Monday, April 15, 2013

No penalties for illegal use of DRS

Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber, Kimi Raikkonen, Valtteri Bottas, Daniel Riccardo, Jenson Button,Romain Grosjean and Max Chilton were all supposed to report to the stewards office after the race to explain why they used DRS even though the yellow flags were out.

But after the stewards reviewed the incidents, they decided not to impose any penalties and there had been a "degree of confusion" relating to the FIA's telemetry system, which has been hit by a series of problems since a new supplier took over delivery of the service at the start of this season.

There were three "mitigating circumstances" that aided their decision to let all the drivers off without any penalty.

1) The system was once again partially disabled in China, which meant that the race officials couldn't centrally control the use of DRS by cars in the race as had been the case in previous seasons.

2) There had been a delay of around a minute before drivers were informed via their steering wheel display unit about the deployment of yellow flags around the circuit, meaning that there was no way to be sure exactly what drivers had known at the time of any of the incidents being investigated.

3) The actual DRS use by the drivers took place along the main straight where a green light was displayed at the time, the stewards' ruling further noted.

The stewards concluded that, the number of infringing drivers was evidence of just how confusing it was for the drivers to understand that they could not use the DRS system.

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