The FIA has updated a number of the Sporting Regulations to ensure absolute clarity on safety car rules heading into the 2022 season.
Among the changes, is a clear structure to follow in the case of the safety car being brought out on track – particularly when it comes to lapped cars during a Championship race.
As of today, Article 55.13 reads: “If the clerk of the course considers it safe to do so, and the message ‘LAPPED CARS MAY NOW OVERTAKE’ has been sent to all Competitors using the official messaging system, all cars that have been lapped by the leader will be required to pass the cars on the lead lap and the Safety Car.”
Prior to this amendment, the rule read “any” rather than “all” cars that have been lapped by the leader will be required to pass the cars on the lead lap and the Safety Car.
The change comes after last year’s season finale at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, when Lando Norris, Fernando Alonso, Esteban Ocon, Charles Leclerc, and Sebastian Vettel were given to go-ahead to unlap themselves in one of the most vital moments in Formula 1 title history.
The last-minute decision meant that the remaining three lapped cars of Daniel Ricciardo, Lance Stroll, Mick Schumacher, were not allowed to unlap themselves.
From now on, the regulations state that if a similar scenario arises during a race, all lapped cars will be required to unlap themselves.
Among the other changes, is how points will be awarded in the case of races being cut short.
If they are stopped between 50% and 75% of the full distance, whoever is in fourth place will now be awarded 10 points rather than nine, meanwhile seventh will get four rather than five.
The new points system in this case will be as follows: 19-14-12-10-8-6-4-3-2-1.