FIA hopes to encourage F1 overtaking with tweak in penalty rules

Updated: 

Formula One drivers will only incur penalties for in-race incidents during the 2017 season if it is "absolutely clear that they are at fault" following changes by the International Automobile Federation (FIA).

Last season any F1 drivers reported to the stewards during a grand prix could have been punished with a grid demotion or a stop-and-go penalty.

Penalty points were also handed out to those in the wrong, with consistent offenders running the risk of having their super licence suspended for one event.

However, in an attempt to encourage more overtaking, the regulations surrounding when a driver should or should not be punished have been tweaked ahead of the 2017 campaign.

Incidents will still be reported to the stewards but they will then have the choice as to whether to launch an investigation or not.

"It shall be at the discretion of the stewards to decide if any driver involved in an incident should be penalised," the new regulation states.

"Unless it is clear to the stewards that a driver was wholly or predominantly to blame for an incident no penalty will be imposed."