In addition to announcing it has lifted the moratorium on team orders, Formula 1’s governing body has announced a series of sweeping changes to the rules of play, set to come into effect over the next two seasons.
The much-expected changes to the engine regulations were given the green light, and we’ll come to those shortly.
In the meantime, here are some of the other rules changes in a nutshell…
Double diffusers and ‘F-ducts’ are banned from 2011 onwards; the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) is to make a return;
Teams will be allowed the use of a movable rear wing plane for the 2011 season in a bid to improve overtaking opportunities. The wing will be able to be activated on if a trailing car is lapping within a certain distance of the car in front;
Bodywork flex regulations have been tightened further to minimise the risk of a repeat of the allegations that were made against Red Bull Racing and Ferrari, who were claimed to be using flexible front wings. The rules will be enforced with more stringent bodywork flex tests at the start of the season, and for stricter rules dictating the ‘reference plane’ used as the baseline to identify if parts flex under load;
Gearboxes are now to last five consecutive races, an increase from the four stipulated in the 2010 rules.
New safety car rules changes come into effect, allowing the Race Director to close the pit lane for safety reasons. Drivers will also be given clearer criteria on when they can overtake the Safety Car;
Perhaps the biggest change in the sporting regulations – supporting FIA President Jean Todt’s mandate of introducing more a environmentally-focused direction for the sport – is in the engine regulations, with the green light given to switch to 4-cylinder 1.6-litre direct injection engines for 2013.
Engines will be limited to 12,000rpm, which will translate to an expected cut in fuel consumption by around 35%. Despite the reduction in the rev band and fuel consumption limits, the use of energy recovery systems (such as KERS) will keep power output levels similar to what we currently see.
With less stress theoretically being placed on the engines, the FIA has also cut the number of engines allocated per car to just five for the 2013 season (down from the current eight), which will drop to four for 2014 once the new engine regulations are bedded in.