Drivers to be discouraged from offering lifts

2 Comments

The FIA intends to discourage drivers from giving their competitors rides back to the pits.

Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber both picked up reprimands after the Singapore Grand Prix when Webber took a lift back to the pits on Alonso’s car.

Webber was reprimanded for going onto the track without a marshal’s permission and Alonso was penalized because he stopped his car in an unsafe place. The Mercedes drivers had to dodge around the Ferrari while Webber was climbing aboard it.

According to Autosport, drivers will discuss the matter at next week’s meeting ahead of the Korean Grand Prix. The FIA is understood to be concerned about the safety implications of drivers riding to the pits on each others’ cars.

However Jenson Button was critical of the punishments meted out to Webber and Alonso.

“Disappointed to see the penalties for [Webber] and [Alonso], act of sportsmanship should not really be punished,” he wrote on Twitter. “Maybe [Alonso] could have stopped in a slightly safer place but still think it’s a bit harsh,” he added.

By giving Webber a lift, Alonso was effectively returning a favor from the Nurburgring in 2011, when Webber stopped to pick him up after the race. Neither driver was penalized on that occasion.