The FIA has moved to avoid a repeat of the farce that unfolded during last season's qualifying session for the Italian Grand Prix.
FIA race director Michael Masi has warned all teams there will be consequences if a driver is deemed to have breached article 27.4 of the sporting regulations that statet: "At no time may a car be driven unnecessarily slowly, erratically or in a manner which could be deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers or any other person."
Last season's qualifying session caused uproar as following a crash involving Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen midway through Q3, no driver then wanted to be first out of the garage once the session resumed given the slipstreaming advantages around Monza.
As time ticked down, Renault's Nico Hulkenberg opted to cut through the first chicane, seemingly in order to allow those behind him to slow. Racing Point's Lance Stroll and McLaren's Carlos Sainz, however, slowed in order to allow the German to regain his place on track.
The ripple effect resulted in the rest of the pack being backed up to such an extent that only two drivers - Sainz and Charles Leclerc - were able to set a time in Q3.
Hulkenberg, Sainz and Stroll were all investigated post-qualifying, leading to the stewards to simply issue warnings, but ordering the FIA to expedite a solution for future violations.
Masi has now issued a note to the teams reminding them of article 27.4, adding that: "For reasons of safety, during each practice session, acts such as weaving across the track to hinder another car may be referred to the stewards."
In addition, the note adds that: "During free practice session 3 and the qualifying practice, the time published in accordance with Item 8 of the Race Directors Event Notes will be used as a guide by the stewards to determine if a driver is considered to be driving unnecessarily slowly on an out lap or any warm-up lap."
Item eight of the event notes refers to 'In laps during qualifying and reconnaissance laps', and states that "In order to ensure that cars are not driven unnecessarily slowly on in laps during and after the end of qualifying or during reconnaissance laps when the pit exit is opened for the race, drivers must stay below the maximum time set by the FIA between the Safety Car lines shown on the pit lane map. You will be informed of the maximum time after the first day of practice."
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