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World Motorsport Council Report 26 June 2014.

From the FIA press release:

The following decisions were taken by the WMSC:

FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

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The ban on tyre blankets will be rescinded for 2015.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.

Many of these changes had been discussed before, but a couple interest me particularly.  Reducing the number of power units from five to four for the season looks very harsh given how many teams have used so far this season.  This could even give Mercedes some concerns.

The other change which strikes me as odd is the new regulation to ensure that the brake discs rotate at the same speed as the wheels.  Now I would have assumed that this was what happens now, but the fact that it has made an appearance in the regulations means that either a team is doing something different now, or they have asked if they can in the future.  So who is it, and what are they doing?

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A long time fan of Formula 1 and grass roots motorsport, I am interested in the engineering aspects not only of F1 but the 'men in sheds' who develop homemade specials to take on the products of the big racing car manufacturers.
  • Chuck C

    Well, they’ve gotten rid of a practice session after all. P3 is now useless.

    • What are your thoughts on the standing starts?

      • novex

        I think standing starts will definitely make the show a bit more a spectacle, as there are bound to be some big changes in the pecking order whenever this happens. But I also think it will be a detriment to people that worked hard on a good strategy. I’m not sold on it, but we’ll see, i’m sure it will make things exciting.

        One change i was hoping for would have been to push pirelli for more mechanical grip, so wider tires! that’s a bigger change on suspension dynamics though. But if they are reducing aero and still want drivers to be able to push to the limit, then give them more mechanical grip! it will be even for all teams, because it will be at the hands of pirelli. I want to see drivers being able to push hard, not hold back.

      • Chuck C

        They’re fine where they are: at the beginning of a race. Are they now going to extend the time of the race, too? These standing starts are going to take up minutes as the cars get into position. In places like Singapore where they’re already pushing the limit, are they going to go to timed finishes now?

        Race restarts are just fine as they are now.

      • Jim

        I think that Mark Webber is even happier he got out of F1 when he did…

        And I’m not just taking a shot at him for his poor starts.. Formula 1 is turning into an embarrassment, I think he had the right idea leaving, hell even I’m considering turning my back on the sport with each new rule introduced to spice things up.

        Introducing a standing start after a safety car period is one of the most asinine ideas to ‘spice up the show’ they’ve come out with yet. Have they even considered the fact that most incidents happen during the start or in the laps that follow? How many times have we seen a safety car deployed right after the start? How many cars have we seen retire simply because they over heated while sitting on the grid? How will that increase the quality of racing? Why not just red flag the race? That way we wouldn’t have any of the disadvantages of running the safety car: marshals having to stop working to let the field through, having to wait for the back markers to un-lap themselves,running up to 10% of the race without actually being able to race. Now on top of all of that we will also have to wait for the cars to line up in their grid positions?

        I was looking forward to the 2015 season, I was hopeful someone running the sport would get their head out of their ass long enough to do away with double points next season. That maybe someone would start addressing the sports real problems, I still didn’t see anything even hinting that they plan to take a serious look at driver weight for next year or any serious attempts to help sort out the dire financial situation over half the teams are in.

        I guess I’m really the one at fault here.. I keeping making the mistake of thinking F1 is a sport, I even did while writing this. Formula 1 is a show, I just wonder how long it will be until there’s no one left watching.

        • Hyver

          “Have they even considered the fact that most incidents happen during the start or in the laps that follow?”

          Call me cynical, but when I first read this I assumed this was the entire point of the new rule. Are you not entertained?!?!

  • Overall, if you were looking for more sweeping changes, what would some of those have been?

  • jeff z

    It’s f1 it should be run what you bring and hope your brought enough I vote for 2017 1 motor per race and open up all these silly rules and see who is the best

    • I agree limit the width & maybe the fuel other than that go for it!

