FIA clamps down on moving under braking in F1 ahead of USGP

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The FIA has clamped down on defensive moves that see drivers move while under braking in Formula 1 following complaints over Max Verstappen’s recent on-track antics.

Verstappen came under fire in Hungary and Belgium for appearing to move under braking, blocking Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen in both instances.

Verstappen’s defense once again came under scrutiny in Japan when he pulled an aggressive block on Lewis Hamilton late in the race, prompting a brief protest from Mercedes.

During Friday’s drivers’ briefing in Austin, Texas ahead of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix, concerns were raised over Verstappen’s defensive moves to FIA race director Charlie Whiting.

While Verstappen insisted that the moves were fair as he did not receive a penalty, Whiting has now moved to clarify what is and is not allowed when defending position.

In the revised event notes sent to all teams ahead of qualifying, Whiting clarified that any moves under braking that forced the driver behind to take evasive action would now be investigated.

“Article 27.5 of the sporting regulations states that ‘…no car may be driven…in a manner which could be potentially dangerous to other drivers…’,” Whiting’s note reads.

“Furthermore, Article 27.8 prohibits any manoeuvre ‘…liable to hinder other drivers, such as…any abnormal change of direction’.

“With this in mind, and with the exception of any move permitted by Article 27.6, any change of direction under braking which results in another driver having to take evasive action will be considered abnormal and hence potentially dangerous to other drivers.

“Any such move will be reported to the stewards.”

The clarified rule is effective immediately, adding an extra dynamic to the on-track battles on Sunday at COTA.

Ganassi announces multiyear sponsorship extension with American Legion for No. 10

Chip Ganassi American Legion
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Chip Ganassi Racing announced a new primary sponsorship deal with The American Legion this week, shoring up the funding on its No. 10 Dallara-Honda of Alex Palou.

The 2021 NTT IndyCar Series champion primarily had driven with NTT Data sponsorship the past two seasons. But NTT Data will move next season to McLaren Racing as a primary sponsor for Felix Rosenqvist in 10 races and on the Indy 500 car of Tony Kanaan (who drove an American Legion car for Ganassi at the Brickyard last year).

It was the latest twist in a McLaren-Ganassi saga that included a contract dispute for the services of Palou (who is expected to move to McLaren in 2024 after reaching an agreement to race with Ganassi next year).

Ganassi stayed within its own walls to help plug the sponsorship gap left by NTT Data, re-signing The American Legion to a multiyear extension. The Indianapolis-based non-profit organization, which has been sponsoring Ganassi cars for the past few seasons, also will be associated with other Ganassi drivers, including Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and development driver Kyffin Simpson in Indy NXT.

The Ganassi organization will continue promoting The American Legion’s “Be The One” campaign aimed at reducing veteran suicides. The team launched an online auction for the initiative this week.

“Supporting our nation’s veterans is of immense importance to our organization and we are humbled to continue supporting The American Legion’s mission in ending veteran suicide,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a release. “We will do absolutely everything we can to help veterans get the support they need while raising public awareness of the ‘Be The One’ platform.”

“We have received an overwhelming amount of support from fans, active-duty military members and veterans as a result of this partnership and we’re pleased to see it grow,” said Dean Kessel, chief marketing officer at The American Legion. “Thanks to the continuous collaboration with the team’s other partners, and the promotion of the ‘Be The One’ initiative, we are discovering more ways to engage with the military community than ever before. We want all veterans to know that it’s okay to ask for help.”