FIA clarify aggressive driving rules, is it ‘significant’?

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The 2012 season has seen some aggressive driving. In the case of Pastor Maldonado, it’s been in the shape of aggressive overtaking maneuvers but there has also been some aggressive defending moves as well. The initial chop across the circuit at the start of a grand prix or defending your position from faster cars behind (in the case of Nico Rosberg in Bahrain) were being frowned upon and the FIA’s Charlie Whiting has weighed in on the issue with some clarification:

“any driver defending his position on a straight, and before any braking area, may use the full width of the track during his first move provided no significant portion of the car attempting to pass is alongside his.

“Whilst defending in this way, the driver may not leave the track without justifiable reason.”

“For the avoidance of doubt, if any part of the front wing of the car attempting to pass is alongside the rear wheel of the car in front this will be deemed to be a ‘significant portion’.”

The question now might be, did Maldonado have a significant portion of his car alongside, say, Hamilton or Perez? Seemingly a would-be passer would need to get his front wing next to the leading cars rear wheel for the rules to apply. Is that enough to amount to a “significant portion” in your mind? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.


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