After Hamilton punishment: FIA reacts to criticism, introduces floor marking

( – Were the previous specifications for carrying out trial starts in the Formula 1 pit lane too imprecise? In any case, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes were punished at the last race in Sochi for attacking these requirements. And so that the same thing does not happen again, Formula 1 racing director Michael Masi has taken further measures for the Eifel Grand Prix.

Home straight Nürburgring

Pit lane exit at the Nürburgring: The orange marking can be seen on the left



One of them is clear to everyone: At the end of the pit lane, a start box has been painted on the asphalt on the right-hand side. This start box is to be used at the weekend when a driver wants to do a practice start.

Masi has also specified his so-called event notes accordingly. In three short sections, under Article 18, it explains exactly how drivers must behave during trial starts and what needs to be taken into account.

How race director Masi specifies the situation

It says: “During all training sessions, exercise starts may only be from the right one [Fahrbahn-] Side out, as indicated by the white start box. Drivers who want to do a trial start have to pull over to the right so that other vehicles can pass by on the left. “

However, different rules apply to the pre-start phase in the race. Masi explains this further in Section 18.2: “Trial starts can be completed after the end of the pit wall and at the height of the orange marking on the right-hand side of the course.” (See cover picture of this news.) Once again, the drivers are asked to stay to the right as possible so that there is space for other cars on the left.

And: in this situation it is expressly allowed to cross the white line at the exit of the pit lane. Masi writes: “Any driver who overtakes a car that is doing a trial start can drive over the white line. Anyone who crosses this line, however, has to go back to the right as quickly as possible.”

What happened at Hamilton in Sochi

In all other cases, according to Article 19.1: “When leaving the pit lane, the drivers must stay to the right of the white line. No part of a car coming out of the pit may cross this line.”

At the 2020 Russian Grand Prix in Sochi, Hamilton’s trial starts caused a stir because he had completed these starts outside the intended area. However, the specification for it had read too ambiguously how it turned out in this way. That is one of the reasons why Masi has now brought an update.

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Hamilton had received two five-second time penalties for his two practice starts before the race, which deprived him of his chances of victory.

The stewards later took back two initially pronounced penalty points and instead punished Mercedes with a fine of 50,000 euros because Hamilton had been instructed by the team.

While on site in Sochi, Hamilton sensed a conspiracy against himself and expressed himself critically of the stewards, combined with the accusation that they would prefer to punish him.

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