FIA Intervenes: No More Unnecessary Stopping in Pit Lane

The FIA has implemented a new rule prohibiting Formula 1 drivers from stopping unnecessarily in the pit lane, including at the end of the pit lane, after Max Verstappen‘s actions were investigated but not penalized, with the rule change taking effect from the Sao Paulo Grand Prix in Brazil.

Highlights

‣ The FIA has implemented a new measure to prevent Formula 1 drivers from stopping unnecessarily in the ‘fast lane’ during qualifying, including the end of the pit lane.
‣ Max Verstappen was investigated for stopping extra long at the end of the pit lane to leave a gap, but no penalty was given as the situation was not clearly described in the regulations.
‣ Article 33.4 of the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations now states that drivers are not allowed to go unnecessarily slow or stop a car in the fast lane of the pit lane.
‣ During Shootout and Qualifying, drivers can create a gap between the pit exit lights and the SC2 line, but must drive as far to the left as possible to allow other drivers to pass on the right side of the pit exit road.


The FIA has recently taken action regarding a controversial issue in Formula 1: stopping at the end of the pit lane. Max Verstappen, among others, has been under scrutiny for this behavior, but has not received any penalties. However, starting from the Sao Paulo Grand Prix in Brazil, such actions will be penalized.

In an effort to prevent obstruction of other drivers, the FIA has implemented a new rule that prohibits Formula 1 drivers from unnecessary stops in the ‘fast lane’ during qualifying, including the end of the pit lane.

This change in regulation came about due to a previous measure imposed by the FIA, which introduced a maximum lap time to prevent drivers from hindering each other. However, this had the unintended consequence of drivers deliberately stopping for an extended period at the end of the pit lane to create a gap. Verstappen was one of the drivers investigated for this behavior, but no penalty was given as the regulations did not clearly outline this particular case.

Now, article 33.4 of the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations states that drivers are not allowed to go unnecessarily slow, which includes stopping a car in the fast lane of the pit lane. The FIA’s addition to the regulations was clarified by race director Niels Wittich.

“During Shootout and Qualifying, drivers may create a gap between the pit exit lights and the SC2 line. Any driver who wishes to do so must drive as far to the left as possible to allow other drivers to pass them on the right side of the pit exit road,” Wittich explained.

These new regulations will not only affect Verstappen but all drivers in Formula 1. It remains to be seen how this change will impact the upcoming races and the strategies employed by the teams and drivers.

To gain some insight on the matter, Lewis Hamilton expressed his concern about Mercedes’ winning streak, stating, “All hands on deck.” The competition amongst teams will undoubtedly become more intense with these new regulations, adding an extra element of excitement for fans worldwide.

Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez is a senior writer at F1Highlights.com. With a passion for motorsports, Albert brings a unique perspective to the world of Formula One. With over five years of experience as a sports reporter, he has honed his skills in capturing the essence of the sport.

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