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FIA clamps down on grid drying tactics in Japan

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The FIA has banned the process of drying a driver's grid box following Force India's protests of what happened at the Malaysia GP starting grid last weekend.

In Sepang, Force India noted that several teams had resorted to blasting the tarmac with hot air blowers to rid their driver's grid box from residual humidity.

The Silverstone-based outfit said the action was a breach of article 22.3 of F1's sporting regulations which state: "Other than by driving on the track, competitors are not permitted to attempt to alter the grip of any part of the track surface."

The teams' actions however were not reported to the race stewards in Malaysia as the breach was not considered serious enough.

The governing body has now notified teams that drying a grid box is not allowed unless special permission is granted.

Force India COO Otmar Szafnauer who was critical of the teams' actions in Sepang said his team would likely file a complaint in the future if the rule was not respected.

"Maybe next time we will protest," he said.

"We will take it out of the hands of the people here and put it in the hands of the stewards and, if necessary, the Court of Appeal.

"If there is no punishment then is there no incentive not to do it again."

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