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FIA to implement new procedural measures following Suzuka start incidents

The governing body conducted a thorough analysis of the start incidents in the wake of calls from drivers, teams and fans who expressed their concerns after a near-miss with a recovery vehicle.

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The FIA has completed its review into the start incidents at the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix, announcing new revisions to its procedures and the deployment of safety vehicles and marshals on track.

A review was conducted immediately in the aftermath of the chaos by the FIA's Remote Operations Centre (ROC) in Geneva.

This was overseen by FIA Deputy President for Sport Robert Reid, with the findings based on the FIA’s critical reflection process, feedback from the GPDA and drivers including George Russell and Pierre Gasly.

The race was red flagged after three laps when Carlos Sainz aquaplaning off in the rainy conditions.

In an attempt to recover Sainz's stricken Ferrari, a crane was sent out on track while the cars were still circulating under Safety Car. This led to numerous near-misses in the poor visibility, including Gasly who expressed his anger along with several other drivers post-race.

The FIA has now determined that recovery vehicles were sent "premature" in heavy rain at Suzuka and will change its procedures with immediate effect.

As a result of the review, for the final four races of the 2022 season the FIA will no longer rotate the Race Director roles between Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas.

Wittich will assume the position of Race Director with the support of Race Control staff from this weekends US Grand Prix onwards.

The wording of the regulations relating to points distribution based on race distance covered will also be revisited to provide "further clarity during the next review of the Sporting Regulations" according to the FIA.

Wet weather tyres to be assessed and pit exit to be closed under Safety Car

As part of the new measures the FIA has said analysis into the performance of wet weather tyres is currently ongoing between the FIA Technical Department and the official tyre manufacturer Pirelli.

"The FIA Technical Department is working on a project related to wet weather tyres to assist the tyre manufacturer going forward in relation to the characteristics of the tyres for extreme wet track conditions," says the report.

There will also be a review into the closing of pit exit during a Safety Car period for 2023, with them opting to only open it for a short period each time the train of cars pass.

The report states: "It is noted that this could be implemented at the discretion of Race Control, dependent upon track condition and/or the specific requirements of an intervention."

After Sainz's car dragged an advertising hoarding onto the track when his car impacted with the tyre barrier, the FIA say the "fixing of advertising boards, their construction, location and materials is constantly under review by the Circuit Commission."

    Race control procedures to be updated

    The FIA says a live Virtual Safety Car and Safety Car monitoring window which will display the status of all cars on track, behind the Safety Car, and in the pits to be used by Race Control and the ROC will be in place from this weekends race at Austin.

    A better allocation of tasks across the Race Control team under Safety Car and Virtual Safety car will be implemented, specially the FIA say: "the delegation of monitoring of cars entering the pit lane under Safety Car conditions and the consequent length of the Safety Car train."

    The implementation of a 'Dynamic Virtual Safety Car' is also being investigated for 2023 that would change the delta speed required in the sectors where there is an incident, to aid drivers in knowing where incidents have been declared on track.

    F1 2022 United States Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


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