On collision between cars during race, race control judges carefully which driver is in violation. In case it is considered that both drivers are not violating, penalty is not imposed. Such contact or collision is called a “racing accident”. In addition, in case it judged that both drivers are in violation, it may not be imposed penalty to the both drivers.
Race control verifies the accident based on video of the surveillance cameras equipped at various locations in the course and the report from the course marshals at observation posts. Recently, the video verification using on-board cameras is conducted, and it may take a long time.
Because the members of the race control are different in each circuit, there is some variation in the judgement result for the accident.
Therefore, race director is dispatched not only in Formula 1 and other FIA-certified international races but also in domestic categories to make fair judgements throughout the series for SUPER GT and SUPER FORMULA.
In case it is judged as a penalty
In order to judge that it is penalty or not, race control verifies that the driver who caused the accident was negligent, whether the driver hit was negligible, and whether the position was changed by the accident etc.
For example, in case the driver is deemed violate that such as intentionally pushing the opponent car off the course or spinning, the driver may be imposed penalty.
Even if it is unintentional, in case the driver delays braking and hit into the other car ahead, it is judged that there is violation.
Even if it is a slight contact, in case it is judged that either driver has fault, it may imposed the penalty.
In addition, if the car causes contact during the yellow flag zone or deployment of the safety car on premise that the car is decelerating, it may be imposed the penalty.
The following cases are likely to be imposed penalties:
- Spun the opponent car
- Pushed off the opponent car to the out of the course
- Caused the contact and overtake the opponent car
- Damaged the opponent car violently
- Caused the contact during the yellow flag zone
- Caused the contact during the deployment of the safety car
- Caused the contact after red flag is waved
- Caused the contact after chequered flag waved
In case the position change is none such as light contact on side-by-side or tail-to-nose and damage of car is none, it is treated as a racing accident, and both drivers are not imposed penalty.
Even for a heavy collision involving change the position, in case race control judges that both drivers are not violation, it is treated as a racing accident.
- In case the position was not changed on light contact.
- In case it was judged that the it is violation, such as not leaving space for the parallel running car.
- In case it did not have other way to avoid contact.
- In case the car which is judged the cause of the contact went out of the course or spined.
In case it is treated as a warning
In case it is judged that it is not penalty but each of drivers has a violation, it may be displayed black and white flag which means a warning.
- For overtake, it made contact by enter the inside of the opponent car forcefully.
- It pushed the opponent car off the course by the contact, but the position was not changed.
- The position was not changed, but the opponent car was damaged.
Repair costs by the contact during the race
If the car is damaged due to the contact during the race, it could not charge the opponent driver for repair costs. Even if it lost the car totally by the contact, the driver and team would have to pay the cost.
If it had the damage of guardrails or tire barriers, etc. of the circuit, the driver and team has responsibility, it must pay the cost for repair.
If it used a fire extinguisher equipped on the circuit due to a car fire, it would be charged the cost by the circuit.
38) INCIDENTS DURING THE RACE
38.1 The race director may report any on-track incident or suspected breach of these Sporting Regulations or the Code (an “Incident”) to the stewards. After review it shall be at the discretion of the stewards to decide whether or not to proceed with an investigation.
The stewards may also investigate an Incident noted by themselves.
a) It shall be at the discretion of the stewards to decide if any driver involved in an Incident should be penalised.
Unless it is clear to the stewards that a driver was wholly or predominantly to blame for an Incident no penalty will be imposed.
b) If an Incident is under investigation by the stewards a message informing all teams which driver or drivers are involved will be sent via the official messaging system.
Provided that such a message is displayed no later than 60 minutes after the race has finished the driver or drivers concerned may not leave the circuit without the consent of the stewards.