FIA intends to reduce use of black-and-orange flag warnings –

FIA intends to reduce use of black-and-orange flag warnings -

Instead, the onus will be on the teams to ensure that their cars operate in a safe manner even after damage in incidents and then prove that this is the case to in-competition inquiries raised by the governing body.

The black-and-orange flag is used as an instruction to competitors ordering them to pit for repairs if they suffer damage and their continued participation is deemed unsafe, with drivers required to come in at the end of the lap after they receive the warning.

Its use in the 2022 season has made headlines since the 2022 US Grand Prix after the Haas team protested Red Bull’s results. Sergio Perez and Alpine driver Fernando Alonso because it was believed that they had each finished the race running with damage, breaking safety rules.

This followed a Haas driver Kevin Magnussen receiving the black-and-orange flag instruction at three races earlier in 2022 – Canada, Hungary and Singapore – after he sustained damage to his front wing endplate in each of those races that left the part swinging loose.

This was deemed unsafe by the FIA ​​officials at those races and he duly came in for repairs.

But Haas was incensed, feeling that it was being treated differently to other teams in this matter, when that was not the case for Perez in the race at Austin (his damaged end plate fell off five laps after his opening tour contact with Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas) and Alonso finished the race despite running for several laps with his right side mirror bouncing loose and then falling off.

Haas’s protest against Perez was rejected because Red Bull supplied photos to the FIA ​​to show that the clipped end plate defect did not move unsafely, which the FIA ​​accepted and the stewards agreed with that call.

But the American squad’s protest against Alonso was initially found to be acceptable and he was later given a 30-second penalty which cost him his seventh place last weekend.

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522, collides with Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR22

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522, collides with Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR22

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Pictures

This was later canceled following a long saga into the decisions surrounding why Haas’ protest was allowed to continue in the first place.

In the announcement that Alonso’s Austin penalty had been overturned, it was revealed that FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem had initiated a review into the future use of the black-and-orange flag. understands that this was achieved in unanimous agreement with the F1 teams and follows the Austin stewards stating that they were “concerned” that Alonso was allowed to continue to lap with his wing mirror hanging loose.

This is central to the controversy over the use of the black-and-orange flag in 2022, as the incidents involving Magnussen followed the wording of the rule surrounding its usage in the FIA’s sporting code, but confusion and anger followed after it did not. shown to Alonso at the Circuit of the Americas.

The FIA ​​International Sporting Code on the use of the flag states: “This flag should be used to inform the driver concerned that his car has mechanical problems likely to endanger himself or others and means that he must stop at his pit stop on the next lap .

“When the mechanical problems are corrected to the satisfaction of the chief inspector, the car can rejoin the race.”

The use of a black-and-orange flag was discussed at a meeting of the F1 team principals at the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit ahead of opening practice for the 2022 Mexico City GP on Friday.

The ongoing discussion concerns how the flag will be used at future events, with the understanding that officials are now less inclined to automatically give the warning because F1 teams have so much data to prove that a part, even if damaged, does not suddenly suddenly. become a safety issue.

This leaves F1 in a different arrangement with other categories covered by the ISC, where the corresponding lack of data means that drivers can run unaware that they have a defect and thus the onus is on race officials to make them stop for repairs to ensure safety.

It is understood that no rule changes for F1 are planned as a result of the FIA ​​review, with the governing body instead set to leave the onus on the teams to ensure their cars operate in safe ways at all times – although it will intervene. and make immediate inquiries in cases where damage is clearly visible.

One problem with this approach could be where disagreements arise about how safe damaged cars are still following incidents such as Alonso’s with Lance Walk at Austin, with competitors naturally inclined to push the limits of the rules and other teams likely opposed to gain a competitive advantage.

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