A host of decisions were made at the recent FIA World Motor Sport Council meeting in Geneva. Aside from Pirelli being named F1’s next tyre supplier, new regulations have been put in place for better safety and to clear up grey areas.
With immediate effect, there will be no overtaking even when the safety car pulls in on the last lap of a race (remember Michael Schumacher in Monaco?). Also, when a fuel sample needs to be taken after a session, a car must enter the pits with its own power (Lewis Hamilton, take note).
Rules that come into effect in 2011 include the reintroduction of the 107 per cent qualification rule, which was in force between 1996 and 2002. This states that any driver whose time exceeds 107 per cent of the best time in Q1 will not be allowed to take part in the race.
Another interesting rule is that “driver-adjustable bodywork” will be allowed. Activation will only be available after two laps and only if the driver is within one second behind another car, at pre-determined positions around each circuit. It will auto deactivate once the brakes are touched. Will this promote overtaking and make F1 more exciting?
Controversy surrounding F-ducts have now been set straight as they have been banned. They have been deemed too dangerous due to the driver having to cover certain holes with their knees or move his hands away from the steering wheel to activate the component.
In Formula 1, it is always interesting to see how the teams rise above restrictions and regulations by finding loopholes and introducing new technology. Let’s see what the engineers come up with for 2011. Full verbatim statement from the FIA after the jump.
Pirelli has been selected as the single tyre supplier for the FIA Formula One World Championship for a period of three years, commencing in 2011. The sole supplier will undertake to strictly respect the sporting and technical regulations implemented by the FIA.
“Competitor’s staff” FIA Licence
A proposal relating to specific licences for members of staff of competitors entered in the FIA World Championships has been submitted to the Formula One Commission. This is under consideration for implementation in the FIA Formula One World Championship from the start of 2011, with a view to inclusion in other FIA World Championships in the future.
With immediate effect, no car may overtake until it has passed the first safety car line for the first time when the safety car is returning to the pits. However, if the safety car is still deployed at the beginning of the last lap, or is deployed during the last lap, it will enter the pit lane at the end of the lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking.
With immediate effect, any car being driven unnecessarily slowly, erratically, or which is deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers, will be reported to the stewards. This will apply whether any such car is being driven on the track, the pit entry or the pit lane.
In order to ensure cars are not driven unnecessarily slowly on in-laps during qualifying or reconnaissance laps when the pit exit is opened for the race, drivers must stay below the maximum time set by the FIA between the safety car line after the pit exit and safety car line before the pit entry. The maximum time will be determined by the race director at each event prior to the first day of practice, but may be amended during the event if necessary.
From 2011, any driver whose best qualifying lap exceeds 107 per cent of the fastest Q1 qualifying time will not be allowed to take part in the race. Under exceptional circumstances, however, which may include setting a suitable lap time in a free practice session, the stewards may permit the car to start the race. Should there be more than one driver accepted in this manner, the grid order will be determined by the stewards.
Driver adjustable bodywork
From 2011, adjustable bodywork may be activated by the driver at any time prior to the start of the race and, for the sole purpose of improving overtaking opportunities during the race, after the driver has completed two laps.
The driver may only activate the adjustable bodywork in the race when he has been notified via the control electronics that it is enabled. It will only be enabled if the driver is less than one second behind another at any of the pre-determined positions around each circuit. The system will be disabled the first time the driver uses the brakes after the system has been activated.
The FIA may, after consulting all the competitors, adjust the time proximity in order to ensure the purpose of the adjustable bodywork is met.
With the exception of the parts necessary for the driver adjustable bodywork, any car system, device or procedure which uses driver movement as a means of altering the aerodynamic characteristics of the car is prohibited from 2011.
From 2011, the minimum weight of the car must not be less than 640 kg at all times during the event.
With immediate effect, if a sample of fuel is required after a practice session the car concerned must have first been driven back to the pits under its own power.
Based on his career resume and comparative F1 testing times, the World Council has approved the granting of a four-race probationary super license to Chinese driver Ho-Pin Tung.