F1 drivers’ road manners under scrutiny

F1 drivers could lose their competition Super Licenses if they are involved in incidents on the road under new proposals from the FIA.

The World Motor Sport Council urged drivers to act as “ambassadors for the sport” in a statement released today:

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.

A proposal to amend the international sporting code will be submitted to the FIA General Assembly to clarify that any holder of an International Super Licence must also be in possession of a current road driving licence.

Additionally, the Code will be amended to clarify that if an International Super Licence holder is involved in a serious road traffic offence recognised by a national police authority, the FIA, depending on the severity of the case, may issue a warning or refer the matter to the International Disciplinary Tribunal, which may temporarily or indefinitely withdraw the competitor?s International Super Licence.

In March Lewis Hamilton was charged with irresponsible driving by the police in Melbourne during the weekend of the Australian Grand Prix.

The FIA has also formed a new working group to promote its Decade of Action for Road Safety.

Read more: A bad weekend gets worse for Hamilton

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42 comments on F1 drivers’ road manners under scrutiny

  1. Hamish said on 8th September 2010, 14:37

    Most productive WMSC meeting ever?

  2. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 8th September 2010, 14:40

    Knee-jerk reaction and gimmick. Hamilton was fined about $300 or something, after all.

    But say we do see a serious offence on the road. We still won’t even see Vettel lose his licence for what he does on the track!

  3. I’ve probably paid more fines for speeding in the past 5 years than Hamilton or any other notorious F1 hoon, and I am no speed demon; I just fail to take note of where the speed cameras are.

    How about mace-ing taxi-driver after hitting him in a road acccident? That guy ended up the grid again, after a jail term. I believe that should be the standard for losing your license.

    • LewisC said on 8th September 2010, 16:13

      Wasn’t that Bertrand Gachot?

      I seem to remember the guy who replaced him in his Jordan seat went on to do quite well. German chap, Michael something. :D

  4. It’s not the driving on the roads they should be worried about,it’s the hairbrained antics of Vettel and Schumacher that they should be concerned with!

  5. patrickl said on 8th September 2010, 14:57

    Oh come on! Because a driver spins his wheels he could lose his race license?

    • patrickl said on 8th September 2010, 14:57

      (spins his wheels on a public road)

      • And it sets a minimum age for any guy wanting to get a super licence. Up to now in most countries you cannot actually get your drivers license before turning 18 years. Where would that leave Vettel and Alguersuari at the start of their F3 and higher levels?

        • Adrian said on 8th September 2010, 15:12

          I thought you only needed a Superlicense for F1..??

        • In the UK you can get a full road licence at 17, but young drivers can get a racing licence from 16. They’re required to pass the ARDS test and then promptly obtain a full road licence once they’re eligible to do so at 17.

    • Mark Hitchcock said on 8th September 2010, 15:39

      Clearly not. It says “serious” road traffic offence. What Hamilton did was stupid, against the law and right to be punished. But obviously not something that would be punished by taking away his super license.
      I’m sure that would be reserved for something much more serious like drink driving, or maybe repeatedly driving way over speed limits or something.

      • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 9th September 2010, 15:48

        Yeah I guess that’s true. Depends on their interpretation of “serious” then though.

        The Australian government of that particular area obviously though that Hamilton’s offence was “serious”. They impounded the car for 48 days an gave a big fine. In the Netherlands I doubt he’d even have gotten a fine for the same thing.

    • No, they said serious road traffic offences.

  6. Kenneth said on 8th September 2010, 15:04

    All you company CEO’s and managers will lose your jobs, if u…
    1. Don’t buy your wife flowers
    2. Remember her Birthday and wedding anniversary
    3. Your kids don’t make it to college….

    FIA is bored!!

  7. Seems a bit of a weird one. Surely they should make it apply to reck specific offences – I’m thinking drink driving and death by dangerous driving. Half the paddock would be banned if they got suspened everytime they were done doing 100mph+ through France!

  8. In the UK I think a full road licence is a requirement for holding a racing licence at any level, so a serious road traffic offence or too many fixed penalty speeding offences would automatically cost you your racing licence too.

    It’s a reasonable enough proposal from the WMSC – after all, why should anyone not judged competent to drive on the public highway be put in charge of a high powered racing car?

    But I’m slightly surprised a full road licence wasn’t needed to hold a superlicence before now.

    • Exactly because they race on a race track. No 2 way lanes, road crossings, no pedestrians nor cyclists (well in most cases) to avoid etc.

      It is a much more controlled and safe environment when compared to the public roads.

      Are you sure about that requirement for racing licences, what about all those 14-17 yearolds racing in lower categories (F3, Formula Renault/BMW, Audi Palmer, …), how do they race without a road licence?

      • Dipak T said on 8th September 2010, 21:07

        They arent super licences. Super licences are needed if you wanted to race in F1 Grands Prix only. Those in Formulae like GP2 and lower, including Indycar are NOT affected by this.

  9. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 8th September 2010, 16:05

    That’s good too. The boys can do anything on the track but they should act like men on public road.

  10. DGR-F1 said on 8th September 2010, 18:21

    This has come about because Jean visited a WRC event this year and saw that all the top drivers there already support road safety campaigns………

    • apart from when they drive between stages with missing wheels and diffs hanging off and bits of suspension gouging trenches in public highways…

  11. Drive like Michael and try to eliminate the competition in any way possible……….. R & R

  12. SPIDERman said on 8th September 2010, 20:12

    THEY are proposing that…

    “A proposal to amend the international sporting code will be submitted to the FIA General Assembly to clarify that any holder of an International Super Licence must also be in possession of a current road driving licence”.

    just wondering which countries driving licences will apply to be considered valid in this case.?

    THE fact that one has an international super licence should negate the need foe further restrictions in the first place

  13. I don’t think this is at all to target Lewis hamilton as “depending on the severity of the case” says to me that he’d probably be let off to some extent as it really wasn’t that serious but if this has came about because of him then that isn’t a bad thing either.

    I do think this is a good idea. I’m all for people having fun but there always has to be responsibility and F1 driver’s do have a lot of people looking up to them (which is perhaps unfair but it is the case). It also gives some more importance to the ‘make roads safe’ campaign and is about more than just words.

  14. Nutritional said on 8th September 2010, 22:09

    I seem to recall that in the early 2000s Ralf Schumacher lost his Austrian driver’s license and that around the same time or perhaps later Jenson Button was caught doing some ridiculous speed in a BMW on the M-something or other. Why didn’t they come out with this proposal then? They can’t seriously be doing this because Hamilton was doing burn-outs? Seems like there’s doing these initiatives now just to try and take heat off their weak Ferrari decision.

  15. This is ludicrous. Where’s it end – limiting girlfriends?

    Focus on the business and you might have a half-decent sport, but until then, you haven’t.


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