New driver conduct rule not a 'gag order' - IndyCar boss Mark Miles

IndyCar insists that a new tightening of its rules relating to driver conduct is not a gag order

New driver conduct rule not a 'gag order' - IndyCar boss Mark Miles

The series was greeting widespread criticism from paddock figures and commentators almost immediately after announcing the addition of Rule 9.3.8 to its regulations.

In full, the new rule states that:









The open-ended wording of the rule, along with the lack of clarity about the types of sanctions that might be imposed if IndyCar determines that there has been a breach, opened the door to criticism that drivers will no longer be allowed to speak their minds.

The rule's introduction follows a recent warning from series boss Mark Miles that the series would no longer tolerate the type of criticism that it received in the immediate aftermath of the , and there were fears that the relatively benign pitlane spat between last weekend would also fall within the scope of the new rule.

But just hours after the new rule was announced, Miles issued a follow-up statement insisting that the rule will be applied sparingly.

"This rule is not a gag order," he said.

"We recognise that controversy, tension and drama all have a place in motorsport today.

"Our drivers are competitors and we have no interest in eliminating the emotion and passion that is an integral part of our sport - or limit the content for media covering IndyCar.

"As an example, some have speculated that the exchange between Ed Carpenter and Sage Karam last Saturday at Iowa Speedway would result in penalty under this new rule - that is not the case.

"We feel exchanges of that manner do not cross the line and instead highlight the intensity of IndyCar Series competition.

"We feel it's our responsibility to distinguish between irresponsible statements that damage the sport or its competitors and the intense competitive nature of the series.

"This rule is to ensure we have authority to act when we feel it is required."

AUTOSPORT SAYS
Mark Glendenning, IndyCar correspondent (@m_glendenning)

When we all woke up on Tuesday morning, IndyCar was cresting a small wave: the last three races have all shown substantial spikes in TV figures compared with 12 months ago, it had an all-American top four last weekend at Iowa (which is a big deal in this part of the world), and it has Sage Karam doing his best to become the new Paul Tracy.

There's a lot to be excited about, and it would take a special talent for self-sabotage to muddy the water.

So, naturally, the series goes ahead an announces a poorly-defined rule that is only ever going to be interpreted one way, and attracts such a fall-out that it has to scramble into damage control mode that same afternoon.

Talk about peeing in your own swimming pool.

I like IndyCar a lot. And while I don't agree with every decision that comes out of head office, I think that it is doing a lot of positive things.

But everything about the way this new rule was implemented is dumb, and somebody in the ranks should have known better.

shares
comments
Graham Rahal eyeing IndyCar title bid after Iowa recovery
Previous article

Graham Rahal eyeing IndyCar title bid after Iowa recovery

Next article

CART champion Alex Zanardi wants to make Indianapolis 500 debut

CART champion Alex Zanardi wants to make Indianapolis 500 debut
Load comments
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021 Plus

Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021

In an enthralling 2021 IndyCar campaign, the series bounced back from its COVID-19 truncated year prior and Alex Palou defeated both the established order and his fellow young guns to clinch a maiden title. It capped a remarkable season with plenty of standout performers

IndyCar
Nov 21, 2021
How F1's other IndyCar exile finally unlocked his potential Plus

How F1's other IndyCar exile finally unlocked his potential

Romain Grosjean's swashbuckling rookie year in IndyCar captured the imagination of many in 2021. But another ex-Formula 1 driver whose potential was masked by five years of toil in, at best, middling machinery also enjoyed a breakout year in 2021 - winning twice and finishing sixth in points. Here's how Marcus Ericsson finally delivered on his promise

IndyCar
Nov 16, 2021
How Ganassi's relentless new champion outfoxed IndyCar's best Plus

How Ganassi's relentless new champion outfoxed IndyCar's best

IndyCar sophomore Alex Palou stunned by overcoming team-mate Scott Dixon and the rest of a white-hot field in 2021. He was consistently fast and crucially showed a level head, rebounding well from setbacks to put himself in a near unassailable position entering the final round

IndyCar
Nov 4, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Plus

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Despite appearing to have an IndyCar job for life with Meyer Shank Racing, Jack Harvey’s departure and move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate. However, Harvey's and RLL's combined strengths could prove to be a winning combination - if they get the balance right

IndyCar
Oct 17, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win Plus

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win

Saturday 16 October marks the 10th anniversary of Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Plus

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong junior career and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star Plus

Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star

Newly-crowned IndyCar champion Alex Palou has been lauded as a complete driver and veteran-like in only his second season. The 24-year-old is still in the early days of his career, but the parallels are there for all to see with his six-time champion Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate who has been CGR's team leader since 2014

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Plus

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets is now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021