FIA clarifies rules on defensive driving

2012 F1 rules

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Monza, 2011

The Schumacher-Hamilton battle at Monza led to a rules clarification

The FIA has published the 2012 F1 sporting rules which includes an explanation of how drivers may defend their positions.

This was a matter of considerable debate in 2011 following an exchange between Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton during the Italian Grand Prix.

Article 20.3 of the 2012 FIA Sporting Regulations says: “More than one change of direction to defend a position is not permitted. Any driver moving back towards the racing line, having earlier defended his position off??line, should leave at least one car width between his own car and the edge of the track on the approach to the corner.”

This does not appear to constitute a change in practice – the rule is consistent with how defensive driving has been policed in recent years. However as it is now written in the sporting regulations there is less room for ambiguity.

The 2012 rules contain other changes announced earlier, including the revival of the rule allowing lapped cars to be waved past the safety car, and a four-hour time limit on race suspensions.

Teams also face new restrictions on what cars they may use in testing. A rewritten clause states: “Track testing shall be considered any track running time not part of an event undertaken by a competitor entered in the championship, using cars which conform substantially with the current Formula 1 Technical Regulations in addition to those from the previous or subsequent year, with the exception of promotional events carried out using tyres provided specifically for this purpose by the appointed supplier.”

There is also a proviso for teams to be allocated an extra set of option tyres in practice if it is deemed necessary – the previous rule applied only to the prime compound.

Another new rule states that if a part is removed from a car while it is being worked on in parc ferme, it must be reattached before the car leaves the pits. In China last year Lewis Hamilton left the pits prior to the start of the race with part of his engine cover missing as the team conducted last-minute repairs to his car.

You can find the updated sporting and technical rules in full on the FIA website.

2012 F1 rules


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144 comments on FIA clarifies rules on defensive driving

  1. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 4th January 2012, 12:06

    “Track testing shall be considered any track running time not part of an event undertaken by a competitor entered in the championship, using cars which conform substantially with the current Formula 1 Technical Regulations in addition to those from the previous or subsequent year, with the exception of promotional events carried out using tyres provided specifically for this purpose by the appointed supplier.”

    So, what’s stopping a team from dressing a car up with new parts, running it in a test session and calling it a ‘filming day’? I believe Ferrari did this in 2009 – just before the European Grand Prix, they ran one of their drivers at Fiorano and claimed it was for promotional purposes, but the car just so happened to have a brand-new floor and diffuser in place. Or was that rule amended for 2011, forcing teams to run an unchanged car on filming days? I seem to recall reading somewhere that if they wanted to film material, they had to use a car in the same condition as it had been at the most-recent race, so as to stop teams sneaking in extra (illegal) testing.

    • nackavich (@nackavich) said on 4th January 2012, 12:19

      “They had to use a car in the same condition as it had been at the most-recent race”

      That kind of answers your question doesn’t it?
      I doubt they would’ve changed the rule at all. Seems silly if they did.

    • vjanik said on 4th January 2012, 14:25

      i am more interested in the first sentence of the quote.

      does this mean that if a competitor also participates in the event, the event is not considered a test? i think this is a poor definition of a test if you ask me. if this is the only definition then what would stop teams joining together in a group event? It would be an event undertaken by other competitors hence not a track test, hence track rules dont apply.

      Surely there must be another clause somewhere in the regulations determining what is and is not track testing.

    • egsgeg said on 4th January 2012, 15:12

      Whats more annoying is how they have not unbanned testing. Its not like it saves them money. They just spend it on something else, like a billion dollar simulator.

      • egsgeg said on 4th January 2012, 15:13

        I’d rather be able to follow the testing, as we never get to see inside the simulator.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 4th January 2012, 15:34

        Its not like it saves them money. They just spend it on something else, like a billion dollar simulator.

        I’d like to see the numbers that back that up, otherwise it just screams supposition.

        • F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 4th January 2012, 21:47

          i agree with that supposition. rules are in place to lower the cost of engines, yet just as many (and more expensive) engines are made – the very best are used and the rest are melted down. cost savings = 0.

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 5th January 2012, 2:23

          Possibly hyperbole but in essence correct, since the testing ban the simulators have become much more sophisticated and their use increased, same with design modelling programs but even without those costs I think the supposed savings are lost to the cost of having to make untested items for each car only to find out on raceday that they do not improve performance as expected.

    • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 4th January 2012, 15:50

      “So, what’s stopping a team from dressing a car up with new parts, running it in a test session and calling it a ‘filming day’?”
      that’s a direct consequence of the stupid rule of banning testing

    • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 5th January 2012, 3:03

      They introduced a rule mid-2010, @prisoner-monkeys – parts used for filming days must be of a spec that has been raced before

  2. John H (@john-h) said on 4th January 2012, 12:56

    This to me is where we need more ambiguity in the rules, that is, more left up to subjective judgement (competent stewards one hopes) that are able to judge each case individually, not some general rule to be applied to all overtaking manoeuvres. This rule is going to be wheeled out everytime someone tries to defend their position in an aggressive style and personally I don’t like it at all.

    Just let them drive and punish overly dangerous driving, don’t make overtaking formulaic – but I guess it is in keeping with those dreaded three letters that I need not spell out.

    The Hamilton vs Schumacher battle was great because it was two aggressive drivers going at it with just about enough respect for each other. One more step away from the sport being about humans. Sad.

    • (competent stewards one hopes)

      When have we ever had that?

      I think there needs to be clear rules otherwise it’ll just lead to inconsistency and there’s zero appeal process as their is. I’m not saying it should be strict but just clear esp when it comes to this which is a matter of safety.

      • John H (@john-h) said on 4th January 2012, 13:44

        But my point is that a clear rule is impossible because every corner is different and every overtaking attempt is different.

        Some things are generalisable, and in my opinion, this is not. Let’s see next season, but I guarantee thus rule will lead to more trouble and won’t solve anything.

        Do they have this rule in karting? Can’t we just race a bit more?

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 4th January 2012, 16:01

          In a full fledged court, I might agree on rather having a broad rule then a too specific one @john-h, but there the Judge has years of specific training and experience before him. And a system off courts of higher instance one can relate cases to.

          In the world of F1, with officials from autosport governing bodies and ex-drivers with only little experience of stewarding (at least so far) and no good way to appeal a punishment handed out by the stewards during the race, it needs clarity and consistency above all.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 4th January 2012, 14:08

      @john-h

      we need more ambiguity in the rules, that is, more left up to subjective judgement (competent stewards one hopes)

      Haven’t years of experience shown how vain this hope is? Ambiguity leaves room for inconsistency and if there’s one thing everyone – drivers and fans alike – seems to want above all from the stewards is consistency.

