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SNF: Guide to Overtaking Rules

We will be implementing a set of overtaking guidelines from this coming round onwards in order to provide a structure to race driving discipline and the sporting code and conduct at SNF.

The diagrams help to explain what the Clerk Of The Course (COC) and Stewards will take into account when assessing a Official Protest and/or Complaint against another competitor’s sporting and driving conduct during the event. These guidelines are thus only that: structured guidelines. They are not exhaustive, and provide room for discretion on behalf of the Stewards and COC.

These guides are in addition to the official FIA International Sporting Code (Click here to view the list of PDFs of the FIA codes) and take into account the 2012 Formula 1 Sporting Code (Article 20).


1. The FIA Sporting Regulations in general covers overtaking under “incidents”, so let us start by defining the word Incident according the FIA book:

“Incident means any occurrence or series of occurrences involving one or more drivers, or any action by any driver, which is reported to the stewards by the race director (or noted by the stewards and referred to the race director for investigation) or by official complaint / protest which:
– caused an avoidable collision;
– forced a driver off the track;
– illegitimately prevented a legitimate overtaking manoeuvre by a driver;
– illegitimately impeded another driver during overtaking.”

Therefore this quite clearly bans using physical contact to overtake and prohibits blocking a driver attempting to overtake.

2: “The repetition of dangerous driving, even involuntary, may result in the exclusion from the race.”

I believe this does not need explanation!

3: “Manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such as deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are not permitted.”

Do not push or force another car off the road. This is clear.

4: “More than one change of direction to defend a position is not permitted. Any driver moving back towards the racing line, having earlier defended his position off‐line, should leave at least one car width between his own car and the edge of the track on the approach to the corner.”

This means that a driver can defend the inside line and then move back across to take a better line in to the following corner as long as they leave space for another car on the outside.

5: “The leading driver can choose his line up until the driver behind brings any part of his car beside the leading car’s rear wheels / rear bumper: at that moment the driver ahead is obliged to leave one car width of space”

The car behind only has an obligation to give way to the car ahead if he is proven to be behind. But once he gets any part of his car side-by-side with the car ahead, then the car in front has an obligation to give space. For a recent example refer to Vettel’s drive-thru penalty for pushing Alonso off the outside of Curva Grande at the 2012 Italian GP at Monza.


Example 1: Car behind gets inside of car ahead into Turn 5

Green Car (in front) must give space for Red Car in the inside. Red Car must also give space to Green Car on the outside (Click for larger image)

Red Car is deemed side-by-side and has a right to the inside once it’s front tyres are next to the rear bumper/rear tyres of Green Car which is in front. Green Car thus must provide space for Red Car to manouevre on the inside. Red Car cannot push Green Car wide to the outside. As they head to Turn 6, Red Car thus must provide space for Green Car on the inside.

Example 2: Car behind dives under-braking into T4

Red Car (in front) must give space on the inside to Green Car, as Green Car has deemed to be side-by-side with Red Car (his front tyres are by the side of the car ahead). On the corner exit, Green Car must provide space for Red Car. (Click for larger image)

In this example above, if Red Car crowds Green Car into the apex which causes an ‘incident’, then Red Car is at fault. Simultaneously, at corner exit, Green Car must provide space on the outside for Red Car to maintain it’s line.

Example 3: Car ahead pushes wide at corner exit

In this situation, Green Car may not squeeze or crowd Red Car, and must provide room on the outside to manouevre (Click for larger image)

In this example, Green Car which is ahead, pushes (understeers) wide exiting Turn 1, and Red Car takes advantage to stick to the inside and get side-by-side with Green Car. Red Car’s front tyres are now past Green Car’s rear bumper/rear tyres. Green Car decides to close the door on Red Car by squeezing him to the outside, causing an ‘incident’. This is not acceptable.


In short, having explained all this, from here onwards let it be known that All Drivers should know how they should behave on the circuit. In the case of any official protest or complaint, the ‘incident’ will be reviewed by the Race Stewards and decisions based on the guidelines above.

Good luck!

About adian

ADIAN YEIN ( Adian was one of the start-up members that initiated the Proton Motorsports Division back in 2003, together with Tengku Djan Ley and Khaidi Kamaruddin, running under the brand name R3 – Race Rally Research. Projects that he led include the Proton Satria R3, Lotus Europa, and all the R3 special edition vehicles up to 2007, where he then transferred to Proton Edar for an 1-year stint as Manager for Marketing Development. He has over 20 years of motorsports experience, both as driver and team manager, culminating in two back-to-back wins of the Merdeka Millennium Endurance race as the Team Manager of the Proton-R3 team. Highlights in his motorsports career include being a D1GP Judge opposite Drift King, Keiichi Tsuchiya, kicking off the malaysian autocross and drifting scene with the Proton SSO, and managing Team Proton-R3’s participation in the Japan Super GT in 2005. Adian was also the host of the car test drive and review television program “Get A Car” that aired on NTV7 in 2009. He currently a professional driving instructor and automotive events operator with Driven Communications, and co-host of the Driven Web Series. He has recently found joy door-to-door racing again at MSF!
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