FIA removes force majeure allowance

By Ubaid Parkar, 5 December 2012
© Vladimir Rys/Getty Images/Red Bull Racing

In order to avoid scenarios similar to that at the Spanish and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix this season, the FIA has scrapped the regulation that provides teams to reason with ‘force majeure’ for failing to complete their in-laps.

At the two events, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel failed to return to the pits and stopped their cars on the track during qualifying. McLaren’s ‘force majeure’ was rejected at Catalunya however Red Bull’s similar reason was accepted in Abu Dhabi.

Both drivers, however, were found to be running in cars with insufficient fuel and consequently against the regulations. As a result, they were penalised by having their qualifying times struck off and were pushed to the back of the grid at the respective races.

In a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) on Friday, the governing body declared the “deletion of the ‘force majeure’ allowance” to ensure that the rules regarding cars stopping on the track during qualifying are clear.

It added that “the FIA will determine how much fuel the car would have used to get back to the pits and add it to the one litre sample minimum.”

Several other technical regulations were changed as well, which included the introduction of more stringent front wing deflection tests, minor changes to the front roll structure design and increase in the minimum weight to compensate for an increase in tyre weight for 2013.

Also, all chassis will now have higher static loads applied to them - formerly only one chassis was tested to the higher loads with subsequent chassis being tested to 20 percent lower proof loads.


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