FIA race director Masi against mid-season driving rule changes

Image by Zak Mauger/LAT

FIA race director Masi against mid-season driving rule changes

Formula 1

FIA race director Masi against mid-season driving rule changes


FIA Formula 1 race director Michael Masi does not think it would be sensible to change the rules regarding driving during the season but is looking at what can be improved for 2020.

The regulations have come under scrutiny in recent weeks after Sebastian Vettel was given a five-second time penalty for the way he rejoined the track in front of Lewis Hamilton in Canada — ultimately costing him victory — and then Daniel Ricciardo was penalized for his actions on the final lap in France. Masi says all incidents are treated equally, and wants to keep the current approach for this year in the interests of consistency.

“We treat them exactly the same,” Masi said. “My rule is that we’ve got a rulebook there, and the rulebook is the one that we’ve got for the entire 2019 season.

“I don’t think it would be wise in any sport to change anything mid-year. Is it something like any rulebook that you can look at moving forward? Absolutely. We’re always constantly evolving with everything.”

Michael Masi, FIA Race Director. Image by Zak Mauger/LAT

Unanimous agreement is required to make changes for 2020 at this stage, but Masi warns it’s not as simple as only tweaking what is in the F1 sporting regulations.

“I think if all the teams agree with it, it’s no different to any other set of regulations. But there’s also the International Sporting Code that has its provisions in it that are also used from a code of driving conduct side. So that’s got it’s own process which obviously isn’t just Formula 1-specific, it’s for the entire sport. So it’s something we will look at collectively, jointly.”

Masi was speaking during a post-race briefing in France set up by the the FIA in an attempt to provide transparency on race governance, something that had previously taken place with Masi’s predecessor Charlie Whiting prior to his death in March.