FIA tightens up on-track rules for F1 drivers

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F1 drivers will no longer be able to get away with dubious driving manoeuvres under new FIA rules recently published for 2011.

It might only be coincidence that the changes come at the end of Michael Schumacher's comeback season, but the World Motor Sport Council has decided to get serious on unsporting drivers.

Erratic driving or moves that are deemed dangerous will result in a penalty - more than one deviation from the racing line or crowding a car off the track will come under particular scrutiny.

The governing body also plans to take a dim view on drivers gaining an advantage during overtaking moves by going off the track and the backmarkers who ignore blue flags can expect close attention from the stewards.

Shenanigans in the pitlane will also be frowned upon - overtaking in the pits is banned for 2011 and race organisers now reserve the right to close the pitlane during a safety car period if they feel that it would help on-track safety.

The rule changes come in the same week that the ban on team orders has been lifted, adding an extra strategic element to what will no doubt be an enthralling 2011 season.