F1 approves 2015 changes

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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The ban on tyre blankets will be rescinded for 2015.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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