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FIA OK's F1 winners' 'donuts'

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Crain News Service report

DETROIT (Feb. 19, 2014) — Hopefully, it didn't take a lot of meetings to decide this Formula One dilemma — and no, it has nothing to do with drivers' post-race snacks, hold the coffee, please.

The Federation International de l'Automobile (FIA) has announced that it's OK for drivers to do celebratory donuts—or burnouts—following F1 victories.

Four-time defending champion Sebastian Vettel was given an official reprimand by the FIA after crossing the line in India to become world champion for the fourth time last season. He turned some heads when he performed a NASCAR-like celebratory "donut" after the 2013 F1 race in Brazil.

"Are you serious?" rival Lewis Hamilton said when told of Mr. Vettel's penalty. "That's crazy!"

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner agreed that race stewards "need to be empowered to give a little more leniency in extraordinary circumstances."

That is exactly what has happened. As confirmed in the latest draft of the 2014 F1 sporting regulations, race winners will from now on be exempt from having to drive straight to parc ferme—victory lane.

Now, they are allowed to "perform an act of celebration" after crossing the finish line, provided the act is "performed safely" and "does not delay the podium ceremony."

Whew. That's a load off our minds.

This report appeared on the website of Autoweek magazine, a Detroit-based sister publication of Tire Business.

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