Formula 1 drivers and teams will have to be on the starting grid for 10 minutes longer from this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix, following a change of procedure agreed by the FIA.
Drivers often only appear on the grid a few minutes before they are forced to attend the national anthem ceremony – which has led to limited opportunity for pre-race interviews.
Following a vote at Thursday’s FIA World Motor Sport Council meeting, it has now been approved that the format will be changed so that drivers are on the grid well before the national anthem ceremony.
At the moment, the pit lane closes 20 minutes before the start of the formation lap, while the national anthem ceremony takes place 14 minutes before.
From Montreal, it is likely that the pitlane will be closed earlier to force drivers out on to the grid to ensure a bigger window of opportunity for the media.
A statement issued by the FIA said: “The World Council approved changes to the 2018 F1 Sporting Regulations to ensure the cars and drivers are on the starting grid for 10 minutes longer before the national anthem ceremony, thereby providing better access to the drivers for the media.
“These changes will be in effect from the Canadian Grand Prix this weekend.”
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