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

72 comments on “World Motor Sport Council clarifies rules after Schumacher and Hamilton incidents”

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  1. 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.

    Now here’s a question .
    It says “practice session” not qualifying session, so in those words it does not stop going super light in qualy and stopping on the side of the track out of fuel aka Lewis Hamilton. I see a LOOPHOLE.

    FIA (Fools Interfering Always)

    1. That is because strictly speaking Qualifying is called Qualifying Practice, while the earlier sessions are called Free Practice


  2. Robert McKay
    24th June 2010, 0:36

    To be honest, I don’t really see that the clarification to the SC rule actually clarifies it all that differently.

  3. Richard in Hong Kong
    24th June 2010, 8:48

    There is only one reason why they are so concerned with increasing overtaking opportunities: To make the sport more appealing to the American market (who they are trying to reach), who get bored too easily and expect intense action every second.

    This reminds me of when the US tried to convince FIFA to play football in 4 quarters when they hosted the worldcup there: To increase goals and time for ads.

    1. football in 4 quarters? sounds like something americans would come up with..

      1. To nip off to Mad D’s for another burger presumably

  4. Is refueling going to be introduced in 2011 ?

    1. no, why should it

  5. So that we can see good stratergies, low fuel loads and faster racing

    1. So you’d rather see an overtake when someone goes to the pits over an overtake on the track?

      Strategy racing = bad

  6. That safety car rule clarification is so obviously just to save face for the blundering race control in Monaco.

    How difficult is it to simply keep the SC signs and yellow flags out to indicate that the race is still under “safety car conditions”? Just like they did in Melbourne 2009. No useless regulation change needed.

    The adjustable rear wing seems a ridiculous idea too. It’s dangerous, seeing how often we’ve had front wings getting stuck on a certain setting. It’s also just a fake way of contribution to the “entertainment”.

    It’s like in those videogames where the cars following the leader go faster. Lame.

    The fuel rule change was inevitable I guess. I just hope it’s not going to get people disqualified though. Like Paffet when he won the race and then ran out of fuel on the in lap. It got him disqualified.

    When things like that happen, it just feels like you sat and watched a whole race for nothing.

    I’d rather they worked with a warning system like they do with unsafe pit releases. Punish the team the first time and if it happens again serve a drive through (or whatever). Just to make sure the teams don’t run out of fuel on purpose, but also to not overly punish drivers for a fueling error.

    1. Completely agree with Your view on the SC rule clarification. I never understood why Schumi should be punished for Race Controls failure to apply correct signals on track. Had that been taken to a “civil” court, Race Control would have lost the case, surely.

  7. what a gimmick. what happens if there are quite a few cars close to each other like the top four in turkey? surely the leader will never be able to keep position.

  8. maestrointhesky
    24th June 2010, 12:47

    I thought one of the driving factors was to get costs down. All this extra electronics sounds expensive to me!

  9. The whole adjustable bodywork/wing idea seems to be getting out of hand and becoming way to complicated.
    It sounds like there will have to be another ECU in the car just to monitor/enable/disable the thing, and presumably this will also allow for another freeloading FIA official at every race to monitor the goings on.
    Also, at a time when the FIA is supposed to be restricting budgets, this is more technology to be paid for by the teams (or will the FIA pay for it?). What if a small team cannot afford it? Would Bernie step in to ‘Rescue’ them?
    And anyway, we all know that as soon as McLaren, Ferrari or Red Bull develop it enough and get a clear advantage, it will be banned the next year.

  10. Well fia r soooo dumb! Why did they not ban the double diffuser this year seeing that it depleted the whole purpose of reducing the size of the rear wing!if it was banned then the rear wing wud do wat it was supposed to do…and allow cars to get closer!I’m no aerodynamic engineer but that’s easy to understand!instead of simplifying things they complicating them by introducing movable rear wings…

  11. Florida Mike
    25th June 2010, 3:48

    The Safety Car issue seems easily solved by leaving the safety car on the track all the way through the last lap, along with the SC signs and lights.

    What happens to a car’s times if there is no fuel to give a sample of after qualifying, or if they don’t make it back to the pits on their own (accident after a setting fast time)?

  12. Jean Todt is doing well , the adjustable wing is an excellent idea , but only when operational will we see if it actually works , and if it does it will solve the biggest problem F1 has faced in the last 15 years. So full marks to Jean on allowing that.

  13. It nice to read that now f1 finally has air brake which is must for the safety of the driver.

  14. Rule 23.5.6 A driver may press a button in certain designated points deploy a giant hand to grab the car in front and attempt to move it out of the way. The car in front may then deploy countermeasures of , but not limited to. Smoke production to reduce visibility, oil slick, or if fighting against a previos world champion may deploy yaks on the road surface.

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