Drivers warned to mind others at Sochi

Date published: September 25 2020

Sochi-circuit-corner-PA

The Formula 1 drivers have been warned about not only track limits but also backing up in qualifying ahead of this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.

This season has seen several qualifying runs marred by rivals backing up to make space, hurting the lap time of those behind and also those fast approaching on hot laps.

Given that the Sochi circuit has a long run from the final corner to Turn 2, making the tow ideal, FIA race director Michael Masi has warned the drivers not to hamper others.

“Any driver intending to create a gap in front of him in order to get a clear lap should not attempt to do this around Turns 12 and/or 13,” he said in his pre-race notes.

“Any driver seen to have done this will be reported to the stewards as being in breach of Article 27.4 of the Sporting Regulations.”

This was a huge problem during qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix, another circuit where the tow can make a difference.

Several drivers were caught out in the traffic in Q1 with big names such as Sebastian Vettel failing to make it through to Q2.

Sochi

Track limits was another points in Masi’s Russian GP notes.

He informed the teams that the stewards will be clamping down on the limits at Turn 2 where running wide is an advantage.

Drivers will lose that lap time if they exceed the limits, and if they do it twice during the race, they will be shown a black and white flag.

“A lap time achieved during any practice session or the race by leaving the track and failing to negotiate Turn 2 by using the track, will result in that lap time being invalidated by the stewards,” Masi added.

“Each time any car fails to negotiate Turn 2 by using the track, teams will be informed via the official messaging system.

“On the second occasion of a driver failing to negotiate Turn 2 by using the track during the race, he will be shown a black and white flag, any further cutting will then be reported to the stewards.

“In all cases detailed above, the driver must only re-join the track when it is safe to do so and without gaining a lasting advantage.”

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