  • Sam

    I like the idea of standing restarts. It would increase variability and end these weird almost break checks the leader does. That being said did Ferrari push this through solely for Alonso’s benefit? P

  • the drivers seat

    standing starts is an amazingly short sighted idea, the build up of excess rubber off line would mean anyone in an even number position would be completely vunerable

    • Andreas

      Paul, you’re touching on a very important bit here. I wonder if the rule geniuses even thought about that. With the comedy tyres, the amount of marbles off-line already makes passing difficult. It’s been better this year, since Pirelli decided to go more conservative, but some of the teams want them to be less durable again. And now we’re going to have situations where half the field has to make standing restarts in the marbles?

    • Julian

      As soon as they think a SC is going to come out, I can imagine the 2nd place driver trying to deliberately lose his position so he gets to restart in third and easily take back 2nd.

      This idea is terrible, I think I would rather have sprinklers.

  • Andreas

    So, no more FP3 then. Who would run in a session where you can’t work on the setup, and risk having to start from the pit lane if you have an off? Fake sparks are now mandatory, and the “safety car” has been changed to the “lottery car”, with the express purpose of shuffling the field. I’ve said before that this season I’ve followed F1 closer than I’ve done for years. 2015 is looking more and more like the season I went “meh” and said “hello WEC!”. If F1 is afraid of losing fans, they just took a huge step in the wrong direction…

  • Adding standing restarts should only be done in the case of a red flag. They however should look at their restart procedure because it can be gamed very easily into a large lead by the leader. For example how the cars are formed up leading to the safety car pulling off and when the leader can go. Maybe have a zone that the leader can take off from like Nascar or only when the green flag is waved by a human. The way it is right now the leader basically drives off to a 1 second lead by backing everyone down while the safety car drives the 3rd sector and then mashes it before they even get to the last corner. Standing starts solves that problem but just in a goofy way.

    • Chuck C

      That’s just one of the perks of being in the lead: you get to control the restart. Odds are you gave up MUCH more that that one second or so when someone else screwed your race up.

  • What about the dirty side of the grid?

  • rapierman

    So, now they want the back markers to rear-end the front runners? Seriously?

  • Why didn’t the World Motorsport Council discuss regulation changes regarding the sound of the engines? Instead of just adding trumpets to the rear end of the car. Lets make a terrible sounding car louder! Hey, yeah that makes a whole lot of sense!

  • Tim C

    The Pinnacle of Motorsports is morphing into NASCAR. When I want to watch NASCAR, I watch NASCAR. The powers that be in F1 must think we are complete idiots.

  • Manuel G

    And again F1 just found a way to frustrate fans even more, I’m struggling to keep myself positive about the future of the series but it just keeps getting worse and worse.

    Standing Restarts: I mean, what is the point of qualifying anymore? Just start from p15, stretch your first stint a little by managing tyres and wait for a crash and you got it, pole position.

    Parc Ferme now after p3: What is the point of that? I guess it’s just a step to eliminate p3 completly by 2016 I guess as no one will go out in P3 as there is no point to it anymore.

    Engines go from 5 to 4!?!? : It’s already a ridiculous amount of engines at the moment and its clear no one is going to make it to the end of the season under 5 PU and they still want to lower that number!? I see soo many penalties coming now for 2015 (posible wins, podiums, points will be affected by this)

    All these decisions and the ones for this season (double points) are just plain stupid….they completly lost the plot. I don’t want to abandon F1 as it has a special place for me as a petrolhead….but the FIA are making a fantastic job at making me lose interest in it.

  • Why do I have this queasy feeling that F1 is going to die a death of a thousand cuts before the people in charge realize that they have killed the golden goose. It’s almost as if the FIA has no purpose or direction that they want to stick with. “Maybe if we try this more people will watch it!” Did anyone want this grid restart rule? I feel that this would increase the chances of more safety cars. The biggest chance for crashes usually are during the starts due to them being so bunched up. What happens if there’s are restart incidents that requires a safety car twice in a row? If it gets that bad then we will see a lot more red flags in the future.

    HD tires, double points, inconsistent penalty enforcement. It seems the sprinklers and the gold medals are getting closer all the time. How about they add a system that when the racing gets boring an explosive bolt inside the engine of a random car causes exciting catastrophic failure. That should keep the dumb rubes of the view public such as myself entertained long enough to sneak in another unwarranted rule change.

