• 2011 season

FIA moves to stamp out dirty driving

ESPNF1 Staff
December 13, 2010 « Costa added to Ferrari Driver Academy | »
The FIA is clamping down on dirty driving © Sutton Images

The FIA will take a tougher stance on dirty driving in 2011 and has expanded the stewards' powers to punish drivers who break the rules.

The governing body published 2011's sporting and technical regulations on Monday, including new rules regarding moveable rear wings, KERS and the return of the 107% qualifying rule. In the sporting side of the document, the FIA moved to stop drivers taking liberties by "crowding" fellow competitors and cutting corners.

"Manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such as more than one change of direction to defend a position, deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are not permitted," reads Article 20.2 of the Sporting Regulations.

Article 20.3 adds: "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 for any reason the driver may rejoin. However, this may only be done when it is safe to do so and without gaining any advantage."

The FIA has also set out clearer guidelines for backmarkers, which are now required to get out of the way of faster cars as soon as possible.

"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," reads Article 20.4. "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. Any driver who is deemed to be ignoring the waved blue flags will be reported to the stewards of the meeting."

Under the 2011 regulations, the stewards now have the power to apply any of the following punishments to drivers for on-track incidents:

a) A drive-through penalty. The driver must enter the pit lane and re-join the race without stopping.
b) A ten second time penalty. The driver must enter the pit lane, stop at his pit for at least ten seconds and then re-join the race.
c) A time penalty.
d) A drop of any number of grid positions at the driver's next event.
e) A reprimand.
f) Exclusion from the results.
g) Suspension from the driver's next event.

Options c), e), f) and g) are all new for 2011.

Full sporting and technical regulations are available here .