      • John H (@john-h) said on 4th January 2012, 16:20

        @Keith-Collantine I think you may have swayed me on this one, I guess my idealism is a bit mis-guided!

        I will say though that last season by and large the stewards were actually pretty good. I guess I was suggesting that this is a step backwards and won’t end up with consistency (it’s how you interpret the words that’s important, not what is written down).

        Anyway, time will tell. Interesting to discuss for sure.

        • Asanator (@asanator) said on 5th January 2012, 14:03

          I don’t know why there has to be a change at all, to be honest. I think the old rule was just about right, it basically said that a car could make one move and return to the racing line as long as he didn’t force the attacking driver off the circuit, why does it need to be more specific than that. It was enough to judge each case on it’s merits and give the drivers the freedom to race.

  3. frood said on 4th January 2012, 13:13

    i can foresee the safety car rules becoming a bit of a joke. if they have to idle round to the safetycar delta lap time, then it will take several laps for them to all form up correctly. better to let them race round to the back of the safety car train, but observe the waved yellows at the danger zone.

    not that i’ll see any of it :(

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 4th January 2012, 14:15

      I wrote more on this at the time but it is surprising to see them first scrap the rule and then bring it back little different to how it was – a U-turn followed by a U-turn.

      It’s a rule that works fine on ovals and short tracks in IndyCar but because F1 tracks tend to be much longer it doesn’t work as well and creates other problems.

      I particularly dislike the caveat in the rules that says the race director can decide whether or not to do it – either they should do it every time or not at all, I think.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 4th January 2012, 16:02

        Lets hope we won’t see a factual U-turn on it the second race that has a SC period this year!

      • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 5th January 2012, 3:09

        @keith-collantine would it not be quicker to wave those on the lead lap past the backmarkers? Ie a free “lapping” maneuver. Would be unfair in a way, but would be MUCH quicker

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 5th January 2012, 12:42

          @raymondu999

          Would be unfair in a way

          Just how much unfairness are we prepared to tolerate in order to let the guy in second have a chance at passing the leader? (Which, let’s face it, basically never happens in F1, because the leader has total control over the restart.)

          I think forcing drivers to go a lap down would be a step too far. But the introduction of DRS has shown a lot of people are comfortable with sacrificing sporting fairness to improve the show.

      • DVC (@dvc) said on 5th January 2012, 12:26

        Full course speed limit solves all this nonsense. If I can drive past workman in my road car at an enforced speed limit with flagmen showing the way they can do it in F1. They just like bunching the cars up to create excitement (and more incidents at the restart) at the expense of sport.

      • Andy (@turbof1) said on 5th January 2012, 12:31

        @Keith: I believe this could be done faster: why not letting the backmarkers drop back instead of overtaking? It would be fairly easy to arrange the cars in the right order.

    • F1andy83 said on 5th January 2012, 1:48

      I miss the senna Prost days

  4. Mike (@mike) said on 4th January 2012, 13:13

    The worst thing they can do is create rules that restrict racing for position… Even if it is unfair for one person or another. I don’t want a driver thinking about whether a move is safe or not, I’d much rather racing on instinct.

    I believe unsafe driving is wrong. I believe unfair driving is acceptable.

    • I believe unsafe driving is wrong. I believe unfair driving is acceptable.

      I don’t see how there’s much of a difference. It’s only unfair if one drives another out of a space or forces them off road or decides to cause an accident by taking a leaf out of the Ayrton Senna book of driving (arguably Schumi too but Senna came first and was famous for his “crash or let me pass” attitude). Racing should be fair and safe and the two go hand in hand I feel. It’s not about limiting racing but bullying someone off the track isn’t fair or even that skilful; I like watching fair drivers who have respect i.e. when Alonso lifted at Spa to let Mark through it was still ballsy stuff but there was a lot of respect. Sometimes lines are blurred and a driver can be aggressive with their defence but that isn’t really unfair so long as it isn’t dangerous or forcing someone off.

      • Mike (@mike) said on 4th January 2012, 14:11

        I’m not saying crash or let me past is good, or even ok assuming it constitutes unsafe.

        … However, I don’t think the rules should be concern with manners. That’s for the drivers to deal with and I think, part of the drama.

        That… And putting it in the rules like this opens up so many potential cans of worms.

        The rules are basically cutting off the dangle bits of every good defensive driver. Which is a huge shame… Adding on top of that, I have no confidence what so ever that the rule will be applied as readily to the midfield as it will to the front. The stewards don’t have enough eyes to do it. Think of every time this rule could of been applied and then consider how consistent the stewards usually are…

        I hope this ends up like the 107% rule this year.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 4th January 2012, 14:23

          @mike

          putting it in the rules like this opens up so many potential cans of worms.

          How? Before we had an unclear rule that people might not have been sure about. Now everyone knows what drivers are and aren’t allowed to do and can judge whether their driving is acceptable. How is that bad?

          As far as I’m concerned, this is long overdue. This is exactly what I said they should do four years ago, and I’m glad they finally have.

          The rules are basically cutting off the dangle bits of every good defensive driver.

          The rule is no different to what has been enforced in the past so it makes no difference at all in that respect.

          What’s more, the rule obviously has to exist. Drivers know they aren’t allowed to weave to keep drivers behind (though Hamilton appears to keep forgetting, remember Malaysia). But they know they are allowed to make ‘one move’ to defend. So where’s there line between the two? This rule draws that line.

          I have no confidence whatsoever that the rule will be applied as readily to the midfield as it will to the front.

          That’s a valid concern but it’s really a separate issue from this one – there are plenty of existing rules where that is already the case.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 4th January 2012, 15:20

            How?

            Because F1 isn’t that simple. Most followers of F1 know that one move to defend and one to retake the racing line is acceptable. But this rule can be applied when we don’t want it to as well.

            My problem isn’t with the one move, I’m fully behind that, it’s with the moving back on line bit.

            In Spa when Hamilton moved over and hit Kamui, Kamui could complain to the stewards, and because he can point to this rule they’d have to penalize Lewis. Because he visibly didn’t leave room.

            I don’t think in that situation the rule is right.

            The rule is no different to what has been enforced in the past

            It’s different. I think Schumacher’s antics at Monza are probably why this rule has been brought in. There he was warned, which I think was right, where as now he’d probably be penalized.

