The FIA has relaxed the rules for drivers who collide with each other during a race, as there will be no penalty handed out unless it is absolutely clear who is at fault. 

The ruling comes as a result of many controversial decisions during the 2016 season where inconsistent decisions were being made almost on a weekly basis.

The Mexican Grand Prix saw two adjustments to the final podium positions due to Max Verstappen impeding Sebastian Vettel, while Vettel himself moved under braking in front of Daniel Ricciardo and was subsequently penalised.

In Malaysia, Nico Rosberg was handed a five-second time penalty for “forcing another driver [Kimi Raikkonen] off track” as he was making his way through the field, a decision Mercedes team principal labelled “complete nonsense”.

Discussions were held last week between the F1 Commission and the World Motor Sport Council, and it has been agreed that drivers will face punishment from the Stewards if they are “wholly” to blame for the incident.

The race Stewards have also been told that it will be entirely their choice if they wish to investigate incidents reported to them by the race director.

A revised article 38.2 a) states: “It shall be at the discretion of the stewards to decide if any driver involved in an incident should be penalised.

“Unless it is clear to the stewards that a driver was wholly or predominantly to blame for an incident no penalty will be imposed.”

Image via XPB Images

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Josh Kruse

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