The FIA have imposed stricter measures on drivers who drive slowly when not on a flying lap for practice and qualifying. Slow driving is a particular problem in Baku due to the high-speed end to the lap with a flat out section from the exit of Turn 16 through to Turn 1.
Getting a slipstream is a a major benefit in Azerbaijan so the drivers often fight for position in qualifying to ensure they are behind another car. The last Azerbaijan GP, Mercedes caught their rivals off guard by sending Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas out to the end of the pitlane, before stopping so that everyone else overtook them.
"At no time may a car be driven unnecessarily slowly, erratically or in a manner which could be deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers or any other person," warned race director Michael Masi.
"For reasons of safety, during each practice session, acts such as weaving across the track to hinder another car may be referred to the stewards."
The new regulations have highlighted slow driving in the final part of the lap after the final braking zone. In the dry, the final four corners are flat out meaning that Turn 16 is the final braking zone.
Masi has stated that anyone who drives slowly after Turn 16 could be penalised in practice of in qualifying.
"During any practice session, any driver intending to create a gap in front of him in order to get a clear lap should not attempt to do this between the entry to Turn 17 through to the exit of Turn 20," said Masi.
"Any driver seen to have done this will be reported to the stewards as being in breach of Article 27.4 of the Sporting Regulations."