Are F1 Drivers Allowed to Weave While Defending?

Published 04/17/2022, 1:38 PM EDT

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via Reuters

Lance Stroll received a penalty in the Australian GP for weaving while blocking Valtteri Bottas in the race. But the Aston Martin driver questioned the penalty for defending his position. Even many F1 fans were in confusion and didn’t understand why stewards penalized the Canadian driver.

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FIA doesn’t allow drivers to change direction more than once to defend their position. So, is a driver keeps changing his position while weaving, it goes against the regulations. Further, the regulations ask the drivers to leave enough width for a car at corners to allow other cars to make legitimate overtakes. This was also the reason for Stroll receiving that penalty after the Australian GP.

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Is weaving not allowed in F1?

Now many F1 fans, who recently started following the sport, might question if weaving is not allowed, they why do drivers weave during a safety car, or after finishing a race? So in reality, weaving is allowed in F1 but under some very specific circumstances.

F1 drivers can weave their cars during a safety car session but at a slow speed. This allows the drivers to keep their engines and tires warm and it even helps burn any excess fuel. Further, we usually see drivers weaving after finishing a race. So, that is just a way of celebrating, like finishing on the podium or finishing some place higher than usual. In conclusion, F1 drivers can weave for the aforementioned reasons but not to defend their position.

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F1 drivers are penalized for weaving while defending their position 

Stroll is surely not the first driver to receive a penalty for weaving while defending his position. There have been countless such events where a driver weaved to defend.

In 1997, Michael Schumacher lost his title because of weaving and defending. The German legend almost took out his rival, Jacques Villeneuve, with the illegal move during the season finale in Jerez.

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So, FIA penalized Schumacher by taking away his second place in the drivers’ championship. Meanwhile, Villeneuve lifted the title that year.

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Even the other seven-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton, faced a lot of controversy during his McLaren days. As the driver weaved four or five times against former Renault driver Vitaly Petrov.

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After the race, there was a lot of debate about whether Hamilton should receive a penalty. The race stewards investigated the move and gave a mere warning to the British driver for that move.

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Written by:

Ripan Majumdar

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Ripan Majumdar is an F1 writer at Essentially Sports. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor's in Science from West Bengal State University, Kolkata. Ripan is a massive Red Bull Racing and Sergio Perez fan, and has been following the sport for over the past few years.
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Edited by:

Ranvijay Singh

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