FIA amends tyre rules which could have apparently disqualified George Russell during the Sakhir Grand Prix while driving for Mercedes.
George Russell lost the Sakhir Grand Prix because of a blunder made by Mercedes crew in the pitlane, where they accidentally fitted with the front two mediums from a set of Bottas’s tyres.
In the very next lap, Russell was called back in the pitlane to correct the mistake, but it cost him the P1 position. Things later got worse as soon, Russell’s new pair of tyres got burst and he had to pit yet again.
In the end, Mercedes was handed a €20,000 fine for the incident after the stewards accepted there were mitigating circumstances, though Mercedes cited a radio issue.
However, the stewards reported that FIA shall adjust this in regulation to avoid the repeat of this unprecedented incident in the history of the sport.
FIA updated the regulation
In the updated regulation by the FIA after World Motor Sport Council’s meeting this week, stating clarifications about the tyre usage during the Grand Prix races.
The updated regulation reads: “Any driver who uses a set of tyres of differing specifications or tyres not allocated to him during the race may not cross the line on the track more than twice before returning to the pits and changing them for a set of tyres of the same specification.”
Ambiguity saved Russell
The Briton hoped for his first career success in Mercedes, though it couldn’t happen, it would have been worse if he had gone without any points from the race.
He managed to earn his first career points though a handful, it was only the ambiguity in the rules that made him not lose them too. According to the Motorsport, there was previously no clarity for incidents where a driver used tyres that were allocated to another car, putting Russell at risk of disqualification.
The regulation still states that any driver who does not change the tyres back within three laps would receive a 10-second stop/go penalty.