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Formula 1 Miami GP

Alonso says FIA “on board” with new F1 driving standards guidelines on the way

Fernando Alonso says FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem is “on board” in helping drivers secure better penalty consistency in Formula 1, with new driving standards guidelines on the way.

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin F1 Team

The Aston Martin driver thrust the issue of penalties into the spotlight at the Miami Grand Prix when he suggested some drivers got away unpunished in incidents because they were “not Spanish.”

It came off the back of him earning penalties in the Australian Grand Prix and China sprint race for driving that he thought was within the boundaries of what is allowed, while he was annoyed that Lewis Hamilton got away with an aggressive first corner in the Miami sprint.

“I guess they won't decide anything, because he's not Spanish,” said Alonso immediately after the Saturday race when asked what the FIA would decide on Hamilton.

“But I think he ruined the race for a few people, especially Norris, who had a very fast car and he was out in that incident.”

Alonso was spotted deep in conversation with Ben Sulayem in Miami after making his remarks, and has said he is encouraged by the feedback he has got about things improving in the future.

“I spoke with him and he's always on board on every opinion that the drivers have,” said Alonso, when asked by Autosport how useful his chat with Ben Sulayem was.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President, FIA

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President, FIA

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

“He knows that we are the ones driving the cars and that we can have some suggestions on things.

“There are a couple of points that we need to address as a sport. But he has always listened to us. Let's see if we make F1 a better sport and a little bit more consistent.”

Autosport understands that the FIA is close to finalising the introduction of a clearer set of driver guidelines for F1 and other categories that will bring extra clarity to what is expected from them in how they behave.

Discussions have already taken place with interested parties, including the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA), to help pull together a document that will cover all aspects of racing – including overtaking, defending and track limits.

The plan is for the new guidelines to be in place for the start of 2025 when they will be enshrined in the International Sporting Code. They will be applied to all levels of racing to ensure greater consistency across all categories.

At the moment, the guidelines that F1 drivers are operating under primarily focus on who has the right to a corner, and must be left racing room, amid the fight for positions on the entry to a corner. They came into force at the start of 2022.

Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack, whose team had been unsuccessful in trying to seek a review of Alonso’s China sprint penalty, said that greater consistency would be welcomed by everyone in F1.

He said it was especially important for this season with stewards now handing out tougher 10-second penalties for driving offences as part of a new set of guidelines they were operating to.

“There's two elements there - one is obviously we want consistent judgements,” said Krack. “But on the other hand, we have also introduced new guidelines for this season - and sometimes maybe we fall foul also a bit to be stuck in the way we have been driving before.

“Sometimes you think they should be more consistent. But depending on which end [of the penalty] you are, obviously, you [have] a different interpretation of consistency.

“But I think everybody wants consistency. Everybody should look over the guidelines, including ourselves, and then we take a fresh start.”

Additional reporting by Filip Cleeren and Charles Bradley

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