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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pitlane reopened

Formula One’s closed pitlane rule, which saw drivers penalized for pitting early under the safety car, will be dropped.

Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix: Practice

That’s the word from race director Charlie Whiting in a debrief interview on the FIA Web site.

“The rule introduced in 2007 was a bad one, and we’ve gone back to the 2006 regulations,” Whiting said. “The only difference is we intend to implement a minimum time back to the pits.”

The rule was designed to slow drivers who rushed through the accident scene to get back to the pits to refuel and gain an advantage.

Heikki Kovalainen, Nick Heidfeld, Nico Rosberg and Robert Kubica all lost places last year due to closed pit lane violations.

Fernando Alonso was able to score his first win of the season by moving up the field due to the rule, as well.

Instead of closing the pitlane, the FIA will send a message to each car’s standard engine control unit to calculate a minimum time for the car to return to it’s pit.

Whiting also gave his thoughts on the new aero rules, the reintroduction of slicks, worked to calm fears over the safety of KERS, clarified the engine rules, and spoke on private testing and wind tunnels.

Read the full debrief here.

Honda “optimistic”

A spokeswoman for the Honda F1 team says it is optimistic of securing its future on the grid, but gave no idea of when such a deal would come

“Don't focus too much on any speculation regarding time frames and deadlines,” PlanetF1.com quotes the spokeswoman. “Work on our race car is progressing well. We're optimistic but it may not be possible to comment further for some time.”
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