Formula 1 drivers have been provided a set of specific instructions relating to practice starts for this weekend’s Eifel Grand Prix in response to the penalty Lewis Hamilton picked up at Sochi.

Hamilton’s chances of winning the Russian Grand Prix and matching Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of 91 race victories in F1 were dashed when he received a 10-second time penalty for breaching practice start rules before the race.

The Mercedes driver drove out of the pits and stopped near the very exit of the pitlane adjacent to the right-hand kink of Turn 1 at Sochi before conducting his practice starts during the pre-race reconnaissance laps to the grid.

In a bid to avoid confusion and prevent a repeat from occurring during F1’s first visit to the Nurburgring in seven years, the FIA has given drivers specific details of where they are allowed to perform their practice starts ahead of the race.

“During each practice session, practice starts may only be carried out on the right-hand side prior to the derestriction line indicated by the white grid marking,” a notice issued by F1 race director Michael Masi read.

“Drivers wishing to carry out a practice start should stop on the right in order to allow other cars to pass on their left.

“During the time the pit exit is open for the race, practice starts may be carried out after the end of the pit wall and adjacent to the orange band on the right-hand side barrier.

“Drivers wishing to carry out a practice start should stop on the right in order to allow other cars to pass on their left. During this time any driver passing a car which has stopped to carry out a practice start may cross the white line.

“Any driver crossing this line must move back to the right of it as quickly as possible. For reasons of safety and sporting equity, cars may not stop in the fast lane at any time the pit exit is open without a justifiable reason (a practice start is not considered a justifiable reason).”

 

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