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Formula 1 Azerbaijan GP

FIA agrees to new F1 red flag restart procedure

The FIA has implemented a new procedure for red flag restarts at Formula 1 races for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, confirming Autosport's initial reports.

A marshal waves a red flag

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

A late standing restart at the recent Australian Grand Prix led to chaos as drivers struggled on cold tyres, and that triggered a spate of collisions at the first corner that brought out a fresh red flag.

Following lengthy discussions in Friday night’s F1 drivers’ briefing in Azerbaijan, it is understood that Fernando Alonso suggested a tweak to procedures that could be brought in to play to help drivers better prepare for the restarts.

The idea is that rather than drivers being left with just a few corners to warm up their tyres ahead of a restart, that F1’s safety car departs earlier that has been normal up to now to give the race leader more control of the pace.

The idea was agreed among teams on Saturday morning and F1 race director Niels Wittich confirmed ahead of the Saturday sprint how the new procedures will work.

Rather than the safety car leading the field around for most of the lap before switching its lights off, it will now depart 30 seconds ahead of the pack.

The Safety Car Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, the rest of the field out of the pits for a restart

The Safety Car Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, the rest of the field out of the pits for a restart

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

An FIA spokesman confirmed: “This procedure will mean that the safety car will leave the pit lane and then immediately extinguish its lights so that when the field exits the pit lane 30 seconds later, the pace will be dictated by the lead car on the lap to the grid.

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“This updated procedure has been implemented to allow the drivers to manage their tyre temperatures more effectively ahead of the standing restart.”

While the new procedure is coming in to force for Baku, the FIA is looking at finding a more permanent solution beyond this weekend.

“The modification of the Event Notes is a temporary measure, and the FIA together with the teams and FOM will discuss potential options to update the regulations related to this topic as a permanent solution to this issue,” added the spokesman.

The new timings of the restart procedure are as below:

- 10 Minutes Signal

- 5 Minutes Signal

- 3 Minutes Signal

- 2 Minutes - lapped cars will leave the pit lane to complete one lap and return to the pit lane

- 1 Minute Signal

- 15 Seconds Signal

- Pit exit green light - SC will leave the pit lane with its lights on, lights will be extinguished after 1 second.

- 30 Seconds after the SC has left the pit lane, all drivers leave the pit lane and proceed to the grid without overtaking.

- Standing Start Procedure

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