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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2023

FIA prohibit Abu Dhabi pit lane exit overtakes

Following some controversial overtakes in the pit lane exit in Abu Dhabi on Friday, the FIA has intervened to ensure there isn't a repeat during qualifying.

Abu Dhabi pit lane
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Following controversial overtakes in the pit lane exit during Friday practice in Abu Dhabi, the FIA has outlawed the move ahead of qualifying.

The second practice session at the Yas Marina Circuit was heavily disrupted as two red flags were deployed following crashes for Carlos Sainz and Nico Hulkenberg.

Sainz's crash caused a 27-minute stoppage to the session while the clock continued to tick down, limiting running time for the drivers.

Half of the competitors were experiencing the car for the first time that weekend as 10 substitute drivers took part in FP1 as part of Formula 1's rules regarding rookie practice outings.

When the sessions resumed after the red flags, traffic in the pit lane was busy as cars jostled for track position.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen was highlighted for his moves on both Mercedes drivers as they exited the pit lane, getting close to the walls that form Abu Dhabi's unique pit exit.

"They have to get out of the way," Verstappen said. "They're all driving slowly and I just wanted to get out there because we didn't have much time.

"They keep driving in the middle and when I try to pass them they cut me off."

The three-time World Champion wasn't the only driver who squeezed past rivals in the pit lane and now the FIA has intervened to ensure a repeat doesn't happen during qualifying.

In updated notes from FIA Race Director Niels Wittich, he stated that ”overtaking is prohibited in the pit exit road unless a car slows with an obvious problem”.

This is not set to apply in the Grand Prix, when overtaking in the pit entry and exit is allowed even under Virtual or full Safety Car conditions, as outlined by the Sporting Regulations.

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