FIA clarifies overtaking, blocking and unlapping

FIA Logo. Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, German Grand Prix, Preparations, Hockenheim, Germany, Thursday 22 July 2010.

Jan.5 (GMM) A new overtaking rule has been added to Formula 1’s official sporting regulations for 2012, as they attempt to clarify the defensive driving rule introduced ate last year.Michael Schumacher squeezed Rubens Barrichello into the pit wall and onto the grass during the 2010 Hungarian GP

Last month, the FIA flagged the forthcoming rule by announcing that drivers “may no longer move back onto the racing line having moved off it to defend a position”.

The rule has until now been an unwritten one that was agreed and understood by the drivers, with the stewards empowered to issue penalties for questionable manoeuvres.

But from 2012, the newly penned article 20.3 of the Formula 1 sporting regulations states: “More than one change of direction to defend a position is not permitted. Any driver moving back towards the racing line, having earlier defended his position off?line, should leave at least one car width between his own car and the edge of the track on the approach to the corner.”

The FIA has also clarified the ruleregarding lapped cars unlapping themselves during a safety car situation: “If the clerk of the course considers it safe to do so, and the message: Lapped cars may now overtake is shown on the timing monitors, any cars that have been lapped by the leader will be required to pass the cars on the lead lap and the safety car.”

FIA Safety Car.  Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Singapore Grand Prix, Race, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Sunday 25 September 2011.

Safety Car

“This will only apply to cars that were lapped at the time they crossed the Line at the end of the lap during which they crossed the first Safety Car line for the second time after the safety car was deployed.”

“Having overtaken the cars on the lead lap and the safety car these cars should then proceed around the track at an appropriate speed, without overtaking, and take up position at the back of the line of cars behind the safety car. Whilst they are overtaking, and in order to ensure this may be carried out safely, the cars on the lead lap must always stay on the racing line unless deviating from it is unavoidable.

“If the clerk of the course considers track conditions are unsuitable for overtaking the message: Overtaking will not be permitted will be shown on the timing monitors.”