The F1 qualifying rule the FIA has reintroduced at the Japanese GP

FIA race director Niels Wittich has reimplemented the maximum time limit rule for all laps in qualifying ahead of the F1 Japanese Grand Prix. 
The F1 qualifying rule the FIA has reintroduced at the Japanese GP

F1 drivers were told ahead of qualifying at the Italian Grand Prix that they would have to maintain a maximum delta time for all of their laps to prevent potentially dangerous slow-lap queuing. 

The rule was not used during last weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix, where bunching up was an issue at the end of Q1 in the final sector of the lap at the Marina Bay Street Circuit. 

Several drivers including Max Verstappen were investigated for alleged impeding during the session but no penalties were issued, prompting Lando Norris to call on F1 to take a tougher stance on impeding

Ahead of this weekend’s race at Suzuka, Wittich wrote in his event notes: “For the safe and orderly conduct of the event, other than in exceptional circumstances accepted as such by the stewards, any driver that exceeds the maximum time from the second Safety Car line to the first Safety Car line on ANY lap during and after the end of the qualifying session, including in-laps and out-laps, may be deemed to be going unnecessarily slowly.” 

Ferrari pair Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were investigated for alleged rule breaches in qualifying at Monza but both escaped penalties. 

The FIA clarified that drivers “may” avoid sanctions in “exceptional circumstances” should they be able to present an acceptable explanation for their actions. 

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