FIA confirms – Drivers will be punished ‘only if their blame for incident is clear’

F1 Drivers will not receive penalties for mutual collisions unless it is clear what driver is to blame, FIA has confirmed.

Last season caused a lot of controversy because of the inconsistent way of awarding punishment, discouraging drivers to attempt a risky overtaking move.

But after the latest debate in the F1 Commission and the World Motor Sport Council, it’s been agreed that the drivers will receive penalty only if they are ‘wholy to blame’ for an incident.

The stewards will now be able to decide for themselves whether to investigate a particular incident reported by the race director, a change documentated  in the sporting regulations, specifically in Article 38.2 a).

“It shall be at the discretion of the stewards to decide if any driver involved in an incident should be penalised.

“Unless it is clear to the stewards that a driver was wholly or predominantly to blame for an incident no penalty will be imposed.”

FIA has also changed the time in which pitlane closes before the race. As before, it opens 30 minutes before the start of the formation lap, but closes 10 minutes later (before it closed 15 minutes after it was opened).

The reason for these changes is the fact that drivers who came out of the pitlane later missed the national anthem of the race host that begins 14 minutes before the start of the formation lap. With new rules, drivers must be present during the playing of the national anthem.

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