FIA set to reduce use of black-and-orange flag warnings

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Instead, it is up to the teams to ensure that their cars continue to drive in a safe manner even after they have been damaged in incidents, and then to prove that this is the case with questions within the competition raised by the administrative body.

The black-and-orange flag is used as an instruction to competitors to order them to enter the pits for repairs if they are damaged and their continued participation is deemed unsafe, with drivers having to enter at the end of the lap after receiving the warning. have received.

Its use in the 2022 season has made headlines since the 2022 U.S. Grand Prix after the Haas team protested the results of Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and Alpine driver Fernando Alonso because it believed they ended the race while playing with damage, in violation of the safety rules.

This followed Haas driver Kevin Magnussen who was instructed with the black-and-orange flag at three races earlier in 2022 – Canada, Hungary and Singapore – after sustaining damage to his front wing endplate in each of those races causing the part waved loose.

This was considered unsafe by FIA officials at those races and he duly came for repair.

But Haas was furious and felt it was treated differently from other teams in this matter, when it didn’t happen to Perez in the Austin race (his damaged end plate fell off five laps after his opening contact with Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas) and Alonso finished the race despite running for several laps with his right wing mirror bouncing loose and then falling off.

Haas’ protest against Perez was dismissed as Red Bull provided photos to the FIA ​​to show that the shaved endplate damage was not moving unsafely, which the FIA ​​accepted and the stewards agreed with that call.

But the US squad’s protest against Alonso was initially found admissible and he was later given a 30-second addition that cost him seventh place last weekend.

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522, collides with Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR22

Photo By: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

That was later withdrawn after a lengthy saga of deciding why Haas’ protest was allowed to continue in the first place.

In the announcement that Alonso’s Austin penalty had been annulled, it was revealed that FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem had launched an investigation into the future use of the black-and-orange flag.

Motorsport.com understands this has been agreed unanimously with the F1 teams and is following the Austin stewards who said they were “concerned” that Alonso would be allowed to continue circulating with his wing mirror hanging loose.

This is central to the controversy over the use of the black-and-orange flag in 2022, as the incidents involving Magnussen followed the wording of the rule surrounding its use in the FIA’s sporting code, but confusion and anger followed after it had not been shown to Alonso at the Circuit of The Americas.

The FIA ​​International Sporting Code on the use of the flag states: “This flag should be used to inform the driver concerned that his car has mechanical problems which could endanger him or others and that he will be with his car next lap. pits must stop.

“If the mechanical problems have been resolved to the satisfaction of the Chief Scrutineer, the car will be allowed to enter the race again.”

The use of the black-and-orange flag was discussed at a meeting of F1 team managers at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit ahead of opening practice for the 2022 Mexico City GP on Friday.

The ongoing discussion is about how the flag will be used in upcoming events, with the understanding that officials will now be less inclined to automatically issue the warning, as F1 teams have so much data to prove that a part, even if it is damaged will not suddenly disappear. become a security problem.

This puts F1 in a different regime than other categories covered by the ISC where the corresponding lack of data means drivers may not be aware they have suffered damage and so it’s up to the race officials to let them go stop for repairs to ensure safety.

It is clear that no rule changes for F1 are planned as a result of the FIA ​​review, with the governing body instead leaving the responsibility on the teams to ensure their cars drive in safe ways at all times – although it will intervene and make inquiries immediately in cases where the damage is clearly visible.

One problem with this approach could be that disagreements arise over the safety of damaged cars that continue to track incidents, such as Alonso’s with Lance Stroll in Austin, where competitors are naturally inclined to push the limits of the rules and other teams likely to object to gain a competitive advantage. side.

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The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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