Is Blocking Allowed In Formula 1?
Formula 1 (F1) is one of the most popular international racing sports in the world, but even F1 teams have rules to follow. Blocking is the action of purposefully maneuvering the car so that a driver approaching from behind cannot overtake. Blocking is not allowed in F1 due to safety reasons. Keep reading to learn about why blocking isn’t allowed in Formula 1.
Prohibiting Blocking in F1
The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) passed a rule in 2012 that states that more than one change of direction to defend a position is not permitted. Interestingly, there used to be an unwritten rule that drivers would not block one another out of respect and safety concerns, although not all drivers have heeded this during races. With instances like Schumacher’s blocking of Lewis Hamilton during an F1 race in 2011, the FIA decided to set the rule in stone for the 2012 season.
Consequences of Blocking in Formula 1
Formula 1 drivers are expected to adhere to the FIA’s ruling that blocking is prohibited during races, but sometimes drivers fail to follow the rule. Drivers will be given a reprimand up to three times for blocking, but, after that, drivers then face a penalty. Typically, drivers are given a ten-place grid penalty if they accumulate four reprimands in a single race. The race director and race stewards at each race are in charge of determining whether a team should be penalized for violations such as blocking.
If blocking leads to a race incident, a situation in which cars make contact, the penalty can range from a five-second time penalty to disqualification and suspension from the next race. Other possible penalties include a ten-second stop-and-go penalty, a drive-through penalty, or a grid penalty for any number of positions.
The punishment for blocking that causes a race incident varies based on the situation, apparent driver at fault, and severity of the incident. Apart from blocking, F1 drivers and teams can also be penalized for other violations such as ignoring flags, driving erratically on the track, or driving too fast during pit stops.
Do Formula 1’s Rules Help Drivers Stay Safe?
Yes, the banning of blocking in Formula 1 races makes each race much safer for drivers. However, drivers might still try this tactic once in a while, but it will come at a cost of a penalty. There is typically an unspoken rule that drivers won’t block another car during the race due to safety reasons. With the help of the strategy department on their team, Formula 1 drivers have many resources for winning the race, and using tactics such as blocking is not a useful way to secure a win.
Is blocking illegal in F1?
Yes, blocking is illegal in Formula 1. F1 race directors constantly warn drivers and their teams to avoid blocking during races, since they can be penalized. Blocking is illegal in Formula 1 because it is a dangerous tactic on the racetrack. If two cars attempt to block each other on the track, then this can lead to what is called stacking, and this is very dangerous for both drivers.