Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas call for changes to how pole positions are recorded

Drivers who are fastest in qualifying but serve a grid penalty do not get a pole position on their record

Alex Pattle
Tuesday 19 October 2021 12:34
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Formula 1 title rivals Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton have called for changes to how pole positions are recorded, as has Valtteri Bottas – despite the Finn recently benefiting from the current rules.

Hamilton was fastest in qualifying ahead of the Turkish Grand Prix this month but served a 10-place grid penalty for using his fourth engine this season. As a result, Mercedes teammate Bottas started on pole in Istanbul.

Furthermore, the pole has gone down in the record books under Bottas’ name, despite him being second fastest in qualifying.

Hamilton, Bottas and Verstappen have all since agreed that the existing method of recording poles is unfair.

“Well, I still… I get recorded the pole, right?” Hamilton asked in Turkey, per Planet F1. “No? Ah, dammit.”

“Do I get the pole? So you need to give the tyre to me,” Bottas replied, referring to the tyre-model award that is given to drivers who achieve pole positions.

“I just don’t get that!” added Verstappen, who was third fastest in qualifying for the Turkish GP.

“I don’t think it’s fair, though,” Bottas said, to which Hamilton replied: “No, it’s alright.”

“Lewis has a few spare [tyre awards], he is going to start his own tyre factory,” said Verstappen.

When asked by Autosport about the matter, Hamilton said: “I got pole. I don’t think the penalty should affect that necessarily, but I don’t really care to be honest.”

Bottas added: “I think on the sprint weekends, definitely the fastest man in qualifying should be handed the official pole award and pole position for records and also in a situation like this – Lewis had the fastest single lap.

“He was technically on pole, but then after he is dropped so I don’t think it’s really fair, but obviously I will happily still take that tyre. Maybe next time it will be completely different.”

“Yeah, similar comment,” Verstappen said. “The guy who does the fastest lap should deserve pole position.”

Bottas emerged victorious at the Turkish GP for his first win of the season, while Verstappen finished second as Hamilton climbed from 11th on the grid to come fifth.

The results saw Verstappen reclaim the championship lead from Hamilton. The Red Bull driver leads the Briton by six points with six races left this season.

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