F1 drivers have an informal agreement not to skip the line of cars when they come to start a pitched lap in qualifying, only that there have been several related incidents so far this year.
A number of riders made some passing passes on the final stage of qualifying for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, as well as some slowdowns to try and get the right position on the track to recover a tow.
But Perez – who ultimately won the race from sixth on the grid – was one of the big losers in Q3, struggling to secure a good position on the track. The Mexican blamed it on a violation of the gentleman’s agreement between the drivers.
“It was basically that we were all going at the same time, and people created gaps, but then other people walked past, breaking the gentleman’s agreement,” Perez explained.
“It just made it a bit more difficult. We didn’t go around when it really mattered. It’s that simple.
“Some drivers may respect this [agreement]. Not all.”
There is currently no official ruling on driver etiquette when starting qualifying laps, and although Perez said it would be “very difficult” to control how the drivers acted, he felt that it was worth discussing at the next briefing.
“The chaos really starts when people pass towards the end of the round, and we know we should just hold our position and try to create a gap,” Perez said.
“It’s like a traffic jam. All of a sudden it’s getting worse and worse. It’s been like this for a few years.
Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B
Photo By: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images
“Maybe this is something that we should discuss as pilots and be more reasonable about it, especially when it comes to qualifying, that we should be more respectful and be more aware that it can create difficulties for others.
“It’s definitely worth discussing to see what everyone thinks about it.
“There are riders who really respect him, and you can really trust him. But there are some you can’t.
“So I think it’s probably good to bring it back and discuss it fully, and see if it’s something that we all think needs to happen. “
One of the drivers who came under fire at the start of the season for breaking the gentleman’s agreement was Haas rookie Nikita Mazepin, who was seen skipping the qualifying queue in Bahrain.
Mazepin said the deal “did not work” after receiving a grid penalty in Spain, and said wider criticism in Baku proved it needed to be discussed.
“The situation is very clear to me,” Mazepin said.
“But in that case, I would just like to go to all these people who criticized me and ask them [them] criticize these people [who broke it in Baku] as well as. Because if the rules are rules, then they should all be for the same drivers.
“I watched the best in sport do it today, like Lewis [Hamilton] and like Checo, and yes I didn’t see a lot of talk going on there.
“No strong emotions. But, you know, let’s pick a road that we would like to take in F1.