Revised 2017 sporting regulations relating to the stewarding of on-track incidents means Formula 1 drivers will have greater freedom to try bold overtakes this year.
F1 drivers will only face punishment for incidents if they are “wholly” to blame for the crash in 2017, with the choice to investigate clashes being put in the hands of the stewards.
That’s after some modifications to the sporting regulations for the 2017 F1 season, which could give drivers more opportunities to attempt brave overtaking moves.
Numerous times last season, drivers were penalised for minor contact and clashes when it didn’t seem like they were really to blame.
It started to impact the racing, with people feeling drivers were possibly not as keen to try overtakes, due to the strict stance on clashes.
Now, in 2017, it will be the stewards who decide whether or not to investigate an incident that’s been reported to them by the F1 race director.
The rules have been relaxed when it comes to on-track contact and incidents, with Article 38.2 a) saying:
“It shall be at the discretion of the stewards to decide if any driver involved in an Incident should be penalised. Unless it is clear to the stewards that a driver was wholly or predominantly to blame for an incident no penalty will be imposed.”
Hopefully this rule will mean we see more drivers going for overtakes and making brave moves, rather than hanging back in fear of getting a penalty.
Because, we’ve seen quite a few unusual and seemingly unfair penalties handed out in the past.
There have also been a few other minor tweaks. If a driver retires and can’t serve their penalty, the stewards can give them a grid drop for the next round.
Also, the pit lane will only be open for 10 minutes before the start, to make sure drivers get to the grid in good time for the national anthem. It will now close 20 minutes before the start, rather than 15.