Amendments have been made to the sporting regulations regarding race incidents, with the aim of only handing out a penalty for an obvious incident.
From 2017, whilst race director Charlie Whiting will still be able to report incidents to the stewards, it will be the stewards decision whether or not to launch an investigation into a reported incident.
Fans and drivers became frustrated with the number of penalties issued throughout the 2016 season for seemingly minor incidents, resulting in a rethink of the sporting regulations for this season.
Following discussions with the F1 Commission and World Motor Sport Council, the stewards now have the power to disregard a reported incident if they do not feel a driver is predominantly to blame.
“It shall be at the discretion of the stewards to decide if any driver involved in an incident should be penalised,” article 38.2 of the sporting regulations now 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.”
In addition to this, a driver who is unable to serve a penalty during the race due to a retirement may be handed a grid penalty for the next event.