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F1 Fixes Its Controversial Rule After Multiple Debacles With Max Verstappen

Published 04/09/2022, 3:02 AM EDT

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via Reuters

Race restarts and lapped cars have been the center of controversy for the past few months. The F1 fraternity has since wanted an explanation and non-repetition of similar situations. This year saw the FIA dropping Michael Masi as the race director due to the Abu Dhabi debacle, which was later termed a “human error”. FIA is not doing everything to make sure that such mistakes won’t be repeated.

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Preparations are being set in place ahead of the Australian GP. The Grand Prix makes a comeback after almost 2 years and the stewards would expect a clean race. The past few months have been a roller coaster ride for Formula 1, as it dealt with accusations of wrongdoings. While Verstappen took advantage of his new tires and won the race in the last moments, all was not well.

New Race Director Niels Wittich recently explained the restart rules once more. Event notes blurt out “no erratic acceleration or braking nor any maneuver which is likely to endanger other drivers or impede the restart…”. They have described the positioning of the car better with pictures.


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The notes also clearly depicted that they can run no cars side by side and the leader will have an advantage of staying ahead.

Max Verstappen and his aggressive restart strategy


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Many believe a reason behind the reinterpretation of the rules could possibly be Max Verstappen and his restart positioning in the last few races. Fans of different F1 drivers may interpret this rule differently. The world champion is a special driver for many as they defend his restarts. However, the last races saw him placing his car right alongside his rivals.

At the Abu Dhabi GP, Verstappen almost put his car alongside Hamilton. Moreover, as the last lap was about to commence, we struggled to identify the race leader at one point, as Verstappen even overtook Hamilton for a short while under the safety car. As the FIA suggests, such tactics can prove to be fatal and dangerous.

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We’re not sure if this is a strategy or mind game, but Verstappen surely has a way of getting into his rival’s head with this move. However, since his maiden title win last year, Max has been able to show much more patience and maturity on the track. Recently, we saw him win the Saudi Arabian GP with a clever last-minute strategic DRS move.

Are you looking forward to another heated Charles-Max battle this weekend? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by:

Khyati Yadav


One take at a time

Khyati Yadav is an F1 writer at EssentiallySports. She is a Hospitality Graduate and a huge fan of Lando Norris. She believes that F1 as a sport deserves a lot more attention and is intrigued by the process that goes behind the making of a car and the hard work that goes into the setting up of any Grand Prix.
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Edited by:

Ranvijay Singh