Since the arrival of the sport’s new owner, Liberty Media, Formula One has continued to make changes, including lifting a social media ban during race weekends. The latest decision from F1, however, might be the biggest one yet.
During Tuesday’s meeting between the F1 Strategy Group and F1 Commission, the decision was made to strictly enforce an existing rule, which states drivers’ names and numbers must be “clearly visible” on their cars. Meaning, for the first time, teams actually have been provided a definition for that phrase, according to Motorsport.com.
In a letter to all 10 teams, FIA race director Charlie Whiting reportedly said the numbers must be 250 millimeters high and names have to be 150 millimeters high. He also added the official abbreviation (TLA) can be used in lieu of a driver’s name — i.e. Fernando Alonso’s car could say ALO.
The rule clarification, small as it might be, still is significant nonetheless, for reason’s former F1 driver Mark Webber so eloquently noted in a tweet Thursday.
F1 deciding to enforce an existing rule, to which it previously paid no mind, in the same year Liberty came on board isn’t a coincidence. The American company has made clear its intention to grow the F1 brand in new ways.
Displaying drivers’ names and numbers prominently on cars for easier recognition is straight out of the NASCAR playbook, so it seems F1 is “learning from the Americans,” as Lewis Hamilton said it needs to.
Thumbnail photo via Honda
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