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Vettel welcomes 2017 F1 driver penalty rule tweak

Sebastian Vettel has welcomed news that less driver penalties will be handed out in 2017.

A rule tweak means that stewards no longer have to investigate incidents identified by Charlie Whiting, while only drivers “wholly or predominantly to blame” for incidents can be punished.

Ferrari driver Vettel told the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag: “Wheel to wheel racing is always welcome, as people want to see duels.

“Racing should be the focus,” he added.

Last week, the final sporting regulations for the new season were published.

Of particular note was article 38.1, following widespread criticism that too many penalties are being given to drivers for on-track incidents.

Now, the rules state that even if Charlie Whiting reports an incident, the stewards can “decide whether or not to proceed with an investigation”.

And another tweak should restrict whether a driver can be penalised for borderline racing incidents.
“Unless it is clear to the stewards that a driver was wholly or predominantly to blame for an incident, no penalty will be imposed,” the regulations now state.

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