FIA tweaks tyre rule after Mercedes error at Sakhir

The FIA has provided teams with a clear sporting rule in the event of an incident similar to the one experienced by George Russell at Sakhir occurring in the future.

During a pit stop in the Sakhir GP, Mercedes accidentally fitted two front tyres to Russell’s W11 that were part of teammate Valtteri Bottas’ allocation.

The German outfit sent Russell back out but immediately called him back in to fit the correct set of tyres. However, the Briton’s P9 finish and maiden championship points were put in jeopardy as the event’s Stewards debated how to sanction Mercedes’ pit stop blunder.

While an outright disqualification was feared, the Stewards eventually opted to levy a €20,000 fine upon Mercedes as they considered mitigated circumstances and the team’s prompt reaction to correct its mistake.

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This week, the World Motor Sport Council issued an updated ruling to clarify how F1 teams’ should manage a tyre usage error in the future.

“Any driver who uses a set of tyres of differing specifications or tyres not allocated to him during the race may not cross the line on the track more than twice before returning to the pits and changing them for a set of tyres of the same specification,” stated the clarified rule.

But any driver who does not change back to the correct specification or set of tyre with three laps will receive a 10-second stop/go penalty.

Furthermore, another updated tyre rule for 2021 states that teams will be supplied with a standard allocation of compounds for each race by Pirelli, as was the case this season, rather than compile their own tyre selection ahead of each event.

Teams will be supplied with eight sets of softs, three sets of mediums and two sets of hards for each race weekend.

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