Lewis_Hamilton_F1_2014_Champion_04

The FIA has announced that the World Motor Sport Council has approved a number of changes to Formula 1‘s technical and sporting regulations, and these are set to come into effect from the 2016 F1 season on.

The number of races in a season has been increased from 20 to 21, and in-season engine development is set to go on until 2019 at the very least. The token system – introduced in 2014 – will be continued, with allocation rates for the next four seasons determined; for 2016, 32 tokens will be allowed, and this will be reduced to 25 in 2017, 20 in 2018 and 15 by 2019.

Meanwhile, power units homologated in previous seasons may now be re-homologated – prior to this, no engine manufacturer could supply more than a single specification. This has allowed the FIA to agree for Ferrari to supply a fourth customer team with a 2015-specification engine in 2016.

Changes to tyre regulations have also come about, to encourage differing race strategies in 2016. Pirelli will now supply three dry-weather compounds instead of two. Thirteen sets of tyres will be available to each driver in a race weekend, and the tyre maker will choose two sets of tyres for a race (only one of which must be used) as well as one set of the softest available that can only be used in Q3.

F1_2014_Malaysian_GP_12

Each driver may then choose his remaining 10 sets from the three available compounds. The existing regulation for a driver to use at least two different types of dry-weather compounds during a race, unless intermediate or wet-weather tyres have been used, continues.

Elsewhere, the race calendar for the 2016 FIA Formula One World Championship season was also announced. Provisionally, the 19 races from the previous season have been retained, and the German GP will be returning to the calendar, the event to be held at Hockenheim. Azerbaijan will play host to the also returning European GP – the race will be held on a street circuit in the city of Baku, the country’s capital.

Notably, the Malaysian GP is now placed further along in the 2016 calendar – the race at Sepang has been moved from its usual second slot to become the 16th race. It’s set to run on October 2, two weeks after the Singapore GP. Looks like the wish has come true.