Stewards are set to take a more lenient approach to incidents in F1 races this season following criticism of inconsistent penalty distribution throughout 2016.

The FIA has introduced a revision to article 38.2 of the sporting regulations designed to better clarify the actions of punishing a driver during a race incident.

"It shall be at the discretion of the stewards to decide if any driver involved in an incident should be penalised," the regulation now reads.

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

Stewards received criticism from drivers, teams and fans alike last season for levelling penalties that many argued could be better classified as 'a racing incident'.

However, it was the inconsistency of the penalty decisions that was particularly highlighted with drivers frustrated that interpretations varied race-to-race, with hopes the new format will encourage more aggressive but fair competition.

Additionally, drivers unable to take a drive-through/stop go penalty in a race due to a retirement will now have to serve it in the following race.

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