World Motor Sport Council clarifies rules after Schumacher and Hamilton incidents

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Repeats of Hamilton's Montreal stunt will not be allowed
Repeats of Hamilton's Montreal stunt will not be allowed

The FIA’s World Motor Sports Council has announced a series of changes to the rules.

These including clarifying the rule regarding the safety car which Michael Schumacher ran afoul of in the Monaco Grand Prix.

And drivers will no longer be able to stop on the track after qualifying to preserve their fuel loads, as Lewis Hamilton did in Canada.

Here are the full details of the changes the FIA has announced today:

Safety Car

The FIA has clarified the rule which caught Michael Schumacher out at Monaco, stating drivers may not overtake after the safety car line on the final lap:

With immediate effect, no car may overtake until it has passed the first safety car line for the first time when the safety car is returning to the pits. However, if the safety car is still deployed at the beginning of the last lap, or is deployed during the last lap, it will enter the pit lane at the end of the lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking.

General safety

There will also be no more drivers stopping to save fuel after qualifying, as Lewis Hamilton did at Montreal:

With immediate effect, any car being driven unnecessarily slowly, erratically, or which is deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers, will be reported to the stewards. This will apply whether any such car is being driven on the track, the pit entry or the pit lane.

In order to ensure cars are not driven unnecessarily slowly on in-laps during qualifying or reconnaissance laps when the pit exit is opened for the race, drivers must stay below the maximum time set by the FIA between the safety car line after the pit exit and safety car line before the pit entry. The maximum time will be determined by the race director at each event prior to the first day of practice, but may be amended during the event if necessary.

With immediate effect, if a sample of fuel is required after a practice session the car concerned must have first been driven back to the pits under its own power.

Adjustable rear wings

As revealed here earlier adjustable rear wings will be introduced in 2011.

Vote on what you think of the change here: Adjustable rear wings confirmed for 2011 ?ǣ but only for overtaking (Poll)

From 2011, adjustable bodywork may be activated by the driver at any time prior to the start of the race and, for the sole purpose of improving overtaking opportunities during the race, after the driver has completed two laps.

The driver may only activate the adjustable bodywork in the race when he has been notified via the control electronics that it is enabled. It will only be enabled if the driver is less than one second behind another at any of the pre-determined positions around each circuit.

The system will be disabled the first time the driver uses the brakes after the system has been activated. The FIA may, after consulting all the competitors, adjust the time proximity in order to ensure the purpose of the adjustable bodywork is met.

With the exception of the parts necessary for the driver adjustable bodywork, any car system, device or procedure which uses driver movement as a means of altering the aerodynamic characteristics of the car is prohibited from 2011.


The minimum weight limit has been increased from 620kg to 640kg. This is most likely to encourage more teams to use Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems. The minimum weight was also increased at the start of this year:

From 2011, the minimum weight of the car must not be less than 640 kg at all times during the event.

Driving conduct

F1 drivers will be strongly encouraged not to get into any trouble on public roads, as happened to Hamilton at Melbourne earlier this year:

The FIA, both in its motor sport and mobility roles, has a strong interest in promoting road safety. Competitors at FIA events must act as ambassadors for the sport, be aware their conduct on the road must be exemplary and respect road safety rules. The World Council agreed that the International Sporting Code be examined to ensure the Federation?s overall objectives and, in particular, its commitment to road safety, are upheld.

Ho-Pin Tung

Interestingly, Renault Development Driver Ho-Pin Tung has been granted a probationary superlicence, suggesting his team requested he be considered for one. The Chinese driver did demonstration laps in a Renault R29 at Magny-Cours last weekend:

Based on his career r??sum?? and comparative F1 testing times, the World Council has approved the granting of a four-race probationary super license to Chinese driver Ho-Pin Tung.

There has been no word from the council on any action against US F1 or a rumoured name change for Sauber to drop ‘BMW’ from their official title.

Read more: F1 2011 Season