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FIA tweaks double yellow rule

NEWS STORY
21/10/2021

Following the controversial Q1 incident in Istanbul involving Fernando Alonso, the FIA has tweaked the double waved yellow flag rule.

Two weeks ago at Istanbul, the stewards opted to take no further action after it was alleged that Fernando Alonso ignored double waved yellow flags during the opening phase of the qualifying session.

After hearing from the Spaniard and reviewed video, timing and telemetry evidence, the stewards felt the Alpine driver had fulfilled the requirement of reducing his speed significantly after the double yellow flags were displayed at a time a number of drivers were struggling for grip in the wet conditions and therefore complied with the provisions set out in the Sporting Code.

However, Note 7.1 of the race director's event notes had required drivers not to set a meaningful lap time in a double yellow flag situation.

Taking into account the fact that the yellow flag situation occurred at the time Alonso started his first timed lap of the session and noting that he was fully convinced that he did not set a meaningful lap time as his next flying lap was approximately 3.5 seconds faster than the one when the yellow flag situation occurred, the stewards were satisfied that the Spaniard had complied with the relevant regulations and opted to take no further action.

Ahead of the race, race director, Michael Masi spoke to the teams and drivers and the issue was subsequently raised at last week's meeting of the sporting advisory group.

In the race director's notes for this weekend, Masi reveals a tweak to the rules following the incident.

"Any driver passing through a double waved yellow marshalling sector must reduce speed significantly and be prepared to change direction or stop," he writes. "In order for the stewards to be satisfied that any such driver has complied with these requirements it must be clear that he has not attempted to set a meaningful lap time, for practical purposes any driver in a double yellow sector will have that lap time deleted."

The previous note that "this means the driver should abandon the lap (this does not necessarily mean he has to pit as the track could well be clear the following lap)", has been removed.

"Now it's clear for everyone if it wasn't already before, which I think it was anyway," said Charles Leclerc in reaction to the move. "But like this, it takes off the doubt. As soon as you've got a double yellow, you can just slow down as much as you can, and just prepare your next lap, because the lap will be deleted anyway."

Check out our Thursday gallery from COTA, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 22/10/2021 11:45

"Personally for double waved yellows, I would like to see a slow zone like Le Mans."

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