As revealed by Autosport last month, in effect, the governing body wants teams to think twice about pursuing reviews by reducing the window available to submit a request and introducing a fee.
The new regulations apply to all FIA-sanctioned racing series, but inevitably Formula 1 cases have had the highest profile over the years.
In 2023 there were four examples, involving Aston Martin (Saudi Arabia), Ferrari (Australia), McLaren (Austria) and Haas (USA).
Previously, teams had 14 days from the end of the competition during which to submit a request, but that has been reduced to 96 hours, with the leeway for the stewards to allow an extra day.
The relevant ISC paragraph now reads: “The period during which a petition for review may be brought expires after 96 hours from the end of the competition concerned, except in circumstances where the stewards consider that compliance with the 96-hour deadline would be impossible, in which case the stewards may extend this deadline by no more than 24 hours.”
Previously there was no fee related to a right of review petition, but teams now have to pay up front, and will forfeit the fee if their case fails.
A new ISC article states that a request says “must be accompanied by a deposit, the amount of which will be set annually by the parent ASN of the international series; or by the FIA for its championships, cups, trophies, challenges or series.
“In addition, the deposit must be specified in the sporting regulations or supplementary regulations of the competition. This deposit may only be returned if the right of review is upheld, unless fairness requires otherwise.”
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A huge FIA flag flies on the grid
In another related change, previously only the Secretary General for Sport of the FIA could ask for a review on behalf of the governing body. That has now been altered so that the FIA itself can make such a request.
The ISC has also been updated to include the higher fines that can now be levied by the stewards. The previous cap was €250,000, but it is now €1 million for Formula 1, €750,000 for other FIA World Championships, and €500,000 for any other “FIA championship, cup, trophy, challenge or series”.
The FIA has also clamped down on the unauthorised use of fireworks and flares at any events. The section that lists potential breaches of rules now includes “the possession and/or use of pyrotechnics products at FIA competitions by the participants and attendees unless authorised in writing by the FIA”.
This move was made in response to the Council of the European Union’s move against their use at sports venues, and which has now been supported by the FIA on health and safety grounds.
In the same section on rule breaches, an article that previously cited “any misconduct towards, but not limited to” licence holders and a list of event officials has now been changed to state simply “any misconduct”.
In separate changes to the FIA’s Judicial and Disciplinary rules, the procedure for appeals has been adjusted.
Competitors can submit a notification of intention of appeal immediately after an event and then have 96 hours during which to decide whether to proceed.
Now the team concerned forfeits the relevant fee, which for Formula 1 is €6000, even if it decides not to pursue the appeal.
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Smoke flare in the crowd at the podium ceremony
The revised rules state that “the appeal deposit becomes due from the moment the appellant notifies the stewards of the intention to appeal and becomes payable on the notification of the appeal. The deposit remains payable even if the appellant does not follow up the declared intention to appeal”.
The FIA has also reserved the right to further investigate instances where an appeal is notified but not pursued, for example in a case where a driver potentially gained an advantage by starting from his original grid position under notification of an appeal. A penalty could then be applied.
Henceforth “when the appellant has received a benefit from the intention to appeal, the withdrawal request should be considered at a subsequent hearing,” while thereafter “the ICA [International Court of Appeal] will then rule on the consequences and costs deriving from the withdrawal of the intention to appeal”.