Safety car rules tweaked ahead of British GP

Last Updated: Sun, Jul 11, 2010 11:29 hrs

Silverstone: Formula One's governing body tweaked the safety car rules before Sunday's British Grand Prix to prevent a repeat of last month's controversies in Valencia.

Ferrari slammed that race as 'false', while their double world champion Fernando Alonso called it 'manipulated' after McLaren's Lewis Hamilton suffered no meaningful punishment for illegally passing the safety car.

The stewards took so long to reach a decision that championship leader Hamilton was able to take the eventual drive-through penalty without losing position and finished second. Alonso, who had been right behind him, ended up eighth.

The International Automobile Federation (FIA) said in a statement that they had discussed matters at Silverstone on Friday and after further thought decided to change the manner in which the car is deployed.

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"When we decide the safety car is needed, the message will be sent immediately," it said.

"All flags, boards and lights on the track will be shown but the safety car itself will not necessarily join the track straight away.

"An assessment will then be made to determine when the safety car should join the track in order to try and ensure that no drivers will be unnecessarily disadvantaged," added the FIA.

The FIA also sent teams a map detailing a revised procedure for the operation of the pit exit lights when the safety car was on track.

Mercedes complained in Valencia that Michael Schumacher's race was wrecked when he was made to wait at the pit exit for the red light to change to green. The seven-times champion finished 15th.

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