FIA clears drivers over formation lap radio communication

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Seven F1 drivers were spared a penalty by the Austrian Grand Prix stewards for potentially breaching radio communication rules during the formation lap of Saturday's sprint race.

The first start was aborted when the Alfa Romeo of Zhou Guanyu coasted to a halt before it had reached its grid slot, which automatically implied a second formation lap.

However, ahead of the field setting off, seven drivers - Mick Schumacher, Daniel Ricciardo, George Russell, Esteban Ocon, Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel - were told by their team to use their pit limiter when pulling away from the grid for the second formation.

The communications were deemed as a potential breach of Article 33.1 of the sporting regulations which states that "the driver must drive the car alone and unaided".

All seven drivers were summoned to the stewards after the sprint race, but the group was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing.

"The Stewards met with the team managers concerned and determined that the messages that were under investigation were permitted," reads the FIA bulletin.

The offense could have yielded a 10-second time penalty, a sanction that was applied in the past to Haas drivers Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean at the 2020 Hungarian Grand Prix.

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