On the back of the protest which wasn’t a protest at the Japanese Grand Prix two weeks ago, the FIA have stepped in to clarify and strengthen the rules for moving under breaking while defending from another car.
Max Verstappen was singled out as being the biggest culprit, and was heavily criticised during the drivers meeting this week for his defending tactics. It was brought to a head in Japan, where the Dutchman openly said that he waited for a move by Lewis Hamilton in able to react to it, rather than making a single move. Although Mercedes initially put in a protest, it was withdrawn, but has been revisited in Austin to clarify those rules, clamping down on such behaviour.
A note supplied by Charlie Whiting confirmed: “Article 27.5 of the Sporting Regulations states that “…no car may be driven…in a manner which could be potentially dangerous to other drivers…”, furthermore, Article 27.8 prohibits any manoeuvre “…liable to hinder other drivers, such as…any abnormal change of direction”.
“With this in mind, and with the exception of any move permitted by Article 27.6, any change of direction under braking which results in another driver having to take evasive action will be considered abnormal and hence potentially dangerous to other drivers. Any such move will be reported to the stewards.”
Although the rule has been clarified, not specific action has attributed to it, which could range from a time penalty to exclusion.