FIA to clarify last-lap safety car rule 20 May 2010
The FIA is to clarify regulations relating to safety-car procedures on the final lap of a race. It follows Michael Schumachers penalty for passing Fernando Alonso in the dying seconds of Sundays Monaco Grand Prix.
With the track declared clear and the safety car coming in, Schumachers Mercedes GP team believed their drivers were free to race as normal. However, race stewards subsequently penalised Schumacher for breaking Article 40.13 of the Sporting Regulations, which states: If the race ends whilst the safety car is deployed it will enter the pit lane at the end of the last lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking.
Mercedes originally planned to appeal the decision, but dropped those plans after the sport's governing body agreed to review the rule in question. According to the FIA, adjustments to the regulations are necessary to clarify the procedure that cars must meet when the last lap is controlled by the Safety Car whilst also ensuring that the signalling for teams and drivers is made more clear.
These adjustments are expected to be approved by the FIAs World Motor Sport Council next month.
The full statement from the FIA:
The problems identified during the final lap of the Monaco Grand Prix, counting for the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship, showed a lack of clarity in the application of the rule prohibiting overtaking behind the Safety Car.
Adjustments to the regulations are necessary to clarify the procedure that cars must meet when the last lap is controlled by the Safety Car whilst also ensuring that the signalling for teams and drivers is made more clear.
These adjustments will help to avoid the problem which occurred during the Monaco Grand Prix from happening in the future.
The Formula One Commission, upon a proposal of the F1 Sporting Working Group will submit an amendment to the Sporting Regulations to address this issue. These amendments will be considered by the World Motor Sport Council at its next meeting in Geneva on June 23.