FIA admits “lack of clarity” and vows to change rules after Monaco controversy

The FIA will revise the rules that caught out Michael Schumacher

The FIA will revise the rules that caught out Michael Schumacher

The FIA has said it will make changes to the F1 rules following the controversy over Michael Schumacher’s penalty in the Monaco Grand Prix.

The governing body issued a statement saying:

The problems identified during the final lap of the Monaco Grand Prix, counting for the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship, showed a lack of clarity in the application of the rule prohibiting overtaking behind the Safety Car.

Adjustments to the regulations are necessary to clarify the procedure that cars must meet when the last lap is controlled by the Safety Car whilst also ensuring that the signaling for teams and drivers is made more clear.

These adjustments will help to avoid the problem which occurred during the Monaco Grand Prix from happening in the future.

The Formula One Commission, upon a proposal of the F1 Sporting Working Group will submit an amendment to the Sporting Regulations to address this issue. These amendments will be considered by the World Motor Sport Council at its next meeting in Geneva on June 23.
FIA statement

Over 1,100 comments on the incident have been received so far on F1 Fanatic, and 79% of readers said Schumacher should either receive a less severe penalty or no punishment at all.

Read more: The FIA?s badly-written rules leave Formula 1 looking stupid once again

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95 comments on FIA admits “lack of clarity” and vows to change rules after Monaco controversy

  1. Alex 3 said on 20th May 2010, 15:37

    So the almighty FIA admits it set up ambiguous rules which a smart guy like Ross Brawn and others would find and exploit only to penalize them for doing so.
    In most sports the benefit of the doubt created by the rule makes would go to the participants and not some body who is paid to apply the faulty rules.
    The FIA should voluntarily overrule the stewards and reinstate MS and Mercedes to the positions they had at the end of the race.
    Just more Mickey Mouse administration by the FIA

  2. DGR-F1 said on 20th May 2010, 15:41

    All I can say its one good thing about Old Schuey’s return that it has actually prompted the FIA to start looking again at the rule book.
    Its just a shame they haven’t felt the need to do it for the three seasons he hasn’t been racing…..

  3. Vikas said on 20th May 2010, 16:19

    I actually think Schumacher deserves a 6th… atleast he shows that he’s trying his best… I was really impressed at his move…Alonso took it easy and almost paid for it…too bad the FIA dont want drivers to be aggressive at all.

    • Todfod said on 20th May 2010, 16:41

      Yeah well lets just give karun chandhok the championship. coz i think he is trying harder than anyone in the field right now.

      Unfortunately, there are no points given trying your best, or for overtaking drivers who think the race is over.

      Im finding it hard to believe that people are impressed by a move created by one driver thinking that the race is over, and another clearly breaking the rules. It would be impressive to see Schumi overtake Alonso fair and square, and I do no think thats gonna happen ever again for Schumi.

      • Vikas said on 21st May 2010, 5:08

        Isn’t that what every sport involves…you capitalising on your opponent’s mistake…unfortunately the FIA does not want to wake up a sleeping driver

  4. sumedh said on 20th May 2010, 16:57

    The rules are indeed unclear.

    Now, to summarize, there are 3 rules which are under scrutiny here. 40.7, 40.11, 40.13.

    40.7 allows drivers to race from the first safety car line itself instead of the start-finish line (a change from last year). If this were reversed back to its original form, then there won’t be any necessity of different rules 40.11 and 40.13 at all.

    40.13 is a special case of the 40.11. Now, having a special case for the last lap is ok, but teams must know how they can differentiate between the two cases. Since, the safety car goes in on the last lap irrespective of whether the track is clear or not.

    My suggestion is to scrap 40.13 completely. Let 40.11 govern the last laps too. It is a lot more appealing for the fans to have a one-third mile sprint race to the finish. It will be great to see drivers taking positions off each other at the very last corner of the race!!

    Or, if 40.13 is to be preserved, then add footnotes to both 40.11 and 40.13. For 40.11: Green flags will be shown and SC boards will be taken off.
    For 40.13: Yellow flags will be shown and SC boards will display. This way, teams can easily differentiate between the 2 scenarios.

    There you go, there’s your solution. Now why on earth should we wait till 23rd June to change this rule? Can’t it be done before the next race starts!!

    Can’t wait for the next Jean Todt approval ratings article. I hope to see a lot of dis-approvals this time.

    • Patrickl said on 20th May 2010, 21:16

      The fact that SC boards are shown for safety car situations and green flags for racing conditions already exist. Why would they need to repeat that in the rules?

  5. Horacio said on 20th May 2010, 18:16

    I’m afraid at one point we will see a driver being fined for accelerating way too much on the main stright, because some “lack of clarity”.

  6. Hallard said on 20th May 2010, 18:46

    Personally, I applaud the FIA for admitting their mistake. It should have never happened, but the FIA under Mosley would NEVER have made such an admission, and I see this as a sign (albeit a small one) of progress.

  7. -A- said on 20th May 2010, 19:19

    I find it very nice to see this kind of factual reflection from the FIA, especially as it seems to be focus on the right factor, which is that “the application of the rule” (i.e. 40.13) lacked “clarity”. They seem to have understood that the fact that green flags were waved and the “SC” boards were pulled in could have caused a misunderstanding. They also appear to have come to the conclusion that they should probably come up with an addition to 40.13 that spells out precisely how the procedure is supposed to be when the race ends under safety car conditions.

  8. I think that it is positive that the FIA are listening to the concerns, and taking steps to address the situation. I mean, this would never have happened under S&Max. It’s just unfortunate that Schuey’s penalty is the horse that bolted, and the barn door is now being firmly bolted behind him.

    Personally, since it appears that Ross Brawn is the one to spot all of these loopholes and ambiguities, why don’t they get Brawn to draft all the rules and regulations? They’d be water tight then, methinks.

  9. First of all it is only my opinion. I think this whole discussion has no sense at all. If you would read the information from FIA and knew something about the rules that would lead you to only one conclusion. Maybe the rule was unclear but the statement “you are not allowed to pass anyone” is true.
    AFAI remember that was the first time we ended the race in such conditions right? Usually when we had some laps after the SC had been sent back to the pits, still they could only pass after the start/finish line (and also green flags are shown before they reach this line). Why it should be different in this case? And sumedh I think your propositions are not good enough – there should be one point on the track after which you can try to pass oposition – otherwise the signal is the key just like in case of green lights on start… And that key could be not clearly visible for all. And for ex. how on earth you will manage to controll the “falstart” on the whole circuit with more than 20 cars in motion?

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