Chinese Grand Prix: Saturday News Round-Up

Drivers to be penalised for future weaving; Hamilton accepts ruling; Yamamoto returns to F1 with HRT; Cooper Avon rumoured to enter tyre race

Formula One drivers have asked FIA race director Charlie Whiting to punish anyone in future who weaves on a straight, while defending their position.

The controversy stems from the last round of the championship in Malaysia, where Lewis Hamilton was given a warning by race stewards for weaving on the pit straight, in an attempt to break the slipstream of Renault’s Vitaly Petrov.

Consequently, a number of drivers sought to raise the issue with the media on Friday and their displeasure appeared to be carried over into the annual driver meeting, on the same day.

Following the meeting it was decided that drivers will no longer be allowed to move more than once, while defending their position on a straight.

“It is written in the rules that you cannot move more than once, but he got only a black-and-white warning flag. Most of the drivers think that, no matter whether it is Lewis or anyone else, you shouldn’t do it,” Trulli told Autosport.

“And if you do, Charlie should not give a reprimand but a penalty so that we all know not to do it. We don’t want a yellow card, we would prefer to have a red card.

“I think Charlie got the message and he’s happy with it. It’s just a clarification of the rule.”

Trulli, though, was quick to point out that this was not a move against Hamilton but rather anyone breaking the rules.

“The drivers would like it to be clear whether or not you can do that,” he said. “It’s not a comment on Lewis, because I didn’t actually watch it.

“People were concerned because he moved a few times. But he claimed that he was not actually blocking, he was trying to break the tow, which is fair enough.

“But Lewis was an example of what the drivers do not want to do. For the future we all want to be clear that we have to get a penalty so that it is clear that each driver knows what you can do.”

Following qualifying for Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix, Hamilton responded to the ruling, stating that he had learned his lesson – although he did admit that he could not understand why his fellow drivers had made such a fuss about the incident.

“My approach to racing is always the same,” he said. “I think the ruling was fair at the [Malaysian] race, and the FIA and Charlie took I believe what was a fair decision, and gave us a warning for it not to happen again.

“I discussed with him and he made it clear that it is not what he wants to see, so we just don’t do it again. It is a lesson learned and we move forward.

“Unfortunately the guys [the other drivers] I don’t understand why everyone was fussing about it but it wasn’t really a problem for me.”

Meanwhile, Hispania has announced that former-Super Aguri and Spyker racer, Sakon Yamamoto, will be its test and reserve driver for the remainder of the seasion.

The deal will see the Japanese Driver take part in a number of Friday practice sessions throughout the year.

“It is fantastic to be part of a new team and I hope I will be able to gather useful data whenever possible on Friday for the race drivers,” said Yamamoto. “I have seen how committed everyone at the team is and I feel the same.”

The 27-year-old contested fourteen Grands Prix over a period between 2006 and 2007.

In other news, the race to supply teams with rubber in 2011 has taken a surprising twist tonight with Autosport reports that Cooper Avon has emerged as a late bidder – despite FOTA agreeing terms in principle with French manufacturer Michelin.

The site also reveals that the bid has been orchestrated by F1-supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who is believed to be not in favour of Michelin’s plans to switch to 18-inch wheels.

Cooper Avon’s involvement in the world of motorsport is not new, with the company recently supplying a number of other series. The most notable being the A1-GP series.

More news will follow if it breaks…