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Page last updated at 20:36 GMT, Monday, 13 December 2010

F1 drivers face tougher penalties

Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher

Schumacher and Barrichello disagree after dramatic near miss

Formula 1 drivers will face tougher sanctions next season for dangerous or unsporting driving.

In 2011 stewards will be able to exclude drivers from a race or suspend them for the next grand prix.

The FIA, the sport's governing body, also identified driving practices it wants to eradicate.

They include drivers making more than one change of direction in trying to defend a position or the deliberate crowding of a car.

Drivers must also use the track at all times and not leave it, as some were criticised for doing last season, to gain a driving advantage.

If they do come off, they must return when it is safe to do so without gaining any advantage.

In addition back markers in a race must allow a faster car to pass at the first available opportunity.

Any driver who ignores the waved blue flags that indicate a slower car should move aside will be reported to the stewards.

Previously, stewards could only impose drive-through or time penalties on drivers or drop them down the grid if they were deemed to have infringed the rules.

The FIA also plans to introduce a curfew on team personnel at grands prix.

The curfew will run from midnight to 0600 when practice starts at 1000 on Fridays, and from 0100 to 0700 when practice starts at 1100 on a Saturday.

However, each team will be permitted four exceptions to the rule during the course of the season.

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see also
Ferrari hail end of 'hypocrisy'
12 Dec 10 |  Formula 1
F1 chiefs drop ban on team orders
10 Dec 10 |  Formula 1
F1 to adopt new 'green' engines
04 Dec 10 |  Formula 1

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