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FIA clarifies one-move rule (amongst others)

NEWS STORY
04/01/2012

The FIA has published the definitive Sporting and Technical Regulations today, and amongst other things clarifies the newly introduced one-move rule.

In December, the World Motor Sport Council confirmed a number of changes to both the Sporting and Technical Regulations, and one which particularly caught the eye read: Drivers may no longer move back onto the racing line having moved off it to defend a position.

Article 20.3 reads: "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."

20.4 reads: "Manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such as deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are not permitted."

And 20.5: "As soon as a car is caught by another car which is about to lap it during the race the driver must allow the faster driver past at the first available opportunity. If the driver who has been caught does not allow the faster driver past, waved blue flags will be shown to indicate that he must allow the following driver to overtake."

In December the WMSC ruled that "drivers may no longer leave the track without a justifiable reason, i.e. cutting a chicane on reconnaissance laps or 'in' laps to save time and fuel", a common practice among certain drivers (no names) and a cause of frustration to many fans.

Today's regulations, Article 20.2 state: "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."

A sensible move in 2012 involves lapped cars and the Safety Car. Article 40.12 reads: "If the clerk of the course considers it safe to do so, and the message "LAPPED CARS MAY NOW OVERTAKE" is shown on the timing monitors, any cars that have been lapped by the leader will be required to pass the cars on the lead lap and the safety car. This will only apply to cars that were lapped at the time they crossed the Line at the end of the lap during which they crossed the first Safety Car line for the second time after the safety car was deployed.

"Having overtaken the cars on the lead lap and the safety car these cars should then proceed around the track at an appropriate speed, without overtaking, and take up position at the back of the line of cars behind the safety car. Whilst they are overtaking, and in order to ensure this may be carried out safely, the cars on the lead lap must always stay on the racing line unless deviating from it is unavoidable.

"If the clerk of the course considers track conditions are unsuitable for overtaking the message "OVERTAKING WILL NOT BE PERMITTED" will be shown on the timing monitors."

Meanwhile, under the section detailing what happens once a race resumes after being red flagged, Article 42.3 states: "At the two minute point any cars between the safety car and the leader, in addition to any cars that had been lapped by the leader at the time the race was suspended, will be waved off to complete a further lap, without overtaking, and join the line of cars behind the safety car."

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