S e since the GP USA, a new code of conduct applies to overtaking . Specified in point 16.1. of the FIA event announcements in Austin. It says: 'Anyone who forces another driver in the braking zone to take an evasive maneuver that conjures up a dangerous situation will be summoned to the stewards.'
The drivers welcome the new passage. “Because now it is finally clear what you can and cannot do. Before it was just an unwritten law, but some did not adhere to it, 'says Sebastian Vettel.
Criticism from Red Bull
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner criticizes:' It there are now four rules that define overtaking. This is too much. As nice as it is that there is now clarity, the danger is that no one dares to overtake them anymore. But we want to see bike-to-bike battles. ”Team advisor Helmut Marko scoffs:“ Now you as a driver can go to bed with the rule book. There are so many that you can't even remember them all. '
Sports commissioner Paul Gutjahr corrects the complaints of the team bosses:' This is not a new rule, but an interpretation of existing rules. 'Driver representative Alexander Wurz is not so sure whether a lot has changed significantly:' It only means that the drivers are summoned to the stewards when in doubt. They can then still decide that everything was okay. ”
Bernie's wish is still the law
The drivers not only rebelled because they were changing lanes in Max Verstappen's Braking zone saw a potential hazard. They also had the impression that the Dutchman was under the protection of the authorities.
It's no secret that Bernie Ecclestone loves guys like Verstappen. Because they are cheeky, uncompromising and always on attack. Bernie's wish is still law in this sport. When he says that you shouldn't regulate the duels in a broken way, then the race management and the stewards have that in the back of their heads.
Toto Wolff sees in the inflation of rules the danger that the drivers use them to their advantage will. “From now on, like Lewis in Suzuka, everyone will drive to the emergency exit if they lose a duel. He will then submit to the stewards that he had to evade to avoid an accident. '
Niki Lauda complained the loudest about the clarification:' What are the rules for overtaking? Lewiswould have done nothing but the Verstappen in Suzuka one lap before the end. It goes without saying that the loser of a duel is upset. And the other thinks it's right. What do the stewards want to decide? Nobody can understand such a judgment. It only creates more confusion. Let the riders make it out among themselves on the track. And if there is an accident, you can take action. ”
FIA had to protect itself
This is exactly where the FIA's problem lies. 21 drivers warned Charlie Whiting that Max Verstappen's driving style would eventually lead to a nasty rear-end collision. Fernando Alonso brought his own example in Melbourne into the discussion. “And I haven't even touched Gutierrez. Just changing lanes at short notice meant that I was thrown into the wall. ”
After the protests of the majority of drivers, Charlie Whiting couldn't help but answer with clarification. In the event of an accident, FIA President Jean Todt would have blamed him for it. Especially since the FIA sees itself as the guardian of security. Since Jules Bianchi's accident, people no longer want to make themselves vulnerable. Ignoring a potential risk with announcement would be political suicide.