The FIA is set to introduce a ‘three strikes’ rule by the British GP to ensure that reprimands for drivers are no longer meaningless, this blog can reveal.
Last weekend in Spain Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Mark Webber all escaped with reprimands for going too quickly under yellows at the scene of Heikki Kovalainen’s accident.
When such penalties are handed out rivals often complain that they have no value, and thus are of little deterrent to those involved.
Now if a driver gets three reprimands in a season he will be handed a five-place grid penalty.
At least two of the offences must involve driving, as in theory reprimands can also be handed out for being late for the official drivers’ briefing or FIA press conference. Unusually, Paul di Resta received one for missing a weight check in Turkey.
The new system has been discussed by the FIA’s Sporting Working Group and now has to be passed by the F1 Commission and then signed off by the World Motor Sport Council, which is expected to be a formality.
If it is approved, it will be in operation from Silverstone onwards. In the interests of fairness previous reprimands earned this season will be forgotten, and everyone will start from zero.