The Verizon IndyCar Series is imposing a bolstered code of conduct for all competitors.
After the incensed comments from drivers and owners following the MAVTV 500 at Fontana, IndyCar's Mark Miles said it was 'damaging to the sport' and needed to be addressed. Well Tuesday, the series released a revised version of their rule book, specifically the area regarding detrimental competitor conduct.
Rule 9.3.8 - Detrimental Competitor Conduct
Competitors must be respectful, professional, fair and courteous to others. At all times, Competitors must not, attempt to, or engage in conduct or statements that in the judgement of INDYCAR
- Threatens or denigrates any Official, fellow Competitor or the INDYCAR brand
- Calls into question the integrity or legitimacy of the Rules or their application, construction or interpretation
- Denigrates the IndyCar Series racing schedule or Event(s)
- Threatens or denigrates any INDYCAR business relationship, including those with sponsors or broadcasters
- Otherwise threatens the integrity, reputation or public confidence of the sport, INDYCAR, or IndyCar Series.
To summarize, it appears that drivers are no longer allowed to comment negatively on subject matters such as the rules, sanctioning body decisions, or the series schedule. So only positive comments about the series, their decisions and the on-track product will be tolerated from this point onward, it seems.
I also wanted to single out the threatening or denigrating of a fellow competitor - I interpret that to mean that drivers can't speak negatively of any other driver now? That means both Carpenter and Rahal could have been punished for the remarks they made on the way Karam raced at Iowa.
In regards to enforcement, there was no information given on what kind of penalties will be handed down if one breaks this code of conduct, but I'm sure we'll get an example or two before season's end.