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Russian Grand Prix 2021

Practice start guidance changed after Hamilton's penalties

Following Lewis Hamilton's penalties at last year's Russian Grand Prix, the instructions as to where F1 drivers can perform practice starts have been changed.

Hamilton Rusland
To news overview © Mercedes

F1 drivers have been given new guidance on how to perform practice starts throughout this weekend's Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom, after Lewis Hamilton was penalised twice at last year's event.

The Mercedes driver started the race from pole position, but his bid to win was derailed after he picked up two five-second penalties for performing practice starts outside of the designated area.

Hamilton performed the practice starts where the pit lane joins the track during his pre-race reconnaissance laps, which also led to him receiving two penalty points, though these were later cancelled, with Mercedes handed a €25,000 fine instead.

As a result, revised notes have been issued for the 2021 event.

Drivers have been told they can only perform practice starts "on the right-hand side immediately after the pit exit lights and, for the avoidance of doubt, this includes any time the pit exit is open for the race."

A further note adds: "For reasons of safety and sporting equity, at any time the pit exit is open and when practice starts are permitted to be carried out, any car who wishes to perform a practice start must form up in a line and leave in the order they got there unless another car is unduly delayed."

Following last year's Russian Grand Prix, Race Director Michael Masi provided more specific instructions regarding practice starts for the next race at the Nurburgring.

Also interesting:

Video: The secrets of the Sochi Autodrom circuit

Follow Rudy van Buren as he takes you on a flying lap around the Sochi Autodrom in Russia.

F1 2021 Russian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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