Kimi Raikkonen’s unpredictable penalty at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix has caused the FIA to bring about a change in their regulations before the Portuguese GP.
A crash between George Russell and Valtteri Bottas caused the race to be red flagged. Once the race resumed, a rolling start was announced which led to a lot of confusion for many teams.
On the lap before the restart, Raikkonen ended up spinning at Turn 3 which made him lose several positions. Raikkonen should have taken back his position but was instructed by Alfa Romeo to hold his place. This meant that he should have started the race from the pit lane.
Alfa Romeo asked race director Michael Masi for clarification but did not get a response. The stewards agreed that the regulations were contradictory, but it is mandatory to give a 10 second stop-go penalty.
As the penalty was issued after the race, it became a 30-second penalty which dropped Raikkonen from P9 to P13.
“As far as I know, nobody warned me on anything so I don’t know about it,” said Raikkonen of his penalty.
“Unfortunately, we then got this penalty that means we don’t get anything to show for it, but at least we can look positively at our performance.”
Masi explained how the team was left confused.
“The first lap after a break is an official race lap, but the rules of a formation lap apply,” Masi said.
“So if a driver loses his position, he may take it again as long as he manages to do so ahead of the Safety Car 1 line.”
It is expected that the FIA will fix these regulations before Formula 1 arrives at Portimao for the Portuguese Grand Prix.
According to a report by Auto Motor und Sport, Article 42.6 rules that Raikkonen should have started from the pit after failing to regain his position. This rule is expected to change and will be applied to a formation lap before a standing start.
In Imola, Article 42.6 conflicted Rule 42.12 which does not allow overtaking behind the safety car when the lights are switched off.
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