  • modoc

    You know, sprinklers don’t sound so far fetched now.

  • F1Kat

    Soon all the features of the Death Race will be implemented + the following
    1. Driver will not be allowed to pie 5 hours before the start of the race.
    2. Pit radio will be switched off between no.of laps – 20% and +20% of total laps
    3. Changing compound not allowed in the last 10 laps and in first 10 laps
    4. Driver has to take 5 oz of vodka at the pit stop
    5. as said before sprinklers will be deployed when leader laps the back marker
    6. Berni will shot paint ball at the back marker to get TV time
    7. 10 sec will be added per turn in front wing while racing
    8. Monza race will feature cars without rear wing
    9. no front wing in silverstone
    10. Double DRS only for back marker
    11. Lapped car can defend the leader
    12. Driver should switch to next team if he wins WDC

    Still this will be called as pinnacle of motor sport.
    I wish to buy all the race DVD’s of the past and watch every weekend rather

    Grid restart? do you want another 1994? coolers tire + hot engine = disaster
    park ferme FP3? another rule should be added “one set of compound only for FP3” other wise nobody will run p3
    4 engines per season, sure there will be penalty for the WDC leader
    better looking front wing? F1 is not about sound and look, it is something else. Men dominating a machine, ask The Rat, The King, The Professor, The Champion and The Spanish Bull they will tell what racing is bout.

    • PM

      LOL. Kimi will love number 4.

  • PM

    I only see one flaw with standing restart idea. It is the fact that safety cars aren’t guaranteed at every race. To really spice up the show, f1 should enforce a mandatory standing restart five laps before the end of every grand prix. That way, we can watch commercials, for 80% of the race and then just tune in to the last five.

    On a side note, does anyone know of any other good, serious racing series that I can follow once f1 becomes a complete joke. I am considering watching Mario Kart instead….

    • Andreas

      I can’t say enough positive stuff about WEC, Most races can be watched live via their website, and it’s full-on racing (including traffic management). They have an intricate system of performance equalisation, which still somehow isn’t anything you notice while watching.

      So far this season, F1 has been really exciting and worth the time. But if the double points rule ends up changing the end result dramatically, I really don’t know how to feel about that. And the stupid rules for next year – the lottery restarts in particular – may well push me further towards endurance racing.

    • Noah

      Try Solar Car Racing. There’s a race at the Circuit of the Americas called the “Formula Sun Grand Prix” that is free to go to. Then there’s a cross-country race done on public roads that lasts about a week and ends in St. Paul. It’s interesting because it is largely unregulated and all the vehicles are hand built by college students. The University of Michigan has pretty decent coverage of the races.

  • Noah

    This would have been a hilarious satire piece a week ago. Now that it’s real, it’s not so funny.
    As a relatively new F1 fan (started seriously following in 2011), I really miss the screaming V8s. The sound is a huge part of what got me hooked, I even had the sound of an F1 V8 as my ringtone. No one would want a ringtone of the current sound. The sound was so unique, and even my 8 year old sister could tell that the cars were fast, just because they sound like it. Now they sound like turbocharged lawn mowers. At first I thought it was the change to a turbo V6, but then I saw Sebastien Loeb in is Peugot 208, and that V6 sounds incredible.
    If they allowed more power units, would that improve the sound because they can run their engines more aggressively?

  • Oh my, standing starts approved? What a terrible idea. More carnage risk following race-cessation? Additional advantage for those starting on the racing line? Absolutely hate this idea.

    For the tech-interested: Why isn’t a fixed max Coefficient of Drag mandated? Having a fixed, lower-Max CD solves several problems:

    1. Less turbulence= easier passing for the trailing car (eliminate DRS and other passing complaint bull)
    2. Monitor downforce levels while minimalizing detail reg changes=More development scope
    3. Easily measurable

    Is there a downside?

    • On 2nd thought, disregard that bad drag limitation idea.. Finding a suitable 3rd-party wind tunnel for confirmation in Europe, the cost/logistics ofteams having to schlep their cars there every time they tweak the car… Poorly-thought argument.