Major F1 rules update announced

The F1 Strategy Group meeting has concluded with a package of proposed regulations to revamp the sport over the next two years.

As predicted, the FIA has stated that it will increase restrictions on the use of driver aids and coaching, which received unanimous support from the teams. As such, from this year’s Belgian Grand Prix, new steps will be taken to give ‘the driver full control of the car, enhancing race excitement and unpredictability’ according to the official press release. This will particularly apply to the use of computer aided starts.

Engine updates

Following much criticism from teams, drivers, fans and the press for the excessive application of engine penalties in recent races, the FIA has confirmed an overall of its power unit usage punishments pending an F1 Commission vote next week.

The vote will also include new measures to introduce changes to the cars’ exhaust systems to improve engine noise for 2016, while it was agreed to allow an extra power unit per driver in the first year for any new manufacturer entering the sport. This is designed to provide greater fairness and parity between manufacturers, and will apply retroactively to Honda for the 2015 season.

Aggressive look

According to the official press release, a new set of regulations aimed at achieving faster and more aggressive looking cars for 2017 – including wider cars and wheels, new wings and floor shape and significantly increased aerodynamic downforce – has been outlined and is currently being assessed by the teams.

Increased freedom of choice for tyre compounds has also been confirmed and is being finalised in partnership with Pirelli.

Finally, several changes to the qualifying and race weekend formats have also been mooted for 2016 introduction.

The FIA has not given any further details at this time, but this is certainly part of a wider to be seen to be proactive and responsive to the calls of F1’s fans.

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