Masi: FIA to take stricter line on F1 first lap contact

FIA race director Michael Masi has told Formula 1 drivers that there will be a stricter approach to first lap incidents this year, Autosport can reveal.

Masi: FIA to take stricter line on F1 first lap contact

There will be also less tolerance for moving in the braking area at any stage of a grand prix, or late moves in response to the car behind.

In recent years, the FIA has followed a “let them race” philosophy, and has usually made allowances for contact on the first lap, with instances being judged as racing incidents.

However, in the light of an ongoing discussion last season, there is now a greater likelihood that penalties will result, with Romain Grosjean’s crash in Bahrain also putting a greater focus on the subject.

“Based on some feedback and the ongoing discussions that we have with the drivers, and team sporting directors and team principals, there was a feeling under the let them race principle we needed to sort of dial that back a little bit regard to the first lap incidents,” Masi told Autosport.

“They will still be treated, let's call it, in a different way to incidents on any other lap of the race. So we're still taking a more liberal approach than what we would otherwise.

“However, not as liberal as probably we did last year. And that came about, literally, with feedback from the drivers and the teams through last year, who felt that we needed to just go back a notch. They didn't want to go back completely to the same, but dial it back a little bit.”

Masi discussed the matter in Friday evening’s drivers’ briefing in Bahrain, where he played videos of several examples, including contact between Charles Leclerc and Lance Stroll in Russia that put the latter out of the race.

“It's case by case,” said Masi. “So there were a couple of examples that were shared from last year of things that would have more likely resulted in penalties."

“I did use the one from Russia. So that was a very good example of something that would likely have resulted in a penalty. Having spoken to a few of the drivers about it, even before the Friday meeting, and after it, there was no qualms. I think they're all very much on board with that.”

 

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

In essence, the stricter approach is likely to apply to incidents that happen further round the lap than the first corner, when the field has begun to spread out a little.

“The incident in Russia was one that we said would not be tolerated," said Masi. "Lance was the car turned around, Charles was the aggressor, let's say. So that was a prime example.

“If you're in a group of cars, obviously, it's far more difficult to apportion where something sits. But if there's two cars on their lonesome, and someone is wholly or predominantly to blame, it’s likely that it will be looked at a bit closer and not as liberally as it has.

“Don't get me wrong. There's still, like with every incident, always an element of grey, you can't go black and white with any of them, because no two are the same.”

Masi also played videos of late moves in the braking area in order to demonstrate where the limits now are.

“With regards to movement under brakes, or late movement in reaction to the car behind, that's something the drivers themselves actually brought up a number of times through last year,” he said.

“They said this is something that we need to crack down on, more and more from a safety perspective. And we're continuing very much along that road, which they're all in favour of.

“So an example of that was Romain [Grosjean] and Daniel [Ricciardo] in Silverstone, which at the time was a reprimand. Sergio [Perez] and Pierre [Gasly] in Portugal was another one.

“So it's that late movement in reaction, which they all said needs to be absolutely cracked down on, and under brakes. That's something that we said we're going to take a much stricter view on.

“As I said to them, there's some of those things you can't clearly define in black and white, so to speak. But to be fair, all of them have said we know what we're talking about and we know when we're doing right or wrong.”

shares
comments
McLaren insists it has no disappointment with Bahrain GP qualifying form
Previous article

McLaren insists it has no disappointment with Bahrain GP qualifying form

Next article

Hamilton had expected F1 gap to Red Bull in Bahrain qualifying to be "double"

Hamilton had expected F1 gap to Red Bull in Bahrain qualifying to be "double"
Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone? Plus

Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone?

For the first time in many years, none of the local racers starts among the favourites for the British Grand Prix. But George Russell, Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris could have reasons for optimism

Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return

Max Verstappen is the world’s number one racing driver… and he’s determined to keep it that way. Speaking exclusively to GP Racing's OLEG KARPOV, the Red Bull driver explains why he’s relishing the 2022 championship battle with Charles Leclerc – and why he’s not worried about returning to Silverstone, the scene of the biggest accident of his career last year

Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team Plus

Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team

On Tuesday, Red Bull laid out its plans to develop and build a new hypercar - the RB17 - penned by Adrian Newey. As the project itself sates Newey as a creative outlet, it also offers Red Bull's Formula 1 team a number of new and exciting avenues to pursue

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone Plus

What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone

OPINION: The British Grand Prix is a home event for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, with their Mercedes team based just a few miles away too. But there’s another reason why the Silver Arrows squad is eager to arrive at Silverstone this weekend, which may help it fix its remaining problems with its 2022 Formula 1 challenger

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title Plus

The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title

After two terrifying crashes, one of the best British racers of the 1950s retired before his career peaked. But that’s why GP Racing’s MAURICE HAMILTON was able to speak to Tony Brooks in 2014. Like his friend Stirling Moss, Brooks was regarded as one of the best drivers never to have won the world championship. Here, as our tribute to Brooks who died last month, is that interview in full

Formula 1
Jun 27, 2022
Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised Plus

Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised

AlphaTauri’s mission in F1 is to sell clothes and train young drivers rather than win the championship – but you still need a cutting-edge factory to do that. Team boss Franz Tost takes GP Racing’s OLEG KARPOV on a guided tour of a facility that’s continuing to grow

Formula 1
Jun 26, 2022
Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons Plus

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons

Gilles Villeneuve's exploits behind the wheel of a Ferrari made him a legend to the tifosi, even 40 years after his death. The team's current Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc enjoys a similar status, and recently got behind the wheel of a very special car from the French-Canadian’s career

Formula 1
Jun 24, 2022
How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock Plus

How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock

Porpoising has become the key talking point during the 2022 Formula 1 season, as teams battle to come to terms with it. An FIA technical directive ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix and a second stay appearing on the Mercedes cars only served to create a bigger debate and raise tensions further

Formula 1
Jun 23, 2022