Daniel Ricciardo, Sebastian Vettel, Albert Park, 2017

Ricciardo welcomes easing of ‘Verstappen rule’

2017 Australian Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo has welcomed a move to relax the restrictions on wheel-to-wheel racing between drivers including a softening of the ‘Verstappen rule’ which was introduced just four races ago.

New regulations for 2017 instruct stewards to issue penalties only when it is “clear” that a drivers is “wholly or predominantly to blame”.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Albert Park, 2017
Australian Grand Prix build-up in pictures
A rules clarification issued late last year, following complaints from some drivers over moves made by Max Verstappen, has also been revised. Verstappen had drawn criticism for changing his line in braking zones to defend his position.

The stewards are now expected to only take action against such moves if they are shown to have been genuinely dangerous. The only driver to receive a penalty as a result of the clarification last year was Sebastian Vettel, who lost third place in the Mexican Grand Prix after being penalised for tangling with Ricciardo.

Ricciardo gave a thumbs-up to the new policy on racing. “The good part of it is it means less decisions to be made on-track, in a way,” he said.

“If they leave it up to us I guess the positive is that we sort it out on track. Hopefully we can get redemption if we feel like something has not gone our way. I like being able to race, that’s the positive from it.”

Ricciardo joked that Vettel, who was sat next to him during today’s FIA press conference in Melbourne “wants his trophy back from Mexico”.

“That was a pretty small one, actually,” he added.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 10 comments on “Ricciardo welcomes easing of ‘Verstappen rule’”

    1. Sweet irony. The only driver to be penalised due to the Verstappen rule is Vettel.

      1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        23rd March 2017, 9:28

        I know!

        For a nice bit of wheel to wheel battling too. Yes it was hard defending, but that’s supposed to be half the game.

        A real face-palm moment that one.

    2. he welcomes it, but as mentioned he is the only one to have benefited.
      I know the rules were clear at the time, but he did whinge about it during and after the race.

      1. To be fair, I think he was whinging at the inconsistencies of the penalties issued at that race. I’m sure every driver would like to see a relaxation in the rules regarding wheel to wheel combat.

        1. agreed… his comments (the ones that we get to see) at the end of race were about people going through the 1st corner (ie. LH and MV).

          Not concrete proof, but the radio from his team suggested to me he had complained about SV also and was seeking a penalty.

          His post-race interview on C4 – can’t remember the detail – but I lost a lot of respect for him after that.

    3. Tbf as long as there’s no last minute changes of direction, nothing wrong with defending under braking. This rule only came about cuz people like kimi who can’t react quick enough complain. I think there should be a “no harm no foul” attitude to an extent, with reprimands at the very most. situations like seb vs dan at mexico were no harm so no foul, seb left enough room and dan went in hot. i want something done about people getting away with pushing people wide or completely off track just cuz they have “the race line” too.

      1. as much as i agree with “no harm no foul”, the problem lies with different mentality/driving styles of drivers… I would suggest that some drivers are more likely to have been harmed than others if placed in the same situation as Kimi was in.

        It then becomes a subjective assessment of who was at fault – and i have no faith in the ex-driving expert on the panel to be impartial.

    4. I’m quoting: “[…] issue penalties only when it is “clear” that a driver is “wholly or predominantly to blame”.”
      What if both drivers are in the wrong? I mean they produce a move that is 100% illegal but they share a 50% blame each. None of them is predominantly to blame, but both are in the wrong. To penalize or not to penalize?

    5. “no harm no foul” is quite an irresponsible way of looking at it. it is like winning at all costs… and asking for ticking bomb… driver in front can always say oh i was defending my line, so why do i care you wasted your tyres under breaking? or i dont care if you had to leave truck as a result of my irresponsible driving attitude… one direction change came about after lewis was defending vigorously before, and he wasnt harming anyone doing it as he was doing it before any actual move can be done on him… was it right? no of course not, it is not a battle field of bumper cars pushing each other off track…

    6. I also thought it was extremely ironic that the only driver penalized was Seb V…. quoted from the article: The stewards are now expected to only take action against such moves if they are shown to have been genuinely dangerous. Genuinely dangerous to me would be a collision, other wise it would not be genuinely dangerous!!
      Thanks, Racer Norriski

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