The Formula One Sporting and Technical Regulations are constantly developing to respond to changes in the sport, improve the show and reduce costs. This season will be no exception and so we spoke to the experts at the team to get their view on the changes coming up this year.
Today, we take a look at Race Suspension and Driving Etiquette:
The regulations say: “Drivers may no longer leave the track without a justifiable reason, i.e. cutting a chicane on reconnaissance laps or in-laps to save time and fuel, and drivers may no longer move back onto the racing line having moved off it to defend a position.”
The expert view: Ron Meadows, Sporting Director: “This is really a formal clarification of how the FIA expect the drivers to behave. There are actually two points… the first is that cutting chicanes or taking short-cuts can be a performance advantage due to running lower fuel levels in qualifying or getting back to the pits faster allowing you to leave your qualifying run later. The second point is aimed at drivers moving twice when racing another car. The FIA are happy for a second movement to defend your position as long as it is not done in the braking zone, and you leave at enough space for the challenging car to go to the outside without running out of track.”
The regulations say: “There will now be a maximum race time of four hours to ensure that a lengthy suspension of a race does not result in a race that could run up to eight hours if left unregulated. Cars which were in the pit lane when the race was suspended will now be allowed to re-join the cars on the grid in the position they were in at the time of the race suspension.”
The expert view: Ron Meadows, Sporting Director: “The time limit has been brought in so that spectators and TV viewers will know the cut-off point for a race start.
This is a very fair rule as it allows cars that were in the pit lane during a race suspension not to be penalised through no fault of their own. Without this change of regulation, cars in the pit lane would have to join the back of the pack once they had restarted.”