            Ok, I admit, something is needed to deter bad behavior, but I don’t think this is it. It might fix a few incidents, but it’s only a small part of a bigger problem.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 4th January 2012, 15:29

            In Spa when Hamilton moved over and hit Kamui, Kamui could complain to the stewards, and because he can point to this rule they’d have to penalize Lewis. Because he visibly didn’t leave room.

            Not necessarily – you could make the case there was room for Kobayashi on his left which he wasn’t using, as several people mentioned at the time.

            It’s different.

            It really isn’t – refer to the “Defensive driving” videos I mentioned below. I think that makes it very clear both what isn’t and isn’t acceptable and that the distinction between the two was first drawn years ago.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 4th January 2012, 15:34

            I’d like to clarify. If this rule is used by the stewards selectively to punish those who do behave badly. Then I like it.

            However that is me relying on the stewards to enforce it selectively. Which is exactly what we had before with the unwritten rule.

          • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 4th January 2012, 18:40

            Personally I don’t care which way they enforce the rule (one move only, or allowing a return to the racing line) as long as it’s a clear and consistent rule, which I don’t believe this “clarification” is. It can be interpreted different ways, and indeed I’d argue it contradicts itself. In the first sentence we’re told that ONLY one change of direction is permitted. In the second sentence we’re told that a return to the racing line is allowed IF a car’s width is left at the edge of the track. If only one move is allowed, then the second sentence can’t be true, and if the second sentence is how the stewards care to interpret the regulation, then the first sentence goes out the window. I’m sure their intent was to clarify the regulation, but if I were a driver or a steward I’d have some questions for the FIA.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 4th January 2012, 19:33

            @us_peter

            I’d argue it contradicts itself. In the first sentence we’re told that ONLY one change of direction is permitted. In the second sentence we’re told that a return to the racing line is allowed IF a car’s width is left at the edge of the track.

            It’s been the case for as long as I can remember that “one move” has been taken to mean a driver can move away from the racing line and then move back towards it. It’s a bit late to start complaining about it now.

            I’m not defending the clumsy use of English but nor can we pretend it’s taken us by surprise.

          • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 4th January 2012, 19:52

            @keithcollantine I’m not complaining about the rule, simply confused by the wording. If I take the words of the regulation at face value they seem ambiguous. I’m not the only one who finds it contradictory either, Scarbs posted his agreement with me on Twitter. If two random people find the regulation ambiguous, there’s every possibility that future stewards could find it ambiguous as well. At this point it is what it is, I just think they could have worded it better.

          • Ilanin (@ilanin) said on 4th January 2012, 20:57

            @US_Peter

            The rule does not contradict itself. The first sentence says “More than one change of direction to defend a position is not permitted”. A driver in the scenario you are talking about makes one change of direction to defend a position, and then a second one to get back on the racing line (ie, not to defend the position).

          • John H (@john-h) said on 4th January 2012, 21:01

            “Any driver moving back towards the racing line, having earlier defended his position off‐line, should leave at least one car width between his own car and the edge of the track on the approach to the corner”

            So when can the defending driver move onto the racing line then? When does a corner actually ‘begin’.

            This isn’t going to make things more consistent at all.

          • DVC (@dvc) said on 5th January 2012, 12:30

            Agree with Keith.

  5. “More than one change of direction to defend a position is not permitted. Any driver moving back towards the racing line, having earlier defended his position off‐line, should leave at least one car width between his own car and the edge of the track on the approach to the corner.”

    To be honest, it seems fair enough. I know a lot will criticise this but it’s been too muddy for too long. I’m glad there’s some more clarity on such a basic racing issue.

    • BBT (@bbt) said on 4th January 2012, 13:49

      Agree, its a step in the right direction…..
      I’m sure there will still be grey areas, and those situations always seem to happen where the drivers manage to find the grey area(s) (that’s life), but putting the ‘cars width’ in the rules has got to help surely.

    • hobo (@hobo) said on 4th January 2012, 17:11

      I really don’t find that much more clarity though. Last year it was allowable to make a defensive maneuver and then to return to the racing line. Also, it was a rule that you could not force a driver from the track.

      Now, you can make a defensive maneuver and return to the racing line. Also, you must leave a car’s width between yourself and the edge of the track.

      There is some very slight difference in the “don’t force off” vs. “leave car width” bits but I see very little that has changed.

    • John H (@john-h) said on 4th January 2012, 21:04

      As I mention above, when does a corner ‘begin?’

      Where does this ‘approach to a corner’ end?

      Sure if all your corners are designed by Tilke then this might work, but for now at least fortunately this is not the case.

      • John H (@john-h) said on 4th January 2012, 21:17

        Just to clarify, this is exactly why I think a rule like this should not be written down, even if it is an ‘unwritten’ rule as per Keith’s excellent 2008 article.

        Not all corners are the same. Some lead into others. Some have no clear braking zone. For the ones that are obvious, the ‘unwritten rule’ should come into force at the discretion of the stewards.

        It’s just impossible to be consistent with this unless you have no rules at all (unless for clear dangerous driving), which sometimes doesn’t seem like such a bad option.

      • John H (@john-h) said on 4th January 2012, 21:22

        For example, how is this going to work at Monaco? Should the defending driver leave a car’s width on the outside if he makes one move? If he doesn’t then surely he should be penalised under article 20.3?

        (ok I’ll stop posting now, sorry)

  6. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 4th January 2012, 13:43

    The rule about over-taking sounds fair enough to me. It’s all a bit too convenient if you happen to be moving back on the racing line on the approach to an apex.

    I expect it may lead to more DRS induced passes if the chasing drivers know they will be allowed through a ‘one car width’ gap.

    • PJ (@pjtierney) said on 4th January 2012, 13:55

      I can’t wait for the day Schumacher leave exactly 1 car width to the millimetre and people complain about it :)

    • TimG (@timg) said on 4th January 2012, 14:25

      I expect it may lead to more DRS induced passes if the chasing drivers know they will be allowed through a ‘one car width’ gap.

      Interestingly, it states “should leave at least one car width” not “must leave at least one car width”. This may just be a matter of semantics, but a half-competent lawyer or anyone with experience of analysing rules and regulations will tell you there’s a key difference between should and must. “Should” suggests there may be circumstances where the stewards can decide that Article 20.3 doesn’t apply.

      Looking at last year’s Hamilton/Kobayashi contact at Spa, for example, “must” would suggest an automatic penalty for Kobayashi. “Should”, however, might mean the stewards’ discretion comes into play.

      Perhaps the difficulty here is accurately gauging a car width – both for the attacking driver and the stewards in deciding whether or not to dish out a penalty. I suspect anyone expecting the removal of ambiguity is going to end 2012 disappointed.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 4th January 2012, 14:43

        Looking at last year’s Hamilton/Kobayashi contact at Spa, for example, “must” would suggest an automatic penalty for Kobayashi.

        You’re treating this as if a new rule is being introduced which isn’t really the case – all they’ve done is taken past precedent and put it in writing. So there’s no reason to assume Kobayashi would have been treated any differently.

        Moreover, I fail to see how Kobayashi’s driving even comes close to deserving a penalty under the rule. (Did you mean to say Hamilton?)

        There are two videos here under the heading “Defensive driving” which I think illustrate what is and isn’t acceptable very clearly:

        Four of F1′s ‘unwritten rules’

        • Mike (@mike) said on 4th January 2012, 15:25

          The thing is, as an unwritten rule the stewards could penalize based on instinct, which wasn’t always right admittedly.

          However now (should it happen again), Sauber can point to this rule, or anyone even, and say, he should be penalized. And it leaves the stewards looking very selective if they apply a clear rule in one circumstance and not another.

          The advantage of a enforcing rules about fair driving based on instinct and circumstance rather than about a specific scenario is that they can improvise.

        • TimG (@timg) said on 4th January 2012, 15:28

          Actually I’m suggesting this isn’t really a rule at all – hence all the blathering about the difference between must and should – and more like guidance which the stewards can apply or not at their discretion.

          Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but the fact that the language of the article is “should” when other articles use “must” may be significant. In my experience, “must” means has to be complied with at all times regardless of mitigating circumstances. “Should” has to mean something else, or why make the distinction? As you say, this isn’t really a new rule, it’s just codifying current practice – but as that practice isn’t always applied consistently and the new article isn’t a “must” do then we may well see a degree of inconsistency or ambiguity remain. That was the point I was trying to make.

          The Kobayashi example was a bad one to pick – it was simply the first that came to mind.

  7. GT_Racer said on 4th January 2012, 14:33

    I don’t really like rules which restricts what drivers can do in a racing situation, I would prefer the racing to be left upto the racing drivers. I’ve never really liked it when officials (That have in some cases have no racing experience, certainly not in modern equipment) telling the drivers how they should race.

    We see it in Indycar where drivers are told they cannot move from the racing line at all (Something which thankfully drivers are now talking out against) & we saw it even more in Champcar where they drew lines down the track to dictate ‘Racing lanes’.

    By all means take action against overly dangerous driving (Cars been pushed off track or intentional contact etc….) but outside that just let them race.

    For all the controvercy surrounding Schumacher’s driving with Lewis at Monza last season, I thought that was a fantastic racing battle for position & by far some of the best racing of the entire 2011 season.

    Was certainly the most entertaining & longest fight for position all year & for once DRS didn’t ruin it because Schumacher’s Mercedes was geared/setup for maximum speed & that countered Hamilton’s DRS, Has DRS worked in that situation Lewis would have been straght past & we would have seen no racing & the race would have been rather dull.

  8. Girts (@girts) said on 4th January 2012, 14:50

    If these rules had been in force in 2011, they might have robbed us the best moments of the year:

    1) Schumacher-Hamilton fight at Monza
    2) Button’s last lap pass on Vettel at Gilles Villeneuve
    3) Hamilton’s way to win in China

    For sure, I can also see the reasons why these rules are introduced. If the new defensive driving rule is just an unwritten rule that’s now made official, then I’m fine with it but I still hope that stewards will turn a blind eye on disputable cases and give penalties only when some total nonsense happens like when one driver clearly breaks this rule for many consecutive laps in one race.

  9. Robbie (@robbie) said on 4th January 2012, 15:02

    I get the idea of leaving at least a one-car-width space after moving off the racing line to defend…but I don’t get the comment that this has been the practice in terms of policing in recent years and all that has happened for 2012 is that it has been put in words for less ambiguity.

    I may be wrong but in that duel with MS and LH did MS ever leave a car width for LH after moving off the line to defend? Not as I recall it but as I say I could be wrong.

    I also wonder how this is to work in reality at the start of the race going into turn one. Methinks that once again using MS as an example, famous for the big swerve across the track off the grid to defend/keep a position, and now used by the likes of SV, do these guys who swerve off the start leave a car width going into turn one? Doubt it. Their goal is the apex to shut the door and be in the best position for what comes after turn one.

    And it’s a car width between the defending car and the edge of the track…presumably then this means that a driver moving off the racing line to defend cannot come back to the apex of the corner, but rather must stay a car width away from the apex? Is that the price one pays for moving off the line to defend? ie. if the one being hounded wishes to race the racing line he shouldn’t move off the racing line to defend, but should simply stay on the racing line and not defend, or lose the apex of the corner to his competitor?

    If that’s the rule so be it, but I think there is a big difference between the ambiguity we had and the actual written rule as they now have instigated. A driver now must either keep the door shut by not moving off the line, or leave the door wide open by moving off the racing line and not being ‘allowed’ to truly return. I don’t think that is the practice nor the policing we have been observing in recent years. I think what we have been seeing is a ton of door shutting after the defending driver has moved off the line to defend. It’s been one move and back to the racing line, no? And now it is one move and leave the true racing line alone after that…leave it for the opponent in back.

    Where I do agree with the car-width rule is when a car is even partially beside another car going into a corner where it is pretty much common sense that unless you want your own car damaged by squeezing into the driver beside you, you need to leave a car width and just race it out.

    Anyway, it sounds to me like a driver can no longer shut the door on a competitor and must either not defend or must leave the door open, and while that sounds like fairness I’m not so sure it sounds like reality and I don’t think this is how they have been policing the racing in recent years and I think that if they (not that I am expecting it) decided to hold drivers to the letter of the law it is really going to change things especially if, as we all can reasonably expect due to the stability in the rules from last year, the racing is closer for 2012 with Mac and Ferrari and perhaps even Merc getting closer to the Red Bulls. Sounds like it’s either going to be a red tape nightmare or a rule that will remain full of ambiguity in spite of it being written.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 4th January 2012, 15:08

      did MS ever leave a car width for LH after moving off the line to defend?

      He did when they reminded him to, as per the long-standing implementation of the rules.

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 4th January 2012, 15:52

        Fair enough. So the rule was unwritten but implied as per a long-standing implementation, and therefore shouldn’t MS have been penalized early on in the tussle with LH? Since when do drivers get to do the wrong thing lap after lap until they are reminded, and then as long as they start doing the right thing no penalty is required? Sounds to me like LH could have gotten by MS earlier on in their duel had MS defended properly or the long-standing implementation of the rule had actually taken place. Or is it that unwritten actually means so wide open that a driver can disregard it completely until reminded? LH didn’t seem to need reminding of the rule when he immediately questioned on the radio MS’s tactics.

        Guess the golden question is that now that it is a written rule, have the reminders to MS gone away? I guess if he didn’t know the unwritten rule last year, and was allowed to be taught a lesson on it while in a race, he surely must know the rule now. Nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more…

        • Asanator (@asanator) said on 5th January 2012, 14:34

          The point is it wasn’t unwritten, it was an existing rule and Schumacher didn’t break it, every time they approached the chicane in Monza Schumacher could return to the racing line because Hamilton was unable to get alongside him, the initial complaint was the this returning to the racing line constituted a second move which it wasn’t. Whenever Hamilton did get his front wheels alongside schumacher gave him room.

          Now if you are referring to the incident going into one of the Lesmos (was it?) Schumacher was already on the racing line and Hamilton stuck his nose in hoping that he would be gifted the room, sorry, not going into that corner!

          Ultimately the whole Schumacher/Hamilton battle is why the existing rule is perfect, I know there are Hamilton fans out there who feel aggrieved by it, but it was one of the titanic battles of the year which had us all jumping up and down no matter who you supported, it was exactly what F1 is and should be about, the dance of two hard racers in the ultimate machines on the limit of performance and the rules.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 5th January 2012, 15:34

            Well said @asanator .

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 5th January 2012, 15:42

            @Asanator…according to Keith the rule was unwritten and has only just been written for 2012 so I don’t know what written rule you are talking about from last year but it’s not this one under discussion, unless you are claiming Keith is wrong. And if MS wasn’t doing anything wrong, then why was he reminded he was and told to change his behaviour while it was going on?

            I think you are conveniently adding the element of the rearward driver being somewhat alongside the frontward driver, which is not really what we are talking about. We are talking about blocking type maneuvers that occur that can unethically prevent a rearward driver from getting alongside his frontward opponent.

          • Days of Thunder said on 5th January 2012, 15:56

            2well said @Asanator
            Hard to take @Robbie seriously when it about Schumacher :D

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 5th January 2012, 16:22

            So Days of Thunder…can you then explain what written rule that MS obeyed it is that Asanator is talking about, if his comment is so well said? And why then Keith must be wrong for the rule was already written according to Asanator? And why then MS was reminded of wrongdoing while it was going on? Maybe you could explain those things to me before you make it about me and what I think of MS.

          • Days of Thunder said on 5th January 2012, 16:43

            .i haven’t red it through i was agreeing “it was exactly what F1 is and should be about, the dance of two hard racers in the ultimate machines on the limit of performance and the rules.” my point is more about the rule. As for who wrong who right in here is down to own perception and yours not really clear about the unethically thing or maybe you just hold a grudge against Schumacher when articles about him, he told to leave enough room for Hamilton to passed but was it fair for Schumacher to wait(after you sir)and leave a big room for Hamilton to passed? is that what racing all about anymore? the FIA rule itself wasn’t really clear as it changes in the way of how a driver close the line when in racing. I still stand that in Monza Schumacher-Hamilton battle was harsh fair, great racing. Maybe you like driver nursing the car home with decent drive but not all.

    • Skett (@skett) said on 5th January 2012, 4:35

      Well it does use the words “on the approach to the corner” so I shouldn’t think they’ll be punishing anyone for apexing…

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 5th January 2012, 13:05

        Yeah that is an interesting point, and to me leaves just as much ambiguity as when the rule was unwritten. I think it can be argued that all drivers at all times at all corners at all tracks leave a car width at some point on the approach to a corner until they eventually hit the apex, which is taking the shortest route around the corner, which is not a car width away from the apex.

        So to say that nothing changes other than this is now in writing is something I can’t agree with…I think the debate can then be, no matter the incident, when is it ok to take the apex and when did the portion of ‘leaving a car width’ end as each corner is approached.

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 5th January 2012, 17:04

          @Days of Thunder…my only problem really is that what you call ‘harsh fair racing’ wasn’t actually that…MS got away with being unfair, for which all they did was remind him of that and he was allowed to carry on. If Asanator is going to say the rule was already a written one last year and MS did nothing wrong, as you seem to agree, then how is it MS did not immediately get some sort of penalty rather than being allowed to do it wrong lap after lap and then simply getting a reminder of it and be allowed to correct it.

          I applaud hard FAIR racing…what MS did was not that and if he did why was he reminded to correct his behaviour. If you want to assume that means I think they should nurse their cars home, knock yourself out but you are putting words in my mouth. The wrong ones. But it seems like you are all for racing that appears great because someone is breaking a rule. I cannot abide by that. It would have been great racing if MS was doing it right from the start and didn’t need a reminder that his behaviour was wrong. And perhaps by then LH didn’t have the tires to do anything about MS. Shame really. Had MS done it right we might have had a true duel, instead we had a contrived one because MS was allowed to break a rule as evidenced by him being warned to stop it. Just to let you know, I’m not a big LH fan either.

          • Days of Thunder said on 5th January 2012, 17:54

            “what MS did was not that and if he did why was he reminded to correct his behaviour.”
            That showing your grudge against Schumacher, you couldn’t judge all Schumacher racing based on the past itself as your pointed out there meaning every Schumacher drive is wrong, when somebody hit Schumacher then the blame goes to Schumacher. When did i ever said i agree all the breaking rule racing, read carefully before you putting heat about Schumacher in your mouth, in Monza FIA did remind Schumacher but thet didn’t punish him as much imo because they weren’t sure how the rule stated as i post in my comment they themself wasn’t clear about the rule. And at Monza i didn’t see he or hamilton break the rule, i think you just trying to make all agree with you that Schumacher was the one doing the wrong thing. Guess what no punishment not doing anything wrong just a reminder not to close the line cause Schumacher didn’t do anything wrong just beyond the line of racing. Seems to me you like that kind of racing(nurcing car home) as for Schumacher-Hamilton that was one of the great battle/racing in 2011, many seems to enjoy it at that time.

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 6th January 2012, 16:22

            Days of Thunder…you are of course entitled to your opinion and I disagree with it. MS must have done something wrong to warrant being reminded, otherwise no reminder needed. If you choose to ignore that and decided then that because he wasn’t actually punished he didn’t do anything wrong, that is your business, but to me the reminder was enough. He needed to correct his behaviour therefore they weren’t pleased with how he was defending. End of story. I’m not the one that reminded MS, they did.

        • Days of Thunder said on 6th January 2012, 18:18

          Same to you i disagree with yours. The point is they reminded him but couldn’t punish him cause no breaching rule there. I stand on my opinion if you choose to see in the other ignorance way, that is your business. off course you are not the one ,can’t see they choose you as one of the steward :D.

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 6th January 2012, 19:17

            Imo if they had to remind him then he was most certainly breaching a rule, but typical of the inconsistancy that is the enforcement of said rules, they chose not to do anything about it. Different day, different steward and he might have gotten a drive-thru. He’s lucky all he got was a reminder. They obviously saw something in his behaviour that warranted change. And yes, lol, he’s lucky I wasn’t a steward.

          • Days of Thunder said on 6th January 2012, 19:34

            Imo it was beyond the line thus they couldn’t punish him and just a reminder or arguably an inconsistent rule. Like in my previous post i’m not the fan of that too school boy rule robbing the real racing that F1 suppose to be, there is the line between racing and destruction derby style which i don’t see it in Schumacher-Hamilton case. Yeah it’s going to be a mess if you are the steward :D

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 9th January 2012, 14:17

            An ‘inconsistant rule’ that according to Keith was already in place and is now in writing. See the caption for the pic of this article…the LH/MS fight led to rules clarification, so I guess you better get used to the ‘mess’ that will be fairer racing. Sometimes that can happen when someone pushes the line…MS got away with it that time, but if you are looking for him to do it again because that seems to be ‘real racing’ to you, then I guess you will be disappointed. My version of real racing is about who can really race, not just who can survive by pushing things to the point where they have to write rules and perhaps you would say ‘ruin it for everyone,’ since I guess to you the real racing is over. Sorry MS ruined it for you.

          • Days of Thunder said on 9th January 2012, 17:37

            But at that time it was inconsistent, the rule changed for 2012 season not during 2011 in Schumacher-Hamilton fight, you should slowly digest my point. Not got away with it, it was the unclear rule that left everyone on the argument it was already done by drivers in the past before Schumacher-Hamilton Monza. That’s yours not all agree with you the FIA shouldn’t put too much restriction on how the driver race-defend so your version about who can really race…sound more like nursing the car home and after you sir race to me maybe you like a Prius more than a Lamborghini :D. I guess not quiet yet the F1 rule change throughout the years you don’t know what would the future rule can be. Sorry not MS, it was the rule itself.

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 9th January 2012, 21:30

            According to Keith, the rule was already in place (implied but unwritten) and F1 was already being policed this way, hence the reminder to MS, and according to Keith the only difference is that now it is written and should leave less room for ambiguity. Too bad for you MS pushed it too far though, such that they decided to put it in writing and make it less ambiguous.

            After thinking more about it I’m fine with it because I would rather see proper wheel to wheel racing than see a guy never get a chance to go wheel to wheel due to unfair extra moves to block. To me this rule can prevent the front runner from regaining the apex if he goes wide to defend, which I find a bit weird, but it can also potentially invite closer, cleaner, and more exciting racing because the guy behind stands a better chance of getting inside anyone that chooses to go wide to defend.

            I guess the lesson for the drivers is that if you don’t want someone coming up inside, don’t go wide to defend…stay the course and make him go around the outside. MS chose to go wide frequently, and as it turns out should have been leaving more room on the inside after doing that, such that we could have had even more exciting racing than to just see a guy block another guy for lap after lap. Now that it is written let’s see if the FIA decides to act differently if MS or anyone else does it again in 2012. I won’t hold my breath, such is the unpredictability of the FIA.

          • Days of Thunder said on 10th January 2012, 8:01

            Ah that the unwritten thing that what i think inconsistent, they couldn’t punish him because it wasn’t clear for them. It even got a change if i’m not mistaken not in 2 month time before the rule said should leave room for the attacker driver(after you sir) now leave a car width for the attacker. Not really i’m sure Schumacher going to give another exciting race.

            hmmm you want proper wheel to wheel racing but don’t want proper defend thing sound more like “after you sir” to me to me, which i find a bit weird. I think that give a little unfair for the defender drivers, racing should be on attack-defend. yeah you won’t maybe not many hold breath thing in 2012 :D for sure the Hamilton-Schumacher Monza giving lot of exciting, breath holding for the spectators i bet.

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 10th January 2012, 17:12

            Think your missing my point still…I want proper wheel to wheel racing that comes from proper defending, not improper blocking or abuse of the one-move rule. MS did it improperly which led to them reminding him during the race, then clarifying the rule by putting it in writing for 2012. If you think improper behaviour makes for better racing, that’s on you. I think the FIA disagrees with you, or they wouldn’t have reminded MS, nor would they have put the rule in writing. The FIA did, not me. Ask yourself why, or ask them, not me. Ask yourself why they even started the one-move rule to begin with. They obviously think that any fool can weave his way around the track to keep somebody behind him, but they obviously think that is not proper nor sporting for the pinnacle of racing. Just like any fool can ‘win’ by knocking his opponent off the track. But that’s not the intention or the spirit of the sport. Try doing it in an honourable way, and then win or lose at least you can hold your head high. You want to thrive on the dishonourable way, and claim that any other way is ‘after you sir’ then that’s on you.

          • Days of Thunder said on 10th January 2012, 17:51

            Think you are the one that missing my point, The FIA or F1 rule arguably one of the most inconsistent rule in sport. It wasn’t improper at that time as it wasn’t really clear in the rule, Michael didn’t weave side to side many time as Hamilton-Petrov all he did was beyond the line in defending ask yourself why they couldn’t punish him gave him a penalty etc? As for the fool thing, non sporting, knocking the opponent etc etc just in your maybe bias head, i didn’t see it in Hamilton Schumacher Monza as you exaggerate claim to be. I bet all the drivers in the world including F1 not entirely 100% if you want to said Honourable way. Yes this is pinnacle of racing and that’s why there are loophole in the rule and Schumacher found it at Monza as for the rule itself i bet it will changed again as long as F1 alive therefore if you want to said any “fool” the rule itself fooling itself then. This is racing(i don’t mean destruction derby dangerous thing so you won’t missing the point again) not beauty pageant contest etc etc. If you want to claim that’s unhonour, unsporting bla bla that’s on you to me sound like after you sir race. And i said it again like it or not that Monza thing really put people on their sofa etc etc.

