Thursday, July 4, 2013


This article was written by Matt Coch of Pitpass and is re-produced here in full.

In-season testing is set to return next season under a revised set of regulations ratified by the World Motor Sport Council. While many of the new regulations are expected, such as engines having to last five Grands Prix instead of the current four, some are entirely new.


Following much the same lines as road drivers, F1 drivers will receive points on their license for driving offences. It's a system the FIA has been silently running throughout the 2013 season as it looks for a more structured and consistent method of penalising drivers.

For 2014 if drivers accumulate twelve points in a twelve month period he will be forced to sit out a grand prix. A one-point penalty will be handed out for less serious offences, increasing to three points for the most serious.


Teams are currently prohibited from testing during the season though they can perform filming and promotional work up to eight times a year. From next season these will be scrapped and teams will be allowed to test on the Tuesday and Wednesday following four European Grands Prix.

The announcement also sees the scrapping of the three-day Young Driver Test, which this year is held at Silverstone though it has previously been held in Abu Dhabi at the end of the year (this has since been changed due to the multiple tyre failures at Silverstone).

An extension to the in-season testing, and a nod to the sweeping technical changes the sport is set to undergo in 2014, testing will be permitted in January to allow teams more time to come to grips with the new power units.

Wind tunnel and CFD testing has also been reduced in an attempt to reduce costs and encourage teams to share resources (such as wind tunnels).


The complex new engine regulations for 2014, which see the engine become known as a 'power unit', have mandated a revision to penalties of unscheduled changes. If a complete power unit is changed beyond the five permitted during the year the driver will be forced to start the race from the pit lane.

However, if only part of the power unit is replaced ahead of time, such as the turbo or energy store (KERS) a driver will be handed a standard 10-place grid penalty.

Once an engine is homologated, changes will only be permitted in the interests of installation, reliability and cost savings. Manufacturers will also be permitted to supply four teams from next season.

Gearboxes will also be expected to last an extra race, pushing out to six consecutive events rather than the current five.

As expected an aggressive limit was placed on the amount of fuel cars can use during a grand prix.

The fuel restrictions form a key part of the 2014 technical regulation changes as the sport moves to smaller capacity engines with a greater influence on engine efficiency.

Set at just 100kg its use will be monitored via an FIA approved fuel flow meter.


Technical regulations have been written in such a way that the sport will do away with stepped noses for 2014 and beyond, while forcing teams to run with a 'low' nose cone. This regulation has been designed with a view towards increasing driver safety in the event of a T-bone accident.

A standard side-impact crash structure has been developed and must be used by all teams, with a number of crash tests revised to accommodate the new design. This was introduced not only as a means of increased driver safety but also in the interests of cost saving.

Finally, driver safety has further been enhanced with increased crash testing around the drivers head. Where deflection of up to 20mm was allowed, for 2014 just 5mm will be permitted.

A new set of tyres will be given to teams for use in the first 30 minutes of opening practice, designed to encourage early running when the track is usually at its worst.

The pitlane speed limit has been reduced to 80 kph for all circuits with the exception of Monaco, Melbourne and Singapore where it will remain at 60 kph.

No comments: