, which now stipulates “all” reasonably than “any” lapped vehicles should unlap themselves within the wake of final yr’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix controversy, the clause to which Albon is referring to is not truly new.
It’s customary apply for the unlapping message to be given one tour earlier than the ultimate security automotive lap, though it’s on the discretion of race management if the protection automotive might keep out longer.
Article 55.13 says: “Until the clerk of the course considers the presence of the protection automotive continues to be vital, as soon as the message “LAPPED CARS MAY NOW OVERTAKE” has been despatched to all Opponents utilizing the official messaging system, the protection automotive will return to the pits on the finish of the next lap.”