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 11th January 2012, 13:17

            I’ll just make one more post on this and then let you have the last word. You are claiming Keith is wrong by stating that the rule was unclear. Keith states that F1 has been policed for several years already the way the rule is now written, and I agree with him. And that is why MS got the reminder. I agree with you that the reason he didn’t get a penalty is because of the inconsistancy of F1′s enforcement of the rule, but there is no denying that a reminder is an indication of behaviour that wasn’t to their liking. But you seem to think that that automatically means I am for ‘after you sir’ racing and don’t seem to want to allow for anything in between. As if I think drivers should just open the door for their opponent. As if I have been watching F1 since 1979 hoping for that. To you it is either bend the rules for exciting racing to the point where they have to write them, or it’s a ‘beauty pageant,’ and nothing in between. To me I hope that the reminder MS got which helped remind themselves to write this rule will mean that if it were to happen again the LH/MS duel would have been even closer and more exciting because LH would have been allowed to get closer rather than have the door shut on him in an unsporting manner. If MS was more sporting about it and didn’t push it until he needed a reminder, then LH would probably have been able to make it an even closer and more exciting chase. Somehow I think that if it was MS being unfairly defended you would change your tune.

          • Days of Thunder said on 11th January 2012, 17:14

            “I’ll just make one more post on this and then let you have the last word”
            Whatever :D.

            I don’t know why you keep missing my point, you are eagering to pointed out Schumacher wrong at Monza maybe you should put down your tinted glasses, since when i’m claiming Keith was wrong perhaps you should stop blaming someone else using Keith name as it wasn’t that classy imo.

            “But you seem to think that that automatically means I am for ‘after you sir’ racing”
            As it sound that way to me as you already pointed out that Schumacher unsporting etc etc thing at Monza which the fact they reminded but couldn’t punish him cause no rule breaching there or inconsistent rule that let them unclear about it.

            “If MS was more sporting about it and didn’t push it until he needed a reminder, then LH would probably have been able to make it an even closer and more exciting chase”

            What Monza race you were watching that time that were laps of close exciting battle, what unsporting if they were no punishment no crime as you like to claim to be(bit exaggerating to me). If according to you MS should live wide room for Hamilton, Lewis would have blast past him within sec much because he got faster car(after you sir isn’t it). That one of the thing that i’m not really liking(i have my opinion hope you wouldn’t keep pushing just based on your thought, watching F1 since 1979 doesn’t mean you right all the time) that what i think giving the defender a little unfair race if the FIA approving the rule that left the defender no chance to defend fortunately they clarrified it to left a car width but still i’m not 100% like this rule that’s me. Nope i wouldn’t changed my tune if the other way around it would still put me on my chair.

  10. Days of Thunder said on 4th January 2012, 15:35

    The Shumacher-Hamilton race at Monza was one of the most exciting in 2011, the rule shouldn’t too restrict that kind of art of defencing-racing.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 5th January 2012, 13:11

      But you consider then the breaking of an unwritten rule, which is now written, which according to Keith doesn’t change anything other than removing ambiguity, as the path to exciting racing.

      To me MS did not show artfullness of defencive racing…he showed how to somehow get away with unfair maneuvers. LH pointed it out immediately, so he knew the unwritten rule. MS had to be reminded, so somehow got away without a penalty but essential got permission to do it until they told him to stop. So if the rule was there, just unwritten, he got away with one, and that is what it takes for exciting racing in F1.

      • Days of Thunder said on 5th January 2012, 15:51

        “Sorry keith i posted in a wrong place i copy back to here”

        It depends how you see it how you like, to me that’s one of great defence and praise by many as well. At Monza it could be said that Lewis the one that Lewis attempted desperate attack but overall both show spectacular drive that day i bet many stand on their chair over that exciting laps. And in the past many has done similiar thing even harsher, to me in Monza fair just in the line. And as i pointed out i dnt really agree that too much school boy rule by FIA that robbed too much real racing such as this kind of one move rule, if waving too much side to side that dangerous but Schumacher-Hamilton i don’t think close to that

        • Asanator (@asanator) said on 6th January 2012, 10:57

          Sorry Guys, Keit is right (Should have known) it wasn’t written down in the sporting regs until now although there was definitely some formal wording being bandied about at the time, maybe it was an earlier clarification.

          The point is that Schumacher didn’t do anything wrong but defend robustly which to be honest, is exactly what I would hope and expect from my driver if I was team boss! He was on the limit of what he understood to be the accepted standard and obviously what the Stewards thought were the accepted standards. Just because the Stewards ‘reminded’ the team that they were watching and Ross then ‘reminded’ Schumacher of the current limits doesn’t mean he did anything wrong, just that he was on the limit of what is allowed. If he stepped over it, the stewards WOULD have penalised him.

          Either way, and whatever your view on that incident, it was some of the best battling that I have seen for a long long time.

          My concern now is that with this rule in place (in it’s current guise) it now stops the leading driver returning fully to the racing line whether there is a car alongside or not. If the chasing car is say 5 or 6 metres behind the leading one, it stops the leading driver from taking the ideal line through the corner. Why shouldn’t the leading car be able to make full use of the track width, otherwise it is handing an unnecessary advantage to the car behind on corner exit and apex speed (on the majority of corners in F1).

          It is possibly even more contrived than people seem to think DRS is!

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 6th January 2012, 16:28

            Fair comment Asanator…I still say that needing reminding hints that he was doing something wrong, which could have changed things for LH in that duel, and which makes the duel a bit contrived, which is why I wasn’t as excited about it as some.

            As to your last main paragraph, I would hope that if a car is say 5 or 6 metres behind the leading one, the lead car can fully take the apex. I would like to think that the trailing car needs to be closer than that before a potential ‘block’ is called.

  11. antonyob (@antonyob) said on 4th January 2012, 16:10

    i wondered when you were going to post something on the change in overtaking rules.which it is..you can no longer return to the racing line is a huge change and will impact races substantially. Why people are arguing about boring testing rules i dont know. its like looking for your watch when your arms been blown off.

    One thing about MS and Lewis is they are rule changing drivers, so many times the rules are changed following a bit of quick thinking..or cynical unsporting behaviour..depending on your allegiances…on their part. F1 has always been about finding the loophole, these 2 do it par excellence

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 4th January 2012, 16:30

      you can no longer return to the racing line

      It’s been the case for years, as I wrote ages ago. As such, it hardly seems worth you getting so upset about it.

