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Drivers seek rules clarification

NEWS STORY
12/09/2008

As the fall-out following last week's Belgian GP continues, drivers are calling on the FIA to clarify the rules regarding overtaking.

"In the drivers' briefing tomorrow we will try and get clarification about the conditions we're racing under and we will move forward," David Coulthard told reporters yesterday.

The incident on the penultimate lap of last week's race, and the subsequent decision to penalise Hamilton, stripping him of the win, has divided the sport, with driver, fans and the media all having their own opinion on the incident at the Bus Stop chicane and what happened a couple of hours later.

While many drivers agree that Hamilton had gained an advantage by not slowing sufficiently after cutting the chicane, they are almost unanimous in condemning the way the subsequent penalty was handled.

"The rules are very clear," said Jarno Trulli. "If you cut the chicane and you get an advantage, you just have to drop back and give back the position. In Lewis's case, he shouldn't have attacked straight away at the next corner."

"The penalty is really rough," added Sebastien Bourdais, "but in the end it's up to you to give the position back or not. Pretty straightforward."

"He did get an advantage," claimed Williams' Nico Rosberg, "because he wouldn't have been that close behind Kimi had he not cut the chicane. But, then again, I also think the penalty was a bit harsh as that did not have such a big effect on the actual race result in the end."

Meanwhile, Renault's Director of Engineering, Pat Symonds, claims the stewards' decision will only further stifle racing.

"I think it does call into question (F1's) philosophy," said the Englishman, "because everyone is saying we need more overtaking, we need more excitement, and we need more personalities. And yet it seems to me that everything that actually happens seems to be against that.

"I think motor racing should be like football," he added, talking in a Renault Podcast, "not like cricket, with stewards taking two hours to decide on Hamilton's punishment on Sunday night. Let's have action, let's know what is going on in real time, not wait for two days to find out the result."

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