Eight drivers summoned by FIA over slow FP3 laps

Date published: September 5 2020

Mercedes-Alfa-Romeo

The FIA are trying to stamp their authority at the Italian Grand Prix by summoning eight drivers ahead of qualifying in Monza.

Traffic is once again proving to be a nightmare at the ‘Temple of Speed’ with drivers queuing up down the back straight heading towards the Parabolica trying to get a slipstream for their hot laps.

The tow at Monza is worth in the region of 0.5 seconds so all drivers are trying their best to find that advantage, leading to scary incidents like this.

In a bid to clamp down on the traffic jams, the FIA has repeatedly issued the following statement.

“Each Competitor and Driver is reminded of the provisions of Article 27.4 of the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations,” a statement said.

“For reasons of safety, during each practice session, acts such as weaving across the track to hinder another car may be referred to the stewards.

“During Free Practice session 3 and the Qualifying Practice, the time published in accordance with Item 8 of the Race Directors Event Notes will be used as a guide by the stewards to determine if a Driver is considered to be driving unnecessarily slowly on an out lap or any warm up lap.”

But after the antics in FP3, Pierre Gasly, Lance Stroll, Alexander Albon Carlos Sainz plus Nicholas Latifi, Romain Grosjean, Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton have all been summoned to the stewards.

This is over ‘alleged driving unnecessarily slowly in turn 11’ which is breach of Article 31.5 of the Sporting Regulations.

Article 31.5 states: ‘Any driver taking part in any practice session who, in the opinion of the stewards, stops unnecessarily on the circuit or unnecessarily impedes another driver shall be subject to the penalties referred to in Article 31.4.’

That could have led to lap times being deleted or grid penalties being dished out by the stewards, but they took no further action.

The FIA verdict read: ‘The Stewards heard from the drivers and team representatives of Cars 44, 23, 55, 10, 11, 18, 8, and 6, have reviewed multiple angles of video evidence and GPS data.

‘Having carefully reviewed the evidence, we determine that it is impossible to determine that any driver was wholly or predominantly to blame for the incident.

‘Whilst it might be assumed that the first car in the “queue” was predominantly to blame, it was not possible for us to determine how far forward in the queue we should consider and all cars appeared to have complied with the minimum time specified by the Race Director.

‘Additionally, this was free practice, not Qualifying Practice, so it was not unreasonable for car 44 to seek to enter the pit lane on what was an out lap, in order to perform a practice start.’

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