FIA makes another change to rules on overtaking

2014 F1 season

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Buddh International Circuit, 2013The FIA has made another change to the rules on overtaking, an area of the regulations which has received considerable attention in recent years.

The clarification centres on how much of an advantage a driver may gain by going off the track.

Attention has been focused on the rules due to a number of incidents this year including Romain Grosjean’s pass on Felipe Massa during the Hungarian Grand Prix, which was penalised, and Fernando Alonso’s move on Jean-Eric Vergne during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which wasn’t.

Article 20.2 of the 2014 Sporting Regulations now states drivers may not gain a “lasting” advantage by leaving the track entirely. It also grants the race director the power to instruct drivers to yield a position, something which has become common practice in recent years.

Here’s how the old and new rules compare, with the relevant sections highlighted:

2013 Sporting Regulations

Drivers must use the track at all times. For the avoidance of doubt the white lines defining the track edges are considered to be part of the track but the kerbs are not.

A driver will be judged to have left the track if no part of the car remains in contact with the track.

Should a car leave the track the driver may rejoin, however, this may only be done when it is safe to do so and without gaining any advantage.

A driver may not deliberately leave the track without justifiable reason.

2014 Sporting Regulations

Drivers must use the track at all times. For the avoidance of doubt the white lines defining the track edges are considered to be part of the track but the kerbs are not.

A driver will be judged to have left the track if no part of the car remains in contact with the track.

Should a car leave the track the driver may re-join, however, this may only be done when it is safe to do so and without gaining any lasting advantage. At the absolute discretion of the race director a driver may be given the opportunity to give back the whole of any advantage he gained by leaving the track.

A driver may not deliberately leave the track without justifiable reason.

2014 F1 season


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59 comments on FIA makes another change to rules on overtaking

  1. George (@george) said on 12th December 2013, 18:35

    If this means more sensible penalties rather than straight drive-through then I’m all for it.

  2. BarnstableD (@barnstabled) said on 12th December 2013, 20:40

    Can anybody clarify what happens if an illegal overtake happens (such as Grojean vs. Massa) and then the ‘victim’ car pits? It becomes impossible for the offender to give the place back without pitting, coming out in front and then handing the position back, doesn’t it?

  3. DaveD (@daved) said on 12th December 2013, 21:09

    Oh come on! This just makes the rules even MORE nebulous. Are they just trying to make it easier for the stewards to pick their favorite driver?
    Seriously, intelligent/grown men sat around and said: “yeah, that clears everything up”??? I love F1 but sometimes the guys who run it really worry me.

  4. HoHum (@hohum) said on 12th December 2013, 21:46

    The big problem with this rule is deciding why the driver left the track, was it because (a) his overtaking move was too ambitious and despite having track room could not stay on track, or was it (b) the defending drivers defence was over ambitious and he could not leave enough room or (c) both, I can only think that the word lasting has been added in order for the team and stewards to allow some form of correction less onerous than a drive through penalty. Dont expect everyone to be in agreement though.

    • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 12th December 2013, 22:40

      I agree. My interpretation is that regardless of the circumstances, leaving track is leaving the track, and this is deemed illegal if lasting advantage has been gained. If the defending drivers defence was over ambitious, then that would the fall under a different rule being that the defending driver made more than one change of direction.

      What is not clear with this new “lasting” phrase, is how much time is allowed for this effect to be corrected. What if suddenly (following the illegal maneuver) there is a safety car, or the defender must make a scheduled pit entrance, under these circumstances I believe its no longer considered “lasting” advantage as the defending driver would have had to enter the pit anyway.

  5. mr ROSSI (@mr-rossi) said on 13th December 2013, 0:08

    Just put a car and a half width of grass at the edge of the track/kerb,then the tarmac run off. Then if the driver overtaking makes the pass without going onto the tarmac run off,let him keep the position.simples.

  6. Somethingwittyer (@somethingwittyer) said on 13th December 2013, 1:55

    Lasting advantage?!?! What the hell does that supposed to mean? A lasting advantage as in one that leads to an overtake? One that helps set up for an overtake? Good Lord this is vague.

  7. WarfieldF1 (@warfieldf1) said on 13th December 2013, 9:23

    What if you are off track but on your own, eg leading by 5 secs and running wide on a corner exit to carry more speed repeatedly. How can that be given back?

    • mr ROSSI (@mr-rossi) said on 13th December 2013, 17:48

      I think the driver leading would lose some of the 5 sec advantage everytime he went over the car n half width of grass anyway,if not i`m sure the other teams would be on the telephone to charlie, if that wasnt the case. And then im sure a radio message to the driver, of an impending penalty would do the trick. The grass would cause the driver to at least lift off the throttle….

  8. drmouse (@drmouse) said on 13th December 2013, 10:01

    ***! IMHO this does not clarify the rules. In fact, it makes them less clear and more open to interpretation.

    As I have said many times, a driver needs to be penalised any time he goes off track. This could be a “natural” penalty (e.g. he spun off), or one set by the stewards, but it needs to be strictly enforced.

    We have seen races this year where drivers left the track on almost every lap. They are skilled drivers, so must be doing so on purpose. They will continue to do so unless they are stopped.

  9. JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 13th December 2013, 11:34

    I think the most priceless addition is actually:

    A driver may not deliberately leave the track without justifiable reason

    When the Stewards ask Massa why he keeps ‘leaving the track’ by cutting into the pit lane in Brazil all he needs to do is to say “it’s much quicker that way”. It’s hard to argue with that reason.

  10. Irejag (@irejag) said on 14th December 2013, 3:52

    Why can’t they just make it simple and say, “You cannot put any part of the race car over the white lines.” The white lines define the track, so as far as I am concerned, they shouldn’t be allowed to touch the curbs at all.
    That is where the FIA would state that white lines are really just a light shade of grey….

  11. raptor22 said on 14th December 2013, 18:18

    More stupid rules. F1 is the height of ridiculous. With Red Bull air racing back in 2014 and the WEC looking stronger I’ll be devoting my time to those. Get a grip F1

  12. For me, one of the lasting advantage is when leaving the track ultimately gain lap time. Some (a lot) of times driver leave the track and they said it didn’t gave them any advantage, and that is flat out lying. That’s probably gave them a few tenth every lap, which in F1 every tenth counts. FIA really needs to put the hammer on this instead of focusing on giving the penalties about leaving the track when there’s a close battle.

  13. Oscar (@oscar) said on 12th March 2014, 15:02

    I think a “lasting advantage” is:
    a) improving lap times
    b) gaining a place on track (not only a possition) and not giving it back INMEDIATELY. More so, if you go off track, you should abort that overtaking manoeuvre…
    c) impeding another driver when returning to track

  14. Im not f1 any more, the cars are ugly, the sound of the engines are bad, the engine of my bug sound better,i have around 150 f1 tapes and i compare the soud of the engines like the monza race 1990, the sound are beautiful.

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