Much has been written about the interpretation of regulations 48.12 and 48.13. In my day-job, I spend an awful lot of time interpreting the meaning of regulations, particularly how they can be applied, so I thought I'd go through and explain why there is an argument that the regulations were followed on Sunday (even if the optics didn't look great).
Here, the use of "any" is interesting, as "all" would carry no ambiguity. In addition, the message "LAPPED CARS MAY NOW OVERTAKE" was not issued - instead a different instruction was issued. There is an argument that, since a different instruction was issued, then the rest of the regulation (below) does not apply, because of the beginning "If the clerk of the course considers it safe to do so, and the message...". This could be used as an argument that essentially a new rule was created.Regulation 48.12
If the clerk of the course considers it safe to do so, and the message "LAPPED CARS MAY NOW OVERTAKE" has been sent to all Competitors via the official messaging system, any cars that have been lapped by the leader will be required to pass the cars on the lead lap and the safety car.
This element is providing instructions relating to the behaviour of cars.This will only apply to cars that were lapped at the time they crossed the Line at the end of the lap during which they crossed the first Safety Car line for the second time after the safety car was deployed. Having overtaken the cars on the lead lap and the safety car these cars should then proceed around the track at an appropriate speed, without overtaking, and make every effort to take up position at the back of the line of cars behind the safety car.
The key element in this section, that has been drawn upon is "once the last lapped car has passed the leader the safety car will return to the pits at the end of the following lap." - however, this is effectively stating that the latest it should return to the pits is the end of the following lap (as this section is effectively overruled by 15.3)Whilst they are overtaking, and in order to ensure this may be carried out safely, the cars on the lead lap must always stay on the racing line unless deviating from it is unavoidable. Unless the clerk of the course considers the presence of the safety car is still necessary, once the last lapped car has passed the leader the safety car will return to the pits at the end of the following lap.
This message was also not applied.If the clerk of the course considers track conditions are unsuitable for overtaking the message "OVERTAKING WILL NOT BE PERMITTED" will be sent to all Competitors via the official messaging system