FIA introduces new pitlane rules to manage F1 traffic

FIA introduces new pitlane rules to manage F1 traffic

FIA has introduced new pitlane rules at the Monaco Grand Prix in an attempt to prevent cars from jumping queue during qualifying.

Formula 1 race director Niels Wittich has introduced new pitlane rules for managing traffic in this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix as the venue holds one of the smallest and perhaps crowded pit lane layouts of the season.

This comes after a number of cars were found to force their way into the line of traffic waiting on pit lane as a result of drivers trying to open gaps with the traffic around them as they exit instead of slowing down on the circuit.

There may be some frantic scrambling for position as drivers try to avoid being left at the back of the fleet of cars since it could prevent them from completing their laps. It’s anticipated that the situation on Saturday will be particularly tight considering Monaco is the shortest circuit of the season and avoiding traffic is an essential advantage when it comes to delivering a perfect lap time.

It is already expected that drivers will exit the pits in the same order that they enter the fast lane. However, cars heading out of the line have been attempting to jam themselves in to avoid having to wait for the other cars in the queue to move along.

Teams have now received new rules which are intended to give them additional clarity regarding the order in which cars line up, stating that drivers can only claim a spot if their front wheel has crossed the solid yellow line.

“It is noted that a car will be considered to be ‘in the fast lane’ when a tyre has crossed the solid [yellow] line separating the fast lane from the inner lane, in this context crossing means that all of a tyre should be beyond the far side, with respect to the garages, of the line separating the fast lane from the inner lane,” Wittich said in the revised event notes for the Monaco Grand Prix.

He went on to state that besides the standard directive that requires drivers to merge into the fast lane as soon as possible without impeding other cars, drivers also have the right to find a gap if one popped up.

Wittich added: “Thus, after the start or re-start of a free practice session, qualifying session, or sprint qualifying session, if there is a suitable gap in a queue of cars in the fast lane, such that a driver can blend into the fast lane safely and without unnecessarily impeding cars already in the fast lane, they are free to do so.”

The new guidance ensures that drivers are certain there is a gap big enough for them to get their entire front wheel across the line rather than trying to ‘bully’ other drivers into allowing them pull out.

This is to avoid a scenario in which a driver attempts to force his way out but the car in the fast lane refuses to yield, which could result in a dangerous incident that could have an impact on how the session is conducted.

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