FIA clarifies restart rules amid recent Verstappen tactics – Motorsport Week

Formula 1 director of racing Niels Wittich has reminded all drivers of the need to drive safely during safety car restarts.

Wittich’s words are believed to be aimed at Max Verstappen after the reigning F1 champion used similar tactics in the last three races to try and gain the upper hand over the leading car.

In Abu Dhabi, Verstappen drew alongside race director Lewis Hamilton and once, albeit briefly, even overtook the Mercedes driver, who was then taking over the role of the safety car as he rolled into the pit lane.

At the 2022 season opener in Bahrain, he pulled alongside leader Charles Leclerc in the penultimate corner and again in Saudi Arabia.

In updated event notes, Wittich highlighted Article 55.14 of the F1 Sporting Regulations, reminding drivers that they should not drive alongside another car during a restart or that the driver should drive “erratically”, which includes heavy braking or acceleration.

“In order to avoid the likelihood of accidents before the safety car returns to the pits, drivers must proceed at a pace that does not involve erratic acceleration or braking, or any likely manoeuvres, from the point at which the lights on the car are turned off includes endangering other drivers or preventing the restart.”

The event notes were accompanied by a chart showing what is acceptable and what is not.

The first two images show the rear car pulling alongside the car in front, which is not allowed, with the last diagrams explaining that cars can pull up to the rear of the car in front as long as they keep to the side, or alternatively must have one Leave a security gap if you want to follow directly behind.

It’s just the latest crackdown from new race director Wittich, who also raised concerns about jewelry and underwear during Friday’s drivers’ briefing.

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