The FIA is set to amend the F1 Sporting Regulations after admitting there was a lack of clarity concerning what should have happened on the last lap in Monaco.
Race control sent out a messages saying the safety car was coming in and green flags were waved, and Mercedes – with some justification – claimed that meant the safety car was no longer deployed (as the rules stated) and the cars could race.
Since the track was clear at Rascasse there appears to be no reason why the drivers should not have raced on the last lap, considering that in 2010 they can race from the safety car line at a normal restart.
This appears to be a rare admission from the FIA that it got something wrong.
I understand that there is a chance that the rules could be amended to allow racing from the safety car line if, as in Monaco, the track is clear and the safety car comes in because of that, rather than when it comes in purely to allow the cars to drive across the start/finish line for TV. In the latter case as before no overtaking will be allowed if the track is still ‘yellow.’
The rules will be discussed by the Sporting Working Group in Turkey, for possible clarification at an F1 Commission meeting after Canada. So in theory the European GP will be the first race where any formal amendment will apply. However, clearly the teams are now fully aware of what the current interpretation is.
A statement read as follows: “The problems identified during the final lap of the Monaco Grand Prix, counting for the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship, showed a lack of clarity in the application of the rule prohibiting overtaking behind the Safety Car.
“Adjustments to the regulations are necessary to clarify the procedure that cars must meet when the last lap is controlled by the Safety Car whilst also ensuring that the signaling for teams and drivers is made more clear.
“These adjustments will help to avoid the problem which occurred during the Monaco Grand Prix from happening in the future.
“The Formula One Commission, upon a proposal of the F1 Sporting Working Group will submit an amendment to the Sporting Regulations to address this issue. These amendments will be considered by the World Motor Sport Council at its next meeting in Geneva on June 23.”