The FIA has clarified the regulations surrounding the use of defensive driving moves in the 2012 F1 season.
Having announced late last year that 'drivers may no longer move back onto the racing line having moved off it to defend a position', the governing body has now clarified the ruling after the release of the sporting rules for the 2012 campaign.
In it, the FIA reveals that a driver will be allowed to make just one move to defend position from a rival and must then ensure that they leave space if they make a move back towards the racing line.
“More than one change of direction to defend a position is not permitted,” article 20.3 of the regulations reads. “Any driver moving back towards the racing line, having earlier defended his position off-line, should leave at least one car width between his own car and the edge of the track on the approach to the corner.”
The new sporting regulations also confirmed how the new safety car regulations – whereby lapped cars will be allowed to overtake the safety car and rejoin the rear of the field – will be enforced.
“If the clerk of the course considers it safe to do so, and the message 'LAPPED CARS MAY NOW OVERTAKE' is shown on the timing monitors, any cars that have been lapped by the leader will be required to pass the cars on the lead lap and the safety car,” the regulations state. “This will only apply to cars that were lapped at the time they crossed the Line at the end of the lap during which they crossed the first Safety Car line for the second time after the safety car was deployed.
“Having overtaken the cars on the lead lap and the safety car these cars should then proceed around the track at an appropriate speed, without overtaking, and take up position at the back of the line of cars behind the safety car. Whilst they are overtaking, and in order to ensure this may be carried out safely, the cars on the lead lap must always stay on the racing line unless deviating from it is unavoidable.
“If the clerk of the course considers track conditions are unsuitable for overtaking the message 'OVERTAKING WILL NOT BE PERMITTED' will be shown on the timing monitors.”