More clarity, less confusion: The Formula 1 teams, in collaboration with the FIA, have agreed on a new rule that will be implemented immediately and applied at the next race in Spa.
The new rule, which is actually a penalty, deals with the topic “unsafe release” in the pit lane. From now on there is a time penalty for this offence without ifs and buts. This was not always the case in the 2019 season.
There had been trouble and confusion about this last time in Hockenheim when Ferrari let Charles Leclerc out of his pit box much too early and the Monegasque almost collided with Romain Grosjean (Haas). Instead of punishing Leclerc, the stewards fined the Scuderia.
This was a measure that was met with little approval and even less understanding from the Formula 1 fans. Because: In other races the drivers were again punished for this obvious mistake of the team.
Race director makes it clear: “No more differentiation”:-
“We agreed at the meeting that we would forget everything that happened in the first half of the year. If there is an unsafe release immediately, there will be a time penalty. It doesn’t matter whether it gives the driver an advantage or not,” said FIA Race Director Michael Masi.
“There will be no more differentiation and all teams will be happier from now on. All teams and responsible persons have been informed”, Masi defended himself against new criticism as a precaution.
Racing Point boss Otmar Szafnauer explained the background of the rule change as follows: “I think it [an unsafe release] deserves a sporting penalty because the risks are high. What we don’t want is for the teams to make a financial decision based on a safety risk.”
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