F1 »

Q&A: Charlie Whiting, F1 race director - Pt. 1

F1 race director Charlie Whiting chats about the new rules ahead of the 2012 F1 season

F1 race director Charlie Whiting talks us through the major changes to the 2012 Sporting and Technical regulations and explains the reasons behind the various decisions ahead of the start of the new season in Australia this weekend. He begins by looking at the Sporting regulations...



Sporting Regulations

Q:
Why has a four-hour total time limit been put on Grand's Prix?

Charlie Whiting:
Last season the race in Montreal went on for four hours and four minutes. A race really should not go on longer than that. Should four hours elapse during a future race, drivers will receive a signal telling them they have one more lap before the chequered flag.

Q:
Race stewards will now be able to investigate an incident without first reporting it to the race director. Why is the system changing?

Charlie Whiting:
In the past stewards might see something suspect and alert the race director. He would look at the incident and request the stewards investigate. It was a process that consumed a lot of time. If they identify something worth investigating, there's nothing wrong with them taking a look and then giving the race director an opinion. It should make the process less cumbersome.

Q:
Drivers are now instructed to not deliberately leave the track without good reason. Why?

Charlie Whiting:
We've seen drivers taking shortcuts on in and out laps, either to save time or fuel. We could put up barriers to stop them exploiting short cuts but it usually looks stupid! The rules say the drivers should use the track. If they don't, they will need to justify their actions. It also follows that safety will be improved as other drivers are more likely to know that a car has left the track for a good reason.

Q:
The 'one-move' rule on defending a position has been reinstated. Has there been a problem with dangerous blocking in the last few seasons?

Charlie Whiting:
This isn't really a new overtaking rule, rather we've put into the regulations what was an unwritten rule. A driver can make one move only to defend a position – but when that driver then moves back onto the racing line to take a corner it can be construed as a second move, which is not allowed. It's a matter of deciding to what degree resuming the original line is acceptable. We don't want to get into silly arguments about centimetres so we've decided the defending driver must leave at least one car width on the racing line otherwise he will be judged to have made a second move and penalised accordingly. We need to have drivers giving each other space on the track – otherwise we risk dangerous collisions.

Q:
Previously cars needed to pass crash tests before racing. Now they have to pass before testing. Why?

Charlie Whiting:
Safety cannot be compromised. It is indefensible to have drivers testing cars in the winter that haven't met the safety standards we demand for a race. The teams resisted this for quite a while, telling me it would be impossible to get the crash tests done before the first test. It came as no great surprise that nearly everybody managed it. However, as we have seen, two teams failed to pass all their crash tests in good time and were subsequently unable to participate any of the pre-season testing in Jerez and Barcelona (both of these teams have now passed all the required tests).

Q:
Why are drivers now allowed more than three sets of tyres for FP1 and FP2 on Fridays?

Charlie Whiting:
Each driver still gets eleven sets for the weekend and three still have to be given back on Friday evening and another two after FP3 on Saturday. This has not changed. We are, however, allowing teams to use more than three of their eleven sets on Fridays to give them the opportunity to do more running on the first day of practice should they wish to do so. As an example they might expect Saturday to be wet and want to get more running in beforehand on a dry track. It is to the benefit of everyone that they are allowed to run as much as they want during the Friday sessions.

Q:




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
24.03.2011- Charlie Whiting (GBR), Race director and safety delegate
11.09.2011- Race, Charlie Whiting (GBR), Race director and safety delegate  and Franz Tost, Scuderia Toro Rosso, Team Principal
26.03.2011- Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 and Charlie Whiting (GBR), Race director and safety delegate
10.07.2011- Race, Charlie Whiting (GBR), Race director and safety delegate  and Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of Formula One Management
24.09.2011- Qualifying, Charlie Whiting (GBR), Race director and safety delegate

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.