      • Mike (@mike) said on 4th January 2012, 17:22

        Has it?

        This rule isn’t saying that you can’t cut them off, it’s saying that you can’t return to the racing line.

        • Mike (@mike) said on 4th January 2012, 17:29

          @Keith_Collantine

          Actually, this is what I’m trying to bring up. The rule says that, if you move to defend at any point on the straight. You must leave a one cap gap should you move back towards the racing line.

          The consequence of this, is that on thinner tracks, say the run down to Ascari chicane? (I think it’s called.) is that you can’t move back to the racing line even if the car is no longer attacking you.

          having earlier defended his position off‐line, should leave at least one car width between his own car and the edge of the track on the approach to the corner.

  12. Days of Thunder said on 4th January 2012, 16:23

    Agree with you abov finding the loophole. And these 2 are in the most exciting drivers to watch, i choose this kind of driver rather than driver that just nursing the car home without any spectacular drive.

  13. antonyob (@antonyob) said on 4th January 2012, 16:43

    who’s getting upset? not me. but this is a blog, hope your not suggesting people dont speak their mind? upset or not.

    Im pretty/very sure you were allowed one move to block and then you were able to take the natural line into the corner. so you could move across on a straight make them go the long way round then take up the racing line for the corner.. maybe im wrong but thats what i always understood.- outpouring of posts correcting me — the fact that most drivers took a defensive line and didnt scoot back onto the natural line means it didnt need changing until MS tried something a bit too cute perhaps. Either way this “non rule change” wil have a big impact on the more aggressive drivers. Something not to be applauded.

    • sandy (@sandy) said on 4th January 2012, 17:15

      think no one knew about this unwritten rule because it has nt been broken so far until the hamilton incident with petrov.. Where have u seen such moves before ? I had like to see a video of that..

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 4th January 2012, 18:34

        @sandy Hamilton/Petrov (I presume you mean at Malaysia in 2010) is a different matter: Hamilton was repeatedly changing direction on the straight, beyond the one move drivers are allowed. Hamilton moved away from the racing line, back towards it, then away again (breaking the rule) etc…

        • antonyob (@antonyob) said on 5th January 2012, 10:41

          Hamiltonw as atttempting to break the tow. if anythinghe was trying to get out of the way with Petrov trying to get back behind Hamilton. its not excusing it, it probably is too dangerous to allow but it isnt an example of blocking. quite the reverse. another example of Lewis’ thinking outside the box

        • judo chop (@judo-chop) said on 5th January 2012, 21:53

          I don’t know how you can write such nonsense. The “racing line” is whatever line a driver wishes to take as long as he’s not harming another driver. If they want to hog the left or right side of the track or zig-zag across that’s there business as long as no one else is negatively affected. Hamilton chose to move away from Petrov and Petrov chose to follow. Hamilton move away again, Petrov repeated his reaction and they repeated this down the straight. It was in no way moving “across” and why Hamilton wasn’t penalised.

          If you were driving down the motorway in the middle lane and the car in front moved into an adjoining lane would you call that moving across? Cut up by a car moving out of your way?

          Of course Hamilton using some inventive defensive driving to outfox a rookie doesn’t sit well with jealous stewards and so they concocted their anti-weaving rule which now obliges drivers to provide slipstreams for their opponents. Obviously it’s not fair if only Hamilton and a few others are good at overtaking.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 6th January 2012, 17:46

            @judo-chop

            The “racing line” is whatever line a driver wishes to take as long as he’s not harming another driver. If they want to hog the left or right side of the track or zig-zag across that’s there business as long as no one else is negatively affected.

            And you’re accusing me of writing “nonsense”? I don’t want to patronise you by explaining what the racing line actually is but you’ve left me with no alternative.

            The racing line is the quickest line around the track. It does not involve weaving from side to side across a straight.

            Everyone knows what the racing line is, the stewards have even referred to it when describing incidents (Hamilton/Button in Canada and Hamilton/Massa in Japan spring to mind).

            It was in no way moving “across” and why Hamilton wasn’t penalised.

            Yes it was, that’s why he got a reprimand. And why, when he did it again the following year, he was given a time penalty.

            Of course Hamilton using some inventive defensive driving to outfox a rookie doesn’t sit well with jealous stewards and so they concocted their anti-weaving rule

            Silly conspiracy theory garbage. The “one move” rule has been around for years – at least since the early nineties.

  14. leroy (@leroy) said on 4th January 2012, 18:04

    Following the rule about reattaching a part while it’s in the pit lane, where’s the rule about working on a car during red flags? We were robbed of a great finish at Monaco because everyone was allowed to change tires.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 4th January 2012, 18:30

      @leroy Given race suspensions often occur because of severe changes in weather (i.e. heavy rain) which force teams to make alterations to car set-up, I’m not surprised they haven’t changed the rules.

      • f1alex (@f1alex) said on 4th January 2012, 21:15

        But surely they could have worded it in a certain way that says that no alterations can be made to the cars apart from if the race is declared wet, or there is damage to the car.

        • DVC (@dvc) said on 5th January 2012, 12:44

          The rule is there because if a big accident occurs there is typically debris all over the track, which means punctures that could go undetected until a restart…

          • f1alex (@f1alex) said on 5th January 2012, 18:04

            If the car had a puncture wouldn’t they be able to tell that it’s losing air before the restart? I mean, I don’t know enough about this kind of thing so correct me if I’m (most likely) wrong… :)

  15. Anti-RBR (@matt2208) said on 4th January 2012, 21:56

    “More than one change of direction to defend a position is not permitted. Any driver moving back towards the racing line, having earlier defended his position off‐line, should leave at least one car width between his own car and the edge of the track on the approach to the corner.” So are they aloud to race anymore?. Now they have to pretty much let the car behind or beside them go past if they move off there line. they need to give the sport another name besides formula 1. because it aint that anymore.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 5th January 2012, 11:22

      @matt2208

      So are they allowed to race any more?

      Yes

      Now they have to pretty much let the car behind or beside them go past if they move off there line.

      No they don’t. They can move to the extreme inside of the track. And they can move back across to the racing line, though not all the way.

      And, again, this is not new – this is what drivers have been told for years. The only difference now is it’s in the rule book, which is clearly an improvement because now the acceptable standards of driving are indisputable.

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