The FIA World Motor Sport Council has ratified a number of changes to the Formula 1 Technical and Sporting Regulations for next year.
By far the most controversial is the change in the Safety Car restart procedure. The traditional rolling restart will be replaced by a full standing start, presumably with the intent of spicing up the show as these tend to increase the odds of position changes and the occasional first-corner accident.
Rolling restarts will only occur as follows: (1) if it occurs within two laps of the race start or a previous restart or (2) if it occurs within five laps of the finish.
Proposals to ban the unsightly ‘anteater’ style nose designs have also been agreed to via a rewriting of the 2015 Technical Regulations.
Next year’s cars will also be fitted with ‘sparking’ titanium skidplates on their underbodies as the sport throws back to the 1980s and early 1990s ‘bottoming out’ sparks. The test of these skidplates occurred during last weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix and was deemed a success.
The FIA WMSC has also ratified a number of changes that will offer meagre cost-saving measures. The teams’ use of wind tunnels and CFD will be restricted, while the number of engines any driver will be allowed for a season will be reduced to four (although it will crease to five if the calendar expands beyond 20 races).
Pre-season and in-season testing have also been slashed. Next year’s pre-season testing will be confined to three four-day test sessions in Europe, and will be cut to two in 2016.
The four two-day in-season tests introduced this year will be cut to two tests in 2015. Teams will be forced to reserve at least half of their already meagre track allocation to ‘young’ drivers.
Parc fermé restrictions will also be tightened. From 2015, it will commence at the start of Free Practice 3 instead of the tradition of the start of qualifying, which means that each car’s set-up will have to be finalised before FP3 commences.
Image via Red Bull Racing