Grid Penalty changes confirmed by FIA

Thursday, 07 december 2017, 05:37 , by Matthew Scott

The governing body of Formula One, FIA, has released a statement confirming changes to the Grid Penalty system which will be implemented at the start of the 2018 campaign following complaints from drivers and viewers alike that the current system had issues with timing and being too confusing.

At the moment, fines are issued to drivers when they exceed the limit of engine parts allowed for the duration of a campaign. If the drivers go over the allocated amount, they will receive a five-place grid penalty at the start of the next Grand Prix race.

However, as was the case with the Italy Grand Prix, grids can be confirmed as little as a few hours before the race itself which is the main reason for criticism of the current system.

From 2018 onwards, the engine limit has been set at just three per season, and there is concern that this will only result in a vast increase in grid penalties.

The FIA has released a statement and a new set of rules which was created to combat these concerns.

The statement reads: “The change to the power unit penalty system was also approved, whereby if a driver incurs a penalty exceeding 15 grid places he will be required to start the race from the back of the starting grid.

“If more than one driver receives such a penalty they will be arranged at the back of the grid in the order in which the offences were committed.”

Other changes included are:

  • Regulations relating to procedures for starting or resuming a race behind the safety car.
  • Changing the event timetable to increase flexibility.
  • Ensuring that testing of previous cars may only take place on tracks currently holding an FIA Grade 1 or 1T licence.
  • Provision for demonstration events in previous cars which does not constitute testing. No such demonstrations may exceed 50km in length and only tyres manufactured specifically for this purpose by the appointed supplier may be used.
  • Changes to ensure that oil cannot be used as fuel.
  • Introduction of a detailed specification for oil.
  • A minimum weight and volume for energy storage (batteries).
  • Changes to position of cameras and wing mirrors to accommodate the Halo.

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