Ahead of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix, the FIA have confirmed they will punish any driver if they deem their defensive manoeuvres ‘potentially dangerous’.
Recently Max Verstappen has been in the spotlight regarding his driving style this season. With rivals Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen unhappy with the way in which he moves under braking. After the Japanese Grand Prix, Mercedes AMG PETRONAS Formula 1 Team believed Verstappen drove erratically and in a dangerous manner that forced Hamilton to take evasive action.
Nothing yet has been formally taken against the Red Bull Racing driver, the FIA have issued a clarification over defending. This will take effect on Sunday at the Circuit of the Americas.
In event notes issued to the teams, one section reads, “Article 27.5 of the sporting regulations states ‘…no car may be driven…in a manner which could be potentially dangerous to other drivers…’. Furthermore, article 27.8 prohibits any manoeuvre ‘…liable to hinder other drivers, such as…any abnormal change of direction’.
“With this in mind, and with the exception of any move permitted by Article 27.6, any change of direction under braking which results in another driver having to take evasive action will be considered abnormal and hence potentially dangerous to other drivers. Any such move will be reported to the stewards.”
Along with clarification over driver’s defensive manoeuvres, the FIA also clarified the rules regarding blue flags. Something that was raised during the drivers’ briefing on Friday.
The event notes stated, “Article 27.9 of the sporting regulations requires drivers who are caught by another car about to lap him to allow the faster driver past at the first available opportunity.
“The F1 marshalling system has been developed in order to ensure that the point at which a driver is shown blue flags is consistent, rather than trusting the ability of marshals to identify situations that require blue flags.
“Whilst this has been largely successful, the way in which teams and drivers use the system seems to have become inconsistent. From now onwards the system will be set to give a pre-warning when the faster car is within 3.0s of the car about to be lapped.
“This should be used by the team of the slower car to warn their driver he is soon going to be lapped and that allowing the faster car through should be considered a priority.
“When the faster car is within 1.0s of the car about to be lapped blue flags will be shown to the slower car (in addition to blue cockpit lights and a message on the timing monitors) and the driver must allow the following driver to overtake at the first available opportunity.
“Additional instructions may also be given by race control when necessary.”