During the last Japanese Grand Prix, several events turned Formula 1 upside down, the most notorious of all was an incident with a crane on the track when the cars were still on their way to the pits, something that already seemed to have been made clear in the past.
There was also a controversial sanction for a driver for not respecting the Safety Car rules and the flags shown by the stewards and a race in which all the points were finally distributed despite the fact that he did not even complete 75% of the planned distance.
All this created a great controversy in the paddock and also among the fans, something that forced the FIA to act quickly and that is exactly what they did. Immediately after the Suzuka event, the governing body of the top flight met urgently to review everything.
As a result of the investigation, from the next race, that is, the following measures will be implemented already at the United States Grand Prix this weekend:
- A message will be sent to the teams via the official FIA messaging system to notify them that a recovery vehicle (the tow truck) is going out on track with the obligation for the teams to inform their drivers.
- Development of a new way of monitoring the VSC/SC to show the status of all the cars that are on the track or in the pits, useful information that can be used by Race Direction.
- Update of the race control procedure to better define the tasks of the entire Race Direction team under the SC or VSC procedure. In specific relation to this revision, more importance will be given to the task of monitoring the cars that are entering the Pit Lane with SC on the track.
- The FIA Race Director will explain during the drivers’ briefing at the United States Grand Prix what solutions the FIA plans to introduce to prevent a repeat of that situation in the future and to remind drivers of the rules related to SC and the red flags.
- Dynamic VSC: implementation of a new function that will change the speed delta required so that the pilot knows in which sectors or specific areas there is an incident.
- Together with the teams, the record of penalties for drivers who have not respected the rules related to yellow flags, double yellow flags, VSC and SC will be reviewed.
- Review of the current advertising posters, location and materials used, to prevent them from ending up on the track.
Changes in the Formula 1 Race Control structure
For the remaining four races of the 2022 Formula 1 season, the FIA will not use the rotation system in the role of Race Director. From the United States Grand Prix in Austin and for the following races in Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi, Niels Wittich will take over as Race Director .
Review of the time limit for an F1 race and the distribution of points
In the Japanese Grand Prix, Article 6.5 of the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations was correctly applied, which is related to the time limits for a race and the distribution of points. However, the wording of the Regulation will be reviewed for greater clarity.