Formula 1 seeks to end 'force majeure' rule ambiguity

Formula 1 chiefs are considering revising the qualifying rules for next season to remove ambiguity over what is a justifiable reason for cars not completing their in-laps

Formula 1 seeks to end 'force majeure' rule ambiguity

At the moment, drivers have to make their way back to the pits under their own power unless there is a case of 'force majeure' that stops them.

In Abu Dhabi, Red Bull successfully argued that the fear of an engine failure caused by Sebastian Vettel potentially running out of fuel was a case of 'force majeure' - even though it was subsequently found that not enough petrol had gone into the car.

Earlier this year, Lewis Hamilton was thrown to the back of the grid at the Spanish Grand Prix after McLaren failed to put enough fuel in his car - and its pleas that this was 'force majeure' were not accepted.

The two situations prompted the matter to be talked about by teams at a meeting of the FIA's Technical Working Group last week - and it is likely the rules will be changed for 2013.

F1 race director Charlie Whiting said: "I think that episode has brought up a number of questions that have been addressed.

"We discussed it last week in the TWG and the consensus of opinion is to remove the term 'force majeure' and make it clear what is allowed and is not allowed.

"I think we will probably end up with a rule that doesn't mention force majeure and simply says that if you stop on the circuit you have to have enough fuel in the car.

"The FIA will calculate how much you would have used if you had completed the lap and, if it does not add up to 1.42 litres or whatever it is, that is that. That is a logical way of going about it, I think."

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Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
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