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New rule to restart the car behind Safety Car

From Melbourne, drivers won’t be able to join other cars under Safety Car during an F1 GP: a clarification prohibiting one of the classic maneuvers many drivers use to put pressure on those in front.

Giulio Caroña

There is an intriguing parallel between the frenetic final of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that settled the drivers’ title battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen and the last Saudi Grand Prix in Jeddah, in a river of poison and controversy. The world champion in the photo finish was victorious on Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari. Either way, in fact, the Dutchman from Red Bull joined his rival in the Safety Car system, just moments before the start of the second half. A fearsome maneuver to put pressure on the leader, but will no longer be allowed from the Australian GP on stage tomorrow in Melbourne.

F1, the new rule

In the latest edition of the race director’s notes this weekend in Australia – starting in 2022 in place of contested Michael Massey, Nils Whitsch (Melbourne officiant) and substitute Eduardo Freitas posted at the head of the button room – a few minutes before the start of Free Practice 3, he added The FIA ​​provides clarification regarding the text of Article 55.14 of the Sporting Regulations, which speaks of restarting after a safety car. Specifically, the rule is cited without changes, but accompanied by an image that wants to illustrate what behavior drivers will have to maintain before setting off, in the event that the race may be invalidated.

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Safety car: no sideways

If the text of the article is subject to interpretation – the rule simply states that “from the moment the safety car turns off the lights, it is necessary to proceed at a constant speed without sudden acceleration and braking, or to perform maneuvers that could cause danger or prevent restarting” – the design is eloquent and does not It creates great doubts: the driver will never be able to overtake or join the front part, not even with a small part of the car, such as the front spoiler. Clarification, therefore, would prevent all pilots from performing maneuvers to apply pressure to the fullest extent of fairness to those in front.

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