FIA React to McLaren's Spa Tactics

Formula One's governing body the FIA has made a clarification in the safety car regulations following McLaren's use of clever tactics to gain advantage at the last race in Belgium

FIA React to McLaren's Spa Tactics

Juan Pablo Montoya and Kimi Raikkonen were lying first and second when the safety car was called out and Raikkonen slowed the field as Montoya stopped to enable the team to clear the pit for him.

But the move appears to have upset the FIA and the governing body released a statement ahead of Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix to clarify the situation.

The FIA said: "After the teams have been informed the safety car will be deployed, any car driven at a pace we consider unnecessarily slow and that could endanger other drivers, will be reported to the stewards.

"This will apply to cars being driven on the track, the pit entry and the pit lane."

Raikonnen crawled to almost a standstill as he entered the pits at Spa, with the rest of the field bunched up heavily behind him, and Monotya had been released by the time he arrived at the pit bay.

The move enabled both drivers to come out of the pits without the usual time penalty of the second car waiting while their rivals all cost vital seconds in their stops.

Speaking before the clarification was issued McLaren team boss Ron Dennis said: "We handled it off the pit wall, it was just a little bit like a play book.

"The beauty that you have if you are lying first and second in a Grand Prix in those sorts of incidences is that you are able to facilitate that strategy.

"There are some things we use our simulation to trigger an action, there are some that is just written playbook, this happens, you do this, which was the case in Spa.

"But Spa was a very long lap so we were able to execute it in such a way that it was apparent to even the most innocent and un-knowledgeable people that it was a pretty smart thing to do."

Too smart, it seems, for the FIA, whose clarification means they can now consider action against teams opting a similar strategy in any of the races in the future.

Dennis claimed the long track at Spa-Francorchamps enabled them to execute the perfect strategy but admitted a similar move on a shorter circuit would be more difficult and could cause problems.

"On a shorter lap, and according to where it all took place, that would be a bit harder to execute," he added. "But I think they both did a pretty good job."

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