From the Australian Grand Prix, Formula 1 drivers are not allowed to throw visor tear-off strips on the race track or pit lane or face the risk of punishment from the FIA.
Before qualifying in Melbourne F1 race director, Charlie Whiting sent a note to teams, a copy of which was seen by Motorsport.com, reminding drivers of the regulations that forbid them from discarding the tear-off strips.
Article 1.2 of Chapter 3 of the International Sporting Code made it clear regarding what is and is not allowed by drivers of open cockpit cars. Stating, “Any tear-offs attached to visors may not be thrown onto the track or the pitlane.”
Fitted to driver’s visors while their car is out on track, are a number of tear-off strips. If their vision becomes obscured by debris or fluid, the driver can remove a strip. There’s no official explanation to say why the matter has arisen now but according to some sources, it’s because teams are unhappy about the risk of the tear-off strips getting lodged in car parts and causing problems.
At last year’s Spanish Grand Prix, it is believed a visor tear-off strip caused McLaren-Honda driver Fernando Alonso to retire from the race after sustaining a brake problem. With an stricter enforcement of the regulations, drivers now have to carefully place any tear-off strips inside their cockpits or have them removed at pit stops.