Along with these changes to the regulations, the FIA President confirmed that the focus will be on reducing costs, improving the show, making cars quicker and more difficult to drive, and reviewing the technical and sporting regulations, with the aim of simplifying the rules where possible.
Points for both titles will no longer be doubled for the final Event of the Championship.
After consultation with the Teams who raised a number of safety concerns, Articles 42.7 and 42.8 on standing restarts have been rescinded.
Virtual Safety Car (VSC)
Following tests of the VSC system at the final Events of 2014, the introduction of the system has been approved for 2015. The VSC procedure may be initiated to neutralise a race upon the order of the clerk of the course. It will normally be used when double waved yellow flags are needed on any section of track and competitors or officials may be in danger, but the circumstances are not such as to warrant use of the safety car itself. (The full text of the article can be fopund at the end of this article).
Suspending a race
When a race is suspended, the pit exit will be closed and all cars must now proceed slowly into the pit lane, not the starting grid. The first car to arrive in the pit lane should proceed directly to the pit exit staying in the fast lane, all the other cars should form up in a line behind the first car.
Team personnel or equipment on grid
If any team personnel or team equipment remain on the grid after the 15 second signal has been shown the driver of the car concerned must start the race from the pit lane. A ten second stop-and-go penalty will be imposed on any driver who fails to do this.
Power Unit Penalties
The replacement of a complete power unit will no longer result in a penalty, instead as specified in the current regulations, penalties will be applied cumulatively for individual components of the power unit.
If a grid place penalty is imposed, and the driver's grid position is such that the full penalty cannot be applied, the remainder of the penalty will be applied in the form of a time penalty during the race (not at the next race as was previously the case) according to the following scale:
1 to 5 grid places untaken: A penalty under Article 16.3(a) will be applied.
6 to 10 grid places untaken: A penalty under Article 16.3(b) will be applied.
11 to 20 grid places untaken: A penalty under Article 16.3(c) will be applied.
More than 20 grid places untaken: A penalty under Article 16.3(d) will be applied.
In addition to the existing five-second penalty (Article 16.3a), a new ten-second penalty (Article 16.3b) will also be introduced, to be applied in the same manner.
If a car is deemed to have been released in an unsafe condition during a race a ten second stop-and-go penalty will be imposed on the driver concerned. An additional penalty will be imposed on any driver who, in the opinion of the stewards, continues to drive a car knowing it to have been released in an unsafe condition.
The qualifying procedure was clarified: for cases when 24 cars are eligible seven will be excluded after Q1 and Q2, if 22 cars are eligible six cars will be excluded after Q1 and Q2, and so on if fewer cars are eligible.
Safety Car: lapped cars
Once the last lapped car has passed the leader the safety car will return to the pits at the end of the following lap, the race director will no longer have to wait for all the lapped cars to reach the back of the pack behind the safety car.
- The weight of the car, without fuel, must not be less than 702kg at all times during the Event (up from 701kg).
- Changes have been made to the rules governing Wind Tunnel Testing and with regard to the aerodynamic reporting periods for 2015 and 2016.
- Any suspension system fitted to the front wheels must be so arranged that its response results only from changes in load applied to the front wheels.
- Any suspension system fitted to the rear wheels must be so arranged that its response results only from changes in load applied to the rear wheels.
- The Zylon anti-intrusion panels on both sides of the survival cell have been extended upwards to the rim of the cockpit and alongside the pilot's head.
Article 41: Virtual Safety Car (VSC)
41.1 The VSC procedure may be initiated to neutralise a race upon the order of the clerk of the course. It will normally be used when double waved yellow flags are needed on any section of track and competitors or officials may be in danger, but the circumstances are not such as to warrant use of the safety car itself.
41.2 When the order is given to initiate the VSC procedure a message "VSC DEPLOYED" will be displayed on the official messaging system and all FIA light panels will display "VSC".
41.3 No car may be driven unnecessarily slowly, erratically or in a manner which could be deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers or any other person at any time whilst the VSC procedure is in use. This will apply whether any such car is being driven on the track, the pit entry or the pit lane.
41.4 No car may enter the pits whilst the VSC procedure is in use unless it is for the purpose of changing tyres.
41.5 All competing cars must reduce speed and stay above the minimum time set by the FIA ECU at least once in each marshalling sector (a marshalling sector is defined as the section of track between each of the FIA light panels). All cars must also be above this minimum time when the FIA light panels change to green (see 41.7 below). The stewards may impose either of the penalties under Article 16.3a), b), c) or d) on any driver who fails to stay above the minimum time as required by the above.
41.6 With the exception of the cases listed under a) to d) below, no driver may overtake another car on the track whilst the VSC procedure is in use.
The exceptions are :
- When entering the pits a driver may pass another car remaining on the track after he has reached the first safety car line.
- When leaving the pits a driver may overtake, or be overtaken by, another car on the track before he reaches the second safety car line.
- Whilst in the pit entry, pit lane or pit exit a driver may overtake another car which is also in one of these three areas.
- If any car slows with an obvious problem.
41.7 When the clerk of the course decides it is safe to end the VSC procedure the message "VSC ENDING" will be displayed on the official messaging system and, at any time between 10 and 15 seconds later, "VSC" on the FIA light panels will change to green and drivers may continue racing immediately. After 30 seconds the green lights will be extinguished.
41.8 Each lap completed whist the VSC procedure is in use will be counted as a race lap.
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