May 20, 2010
Posted by on
Because of a lack of clarity on safety car rules, Michael Schumacher lost his points-scoring position
The FIA has admitted a “lack of clarity” regarding safety car rules, and has promised to change the regulations accordingly. Following Michael Schumacher’s penalty for overtaking on the last lap as the safety car had already pitted, much critisism has been aimed at the rules for not being clear enough.
However, since then, the FIA have issued a statement, saying that the rules were not clear enough, and would consider changes at the next World Motor Sport Council meeting on June 23rd. They said:
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 signaling for teams and drivers is made
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.
To be honest, I’m not sure what rule they can actually change. In the regulations, it is clearly stated that overtaking is not permitted when the safety car pits at the end of the race. Having said that, providing clarity on the issue works just as well.
Regarding the initial penalty, opinion is split. In the poll I put up yesterday, 50% believed that the penalty was wrong as it was under racing conditons, 21% wanted a smaller punishment, and 29% thought the penalty was fair.