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F1 set for EMERGENCY rule change which could massively benefit teams

F1 set for EMERGENCY rule change which could massively benefit teams

F1 set for EMERGENCY rule change which could massively benefit teams

F1 set for EMERGENCY rule change which could massively benefit teams

After October's Qatar Grand Prix saw a dramatic conclusion with a number of drivers suffering heat-induced ill health, the FIA have been prompted to implement a key new rule in response.

The FIA had already launched an investigation into the scenes witnessed at the end of the race, with Esteban Ocon admitting he threw up in his helmet while Lance Stroll said he felt like he was passing out while driving.

Logan Sargeant had already retired from the race after feeling too ill to continue, while Alex Albon had to be helped from his cockpit.

While race winner Max Verstappen didn't need hospital attention like some of his rivals, he was also seen visibly struggling in the conditions.

What changes have the FIA made?

Max Verstappen looked shattered after the race
Logan Sargeant had to retire from the race in Qatar thanks to the conditions

The F1 commission agreed to a design change that allows cool air to be funnelled into the cockpit to help the drivers endure the sweltering temperatures, though the FIA have gone one step further.

They have given themselves emergency powers that would enable weight to be added to the car in extreme conditions, to the tune of around two kilograms.

This weight could take the form of ice vests, to ensure the drivers’ body temperatures don’t reach dangerous levels.

Can this be policed?

Nikolas Tombazis does not expect team's to exploit the ruling to gain an advantage

Any loophole that can be exploited in the regulations normally is - so could this present an opportunity for the teams to get clever with weight allocation? Hitting the weight limit is a key component to a car's success, with a fair few teams over the weight limit last year by a considerable margin.

According to FIA single-seater director Nikolas Tombazis, the finer points have yet to be clarified but he believes teams will not be able to use this ruling to gain an advantage.

"We need to work out some of the details, but we want to make it clear that it's not something that you can use for any form of dodgy advantage," he said.

"It's really for the purpose of [cooling] and it's mandatory. Therefore, you could put the ballast in the seat, but you'd be a bit of an idiot because, like in Qatar, we saw drivers towards the latter part of the race make mistakes. I think that it is clearly not in the teams' interest [to ignore it]."

READ MORE: F1 teams sent SAFETY warning by FIA

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