Sky Sports F1 expert wants ‘rules re-written’ at meeting on Thursday

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Sky Sports host David Croft has urged F1 bosses to rewrite regulations after confusion around Fernando Alonso’s podium finish in Saudi Arabia. Decision-makers will meet at F1’s Sporting Advisory Committee on Thursday with the Jeddah incident expected to be a hot topic.

Croft has called on the rules to be simplified to ensure drivers are hit with a sanction the second mechanics touch a car while serving a penalty. He told Sky Sports F1’s Podcast: “I do hope that on Thursday of this week, the rules are re-written that say you can’t touch the car.

“Some teams may think that’s not a very good idea but it is a much clearer way, don’t touch the car. So just rewrite it so no one touches the car, everyone’s in the same boat.

“They can hover millimetres away and then get to work on it. Put some sensors on the car, that’s logical isn’t it but that’s weight and the teams don’t want extra weight.”

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Alonso was hit with a 10-second penalty after Aston Martin’s rear jack touched the car while serving penance for a previous grid infringement. The punishment led Mercedes’ George Russell to inherit the podium while conducting post-race interviews in the media pen.

In another twist, Alonso was reinstated in P3 after a successful Aston Martin appeal. After an investigation, the FIA accepted there is “no clear agreement” that touching a car would be considered working on the machine.

An FIA spokesperson confirmed the issue would be addressed at the next meeting with a clarification set to be issued ahead of the Australian Grand Prix.

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However, Croft warns team bosses may oppose changes as it could lead to further loopholes. He added: “I put this to a couple of leading team members at a Formula One team.

“I said ‘right, Thursday, sporting advisory council, you’re all going to get together and the rules are going to be re-written. ‘Oh I wouldn’t say that Crofty. It’s very technical, it’s very complicated. No it’s not just make sure you can’t touch the car.’

“‘Oh we can’t have that. What about the front jacks? If the driver comes in and he brakes a bit too late, doesn’t stop on his marks and hits the front jack we are going to get a penalty.’ The front jack doesn’t need to be there, it’s not a fast pit stop you’ve got five seconds. The teams will find reasons why it’s not very simple.”

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