The post-race, wheel-spinning ‘donuts’ that got Sebastian Vettel into hot water with race officials after he secured his fourth world championship title last year have been legalised by the FIA, though only if conducted in a safe manner.
F1’s governing body has published a new set of sporting regulations containing a number of minor modifications, including a rule allowing drivers to celebrate victory in rubber-burning style.
In an addition to article 43.3, which covers end-of-race procedure, the latest sporting regulations state that a winning driver may now “perform an act of celebration” before reaching parc fermé provided that the act is “performed safely and does not endanger other drivers or any officials”, “does not call into question the legality of his car” and “does not delay the podium ceremony”.
Vettel was last year fined €25,000 for performing donuts on the start/finish straight at the Buddh International Circuit following his title triumph. He cheekily repeated the celebration a week later at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix but escaped sanction there by performing the donuts in a run-off area and then driving back to parc fermé.
Elsewhere, the latest version of the sporting regulations also introduces a five-second time penalty for minor infractions. The regulation states that a driver must enter pit lane and stop at his pit box for at least five seconds and then re-join the race. The regulations add that while a car is stationary in pit lane as a result of incurring such a penalty it “may not be worked on until the car has been stationary for five seconds”.
The new rule adds that drivers can elect not to take the penalty in pitlane but can have the five seconds added to his time following the end of the race, provided the driver makes no further pit stop during the race.
The revised rules also include a provision for rookie drivers gaining test miles in pursuit of a Superlicence. From now on a green light must be fitted to the rear of any car being driven by a driver not in possession of a Superlicence. The light must be illuminated at all times the car is on track.