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FIA warns drivers against driving too slowly in Melbourne

FIA warns drivers against driving too slowly in Melbourne

31-03-2023 11:10 Last update: 12:05


At Melbourne's Albert Park circuit, F1 drivers reach high top speeds, reaching above 300 kilometres per hour along the start-finish straight; at the speed trap, it can even be well over 320 kilometres per hour. Therefore, cars driving too slowly can cause considerable danger to the rest of the grid.

Due to the potentially substantial speed differences, the race directors issued a ruling on Friday evening (local time) stating that drivers must drive around the Melbourne circuit in a minimum time during their setup, in-laps, and warm-up laps. Race director Niels Wittich declared that this minimum lap time would be a time of 1.35.0.

Lack of clarity on penalties

The FIA has not clarified what will happen if drivers do not comply with the rule, but penalties could be handed out if drivers cannot meet these requirements. Incidentally, it is not unique for race control to make decisions like this. At high-speed circuits like Monza, the risk of accidents are also high if speeds vary. In Italy, there are usually warnings as well.

For the first time in Melbourne, there are four DRS zones this year, resulting in higher average speeds. The organisers of the Australian Grand Prix presume that this year's race will be the fastest ever on the continent.