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FIA changes regulations around safety car after Abu Dhabi GP

FIA changes regulations around safety car after Abu Dhabi GP

15-03-2022 19:00 Last update: 19:51


After the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, there was a big discussion because of Michael Masi's decisions. The FIA has now changed the rule around overtaking the safety car so that there will be no confusion in the future.

During the all-decisive race in Abu Dhabi, where it looked like Lewis Hamilton would run away with the title victory, Nicholas Latifi crashed into the wall in the final laps, bringing out a safety car.

Max Verstappen decided to come in for a set of new tyres, but as a result got stuck behind some of the lapped drivers. Normally, all drivers who are a lap behind are allowed to unlap themselves, but now that exception was only made for the drivers between the cars of Hamilton and Verstappen. This caused a lot of fuss, because Verstappen ended up right behind the Mercedes and had the chance to overtake him during the last lap.

FIA adapts safety car regulations

According to experts and fans, Masi did not follow the rules. The FIA has now reacted by adjusting the regulations around the safety car. Now all cars that are a lap behind will be allowed to pass the safety car. The regulations previously stated 'any cars,' and not 'all cars,' which in Abu Dhabi led to Masi ordering only some drivers to pass the safety car. That interpretation will not be accepted from now on.

"If the clerk of the course considers it safe to do so, and the message “LAPPED CARS MAY NOW OVERTAKE” has been sent to all Competitors using the official messaging system, all cars that have been lapped by the leader will be required to pass the cars on the lead lap and the safety car," it now states in the official regulations.