The FIA issues Sporting Directive based on findings from Saudi GP

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⚫ Changes implemented to Starting Grid Box dimensions and Sporting Directive on “Working on the car regulation”.

⚫ Additional review of common practices is ongoing in the interests of transparency.

The review centred on on-track infringements involving Car #14 (F. Alonso) of Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team (Team) and subsequent Stewards’ decisions, specifically in relation to the penalty imposed on Car #14 and the subsequent exercise of the right of review by the Team.

This circumstance arose due to a lack of clarity in the wording of the relevant regulations and conflicting precedents, which were exposed by this specific incident.

The rule itself had been a point of discussion at recent Sporting Advisory Committee’s meetings, the forum in which the FIA, FOM and all the teams discuss and propose amendments to the F1 Sporting Regulations for approval and implementation in the FIA Formula One World Championship.

The review panel comprised representatives from a number of FIA departments including Race Control, Safety, Operations and Technical and members of the FIA Remote Operations Centre (ROC). The two key measures which have been implemented as a result of the review are:

The issuance of a Sporting Directive to clarify the definition of what constitutes “working on the car” (Article 54.4.c of the F1 Sporting Regulations) and how the regulation will therefore be applied by the FIA at subsequent Competitions.

The widening of the starting grid boxes by 20cm from this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. A centre line will also be trialled to aid drivers in positioning their cars correctly during Friday’s Free Practice in Melbourne and pending feedback and discussion at the Drivers’ Briefing may also be implemented moving forward.

Additionally, several other elements are under discussion for potential further improvement. These include a review of other potential common practices’ which may not be clearly defined or documented, and which may necessitate either a change of the Regulations or a Sporting Directive to avoid similar issues in the future, as well as consideration of the various procedures that lead to time delays in the event of late-race reports to the Stewards.

Article 54.4 states:

c) Whilst a car is stationary in the pit lane as a result of incurring a penalty in accordance with Articles 54.3a) or 54.3b) above, it may not be worked on until the car has been stationary for the duration of the penalty.

1. For canty and until further notice, in this context the physical touching of the car or driver by hand, tools or equipment (including the front and rear jacks) during any such penalty will all be considered to constitute work.

2. The use of cooling fans during a penalty is permitted providing any such fan does not physically touch the car.

3. As is already common practice, multiple penalties incurred under Articles 54:3a and 54.36 prior to a cam pit stop can be served in series at a single pit stop. For example, a 5sec + 10sec penalty can be served as a single 15sec penalty and so on.

Photo: Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team