Commissioners will be less strict in the event of close confrontations between racers

Author of the article: , published January 25, 2017.

The sometimes incomprehensible penalties given by commissioners in individual races will be more than just history this season. As we reported a few days ago, a special strategic group proposed that the method of punishment be relaxed, and yesterday the representatives of Formula 1 and the representatives of the FIA ​​also accepted and confirmed their proposal. Thus, this season, the commissioners of the race will be punished only in cases of gross violations.

Article 38.2 has been amended accordingly, which now dictates that the commissioners themselves decide whether the offense was gross or not, and whether the racer deserves a penalty in this case or not. If it is not immediately clear whether the racer has broken the rules or not, or whether he is responsible for the event in the race or not, there will be no penalty. Race leader Charle Whiting will even be able to decide for himself, without the intervention of the teams, whether the event is suitable for punishment or not. In this way, in Formula 1, it will avoid previous cases where the racer was punished even a few laps after the event, or even after the end of the race, but it was not immediately decided whether the penalty is decided or not.

This way, for example, it will no longer be possible to repeat the situation we witnessed at last year's race in Mexico, where spectators at the racetrack were confused by the punishment when they saw Sebastian Vettl on the podium instead of Max Verstppn. Verstappen was punished just before the award ceremony, when he was already in a special room for the race winners.

Niki Lauda welcomed the final decision, as he sees more freedom in it for racers who were now afraid to do some overtaking or action more, precisely because of the strict penalty system. However, some additional innovations were introduced at the meeting. Both the changes regarding the restart after the departure of the safety car, as well as the change that the current time of fifteen minutes, when racers with race cars have to drive to the racetrack before the race and the pits close, is extended to twenty minutes. The novelty from last season, that the racers are present together at the national anthem, thus prolongs the time for possible quick repairs, as so far the mechanics have been under a lot of pressure because they had to rectify defects on the race cars shortly before the race.

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