Only deliberate blocking to be punished


Following the incident during last week's qualifying session at Monza, when Fernando Alonso was adjudged by race stewards to have impeded Felipe Massa, and was subsequently handed a five-spot grid penalty, provoking a massive backlash from the media, F1 insiders and fans, the FIA's race director, Charlie Whiting, has written to all the teams, advising of a change to the complaints process.

In a clear dig at Renault and Alonso, Whiting writes: "Complaints that a driver has been impeded during qualifying will no longer be referred to the stewards of the meeting. Only in cases where it appears to race control that there has been a clear and deliberate attempt to impede another driver will the stewards be asked to intervene.

We now feel it is pointless for the stewards to engage in long and painstaking enquiries if competitors ignore clear scientific evidence and instead abuse the regulator."

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Published: 15/09/2006
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