F1 to use standing restarts among changes in 2015

Formula 1 races to feature more than one standing start

Formula 1 races to feature more than one standing start

Safety Car periods will be followed by standing race restarts from the grid next season, Formula 1′s governing body has announced.

The measure, which replaces rolling restarts, is aimed at making grands prix more exciting but has been criticised by some drivers.

“I understand the start is one of the most exciting times for the fans but it sounds very extreme and I hope it’s not going to be done. It’s going too far with things,” Mercedes’ championship leader Nico Rosberg said at last weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix.

The International Automobile Federation (FIA) said in a statement that its World Motor Sport Council had agreed the change to the 2015 sporting regulations.

“Safety Car restarts will now be a standing start from the grid,” it said. “Standing starts will not be carried out if the Safety Car is used within two laps of the start (or restart) of a race or if there are less than five laps of the race remaining.”

Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull was another unimpressed by the ‘artificial’ proposal which was put forward by the Formula 1 Strategy Group that brings together leading teams – including his own.

Start lights will be busier from 2015 onwards

Start lights will be busier from 2015 onwards

“If it goes to a standing start the chance of not having a great start is pretty high so you could go from first to fourth. It’s just a bit too much of a disadvantage for someone who earned the lead in the first place,” Ricciardo told Sky Sports.

Other changes include measures to reduce costs in areas such as testing and design and to make cars more attractive than the current ‘ugly-nosed’ ones.

Three pre-season tests of four days each will be scheduled in 2015 and restricted to Europe, ruling out more costly excursions to Bahrain. In 2016 this will be reduced to two tests of four days each.

There will also be two in-season tests of two days each, also in Europe, with two of the four days reserved for young drivers.

Wind tunnel testing will be limited to 65 hours a week, from 80, and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) usage reduced.

Curfew

Curfew hours to be extended

Friday night personnel curfews at race weekends will be extended from six to seven hours next year and then eight in 2016.

The FIA has also introduced new regulations to change the look of the cars’ noses for “improved safety and to provide more aesthetically pleasing structures”.

Drivers will be limited to four engines per season instead of five, unless there are more than 20 races on the calendar, and parc ferme conditions will be enforced from the start of Final Practice on Saturday rather than Qualifying.

A proposed ban on tyre blankets has been put on hold.

The governing body added that any changes to sporting and technical regulations would in future require unanimous agreement from all parties from March 1 instead of the current cutoff of June 30. (Reuters)

Tyre warmers

Tyre warmers

Full FIA statement:

Changes to the F1 Regulations for 2015 have been agreed by the WMSC. The last date at which the sporting and technical regulations can be changed without unanimous agreement has been changed from 30 June to 1 March each year, starting from 2015.

Changes to 2015 Sporting Regulations

Power units

  • The number of engines permitted by each driver in a season will be four. However, if there are more than 20 races in a season, the number will increase to five.
  • The penalty for a complete change of Power Unit will be starting from the back of the grid, not the pit lane.

Aerodynamic testing

  • The number of wind tunnel runs will be reduced from 80 hours per week to 65 hours per week.
  • Wind-on hours are to be reduced from 30 hours per week to 25 hours.
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) usage is to be reduced from 30 Teraflops to 25 Teraflops.
  • Two periods of tunnel occupancy will be allowed in one day (rather than only one).
  • Teams will only be able to nominate one wind tunnel in one year.

Testing

  • There will be three pre-season tests of four days each in Europe in 2015 (currently teams are able to test outside Europe). This will be reduced to two tests of four days in 2016.
  • There will be two in-season tests of two days each in Europe (instead of the current four). Two of these four days must be reserved for young drivers.

Car specification at an Event

  • The current restrictions to the parc fermé will now apply from the start of P3 instead of the start of qualifying.
  • Wheels and tyres
  • The ban on tyre blankets will be rescinded for 2015. This will be re-discussed if and when the wheel and tyre diameter increases in the future.

Personnel Curfew

  • The Friday night curfew will be extended from six to seven hours in 2015 and will increase to eight hours in 2016.

Safety Car restarts

  • Safety Car restarts will now be a standing start from the grid. Standing starts will not be carried out if the Safety Car is used within two laps of the start (or restart) of a race or if there are less than five laps of the race remaining.

Changes to 2015 Technical Regulations

  • A number of changes have been made, including:
  • A number of new regulations for the noses to ensure improved safety and to provide more aesthetically pleasing structures.
  • A number of new regulations concerning skid blocks to ensure that they are made from a lighter material (titanium) and are better contained.
  • New regulations to ensure that the brake discs rotate at the same speed as the wheels.
  • A two-stage wheel fastener retaining system is now compulsory.