New rules will prevent Formula 2 and Formula 3 drivers benefitting from causing red flags in qualifying sessions next year.
The updated regulations for the Formula 2 and the FIA Formula 3 championships state that any drivers who cause red flags during qualifying face losing their quickest lap times and being barred from continuing in the session. Similar rules have long been used in IndyCar and other series to remove any incentive for drivers to cause a red flag in order to disadvantage their rivals.
The updated F2 and F3 rules state “any driver who in the opinion of the stewards is the sole cause of the issuance of a red flag during the qualifying practice session will not be permitted to take any further part in the session and their fastest lap time during the session may be deleted” for 2024.
The FIA has also removed from the regulations the ability for teams to appeal against the deletion of lap times in qualifying.
Drivers causing red flags and benefiting from them has not been a significant issue in F2 and F3. However it has arisen several times in F1 in recent seasons and two years ago the FIA indicated it was considering adopting IndyCar’s rule.
That year Charles Leclerc secured pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix when he crashed out of Q3. The stewards examined the incident but decided the Ferrari driver had not crashed deliberately.
The following year Sergio Perez crashed in the dying moments of Q3 at the same circuit which meant he started ahead of his team mate Max Verstappen who was on course to improve his pace before red flags waved. “That shouldn’t be allowed,” Verstappen told his team afterwards.
Other regulations changes for F2 and F3 include an option to use the championship standings to set the grid if neither practice nor qualifying take place. Drivers are also being the opportunity to make two reconnaissance laps before taking their position on the grid for races.
Race directors have also been given more freedom in their interactions with competitors, being allowed to summon teams at any teams for meetings rather than in specific windows during the weekend so as not to be disruptive to garage activities. However that could lead to teams being summoned to race control after they have left the track at the end of a weekend.
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