FIA CHANGE their safety car rules following the backlash to Lewis Hamilton’s world title defeat by Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi, with ALL lapped cars now having to unlap themselves when new season starts

The latest edition of the FIA regulations has seen a change in wording to clarify the rules surrounding lapped cars overtaking the safety car. Last year’s F1 championship decider in Abu Dhabi came under heavy scrutiny after then race director Michael Masi, instructed only the five cars between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen to unlap themselves. The decision cost Hamilton what would have been his record eighth championship, while lapped cars behind Verstappen were also disadvantaged. If that had been in place last season, then it would have been unlikely all lapped cars would have been able to pass the safety car by the end of the penultimate lap, which would have resulted in the race finishing behind the safety car and Hamilton being crowned champion. Horner meanwhile asked Masi: ‘Why aren’t we getting these lapped cars out of the way?’ Not long after, Masi let only the five cars unlap themselves, putting Verstappen right behind Hamilton on new tyres after he pitted behind the safety car.

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