Monthly Archives: March 2010

Kubica fastest in Australia Friday practice 1

Robert Kubica in Friday Practice 1 today

Robert Kubica in Friday Practice 1 today

Robert Kubica topped the Friday Practice 1 session, as two stoppages disrupted the session.

Kubica’s best lap of 1.26.927, set during a five-lap stint, was enough to put him on top, ahead of Nico Rosberg and Jenson Button. Nico was 0.199 seconds off the Pole, with Button 0.555 behind.

The session was disrupted by two stoppages, both caused by Kamui Kobayashi for Sauber. The first time, he hit a cone at Turn 12, damaging his front wing, and leaving debris across the track. The session was halted while the track was cleared. But, after Kobayashi left the pits, his front wing collapsed just before Turn 3, and he stopped out on track.

Kamui Kobayashi has a front wing failure at Turn 3

Kamui Kobayashi has a front wing failure at Turn 3

This second problem was probably caused by a poor repair of the first breakage.

Traffic seemed to be a huge problem at Albert Park this year, as there was very little space in between the cars on track. You can have a look for yourself at the video embedded below, of footage from practice there.

The new combination kerbs at Turn 9 caused a few problems. These new kerbs are high at the front end and low at the back side, which disencourages drivers from hitting them too hard. They were designed to stop corner-cutting at Turn 9. Both Vitaly Petrov and Heikki Kovalainen spun here in Practice 1.

Paul di Resta made his first official F1 appearance, taking part in the pratice sessions only this weekend. He finished 11th, 0.3 seconds slower than his team-mate Vitantonio Liuzzi. I have to say, he did a very good job today. This idea from Force India of using reserve drivers in Friday practice sessions is just what we need to get more yound drivers in Formula 1. Not that there’s a shortage of course, it’s just very difficult at the moment for young drivers to get into the sport.

Timo Glock was the slowest driver of the session, 7.998 seconds off Kubica’s time. He suffered problems with the car across the session. Also, there are rumours that Virgin will have to redesign the back of their cars, because the fuel tanks aren’t big enough to hold a race fuel load. Unless corrected by tomorrow, expect this to be a problem for the team on Sunday.

Lotus have moved away considerably from Virgin, while HRT have made excellent imrovements from Bahrain. Bruno Senna was only half a second behind Lucas di Grassi’s time, with Karun Chandhok another 0.8 seconds back. The team managed 24 and 19 laps with each driver, and there was only one stoppage for them, so reliability is much improved as well. This is a good sign towards a race finish on Sunday.

Pictures of both practice sessions will be up in a few hours, while an analysis piece should be done by tonight.

Here’s a video of Mark Webber showing us a lap of Melbourne (available in full HD):

Here’s another video, this time of spectator footage at 3 different points on the track. Note the lack of track space available to each driver:

Times for Friday practice 1:

Driver Team Time Difference # of laps
1 Robert Kubica Renault 1.26.927 22
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1.27.126 0.199 18
3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1.27.482 0.555 22
4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1.27.511 0.584 18
5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1.27.686 0.759 23
6 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1.27.747 0.820 21
7 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1.27.793 0.866 22
8 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1.28.014 1.087 21
9 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1.28.114 1.187 18
10 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1.28.192 1.265 18
11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1.28.537 1.610 25
12 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1.28.550 1.623 19
13 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1.28.572 1.645 21
14 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1.28.683 1.756 22
15 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1.29.465 2.538 13
16 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1.29.712 2.785 18
17 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1.30.249 3.322 26
18 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1.31.588 4.661 5
19 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1.31.652 4.725 13
20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1.31.654 4.727 26
21 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1.32.831 5.904 25
22 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1.33.401 6.474 24
23 Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1.34.251 7.324 19
24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1.34.925 7.998 8

Ecclestone wants F1 in New York by 2012

Bernie Ecclestone

Bernie Ecclestone

Since 1982, Bernie Ecclestone has been chasing a Grand Prix to be held in New York. Today, in an interview with Gazetta Dello Sport, he has renewed fresh rumours regarding a race in the city.

While Formula 1 once raced in the New York state, Ecclestone has always wanted one in the middle of the city. He said:

[It would be] in front of Manhattan in New Jersey, with the skyscrapers in the
background. Fifteen minutes from the centre of New York to the circuit would
be marvellous.

F1 last raced in America in Indianapolis in 2007. Ecclestone has said many times that he didn’t like the circuit, nor the people he worked with:

It’s all the wrong crowd and the wrong people and they didn’t really… nothing
worked there really, we’d have to have a big change round. But we’d like
to get back there.

I can’t really see how that makes sense. There’s no such thing as a wrong crowd, because attendance has always been high ever since Indianapolis first appeared in the calendar in 2000. The wrong people might be more accurate, in Ecclestone’s mind. It is well knows that Watkins Glen was dropped in the 1980’s because the organisers coudn’t keep up the payments, and the Indianapolis organisers didn’t want to pay Ecclestone’s increased demands for the next contract. So, we can conclude that Bernie has no real excuse, and just wants more money.

My question would lie in the fact that the wouldn’t be many people in America who would want to invest in a New York race. Most new Grands Prix are hosted in Asia and the Middle East, because there are people who are willing to invest huge sums of money in the races. I’m just not sure that there will be enough investment in the New York race, if it ever becomes a reality.

Having said that, I would love the idea of a race in New York, a creative street circuit especially. The one problem is that there would be too many street circuits on the calendar if this race started, which is ample reason to kick Valencia away and never to be seen again.

If you want, you can start designing your own New York street circuit on You home in on New York, click “start recording”, and double-click on the next part of your course as it unfolds. If you want, you can save the link of your idea and post it here.

Bridgestone announce tyre compounds for next 4 races

Bridgestone tyres

Bridgestone tyres

Bridgestone have announced the tyre compounds that they will bring to the next 4 races after Australia and Malaysia.

For all of these 4 Grands Prix, there will be one compound step in between the two that are brought. In the cases of China, Spain and Turkey, Bridgestone will be supplying hard and soft compounds. However, for the first time, the cars in Monaco will use the medium tyres, as well as the super-softs.

Clearly by putting in a compound step, Bridgestone are trying to increase the difference in performance between the two tyres, and thereby improve the racing. The problem lies in that the harder of the two tyre compounds can mostly be used for a large portion of the race, without dangerous amounts of wear.

There are two main solutions here. One, suggested by many, is to make the harder tyres less durable, so there would be more of a variety in tyre strategy. This makes sense in theory, but it is a monumental waste of tyres when you consider that Bridgestone are trying to be environmentally friendly.

The other solution, one that I think would be much better, is to bring in the old 2005 rule of using one set of tyres for the entire race. This would significantly improve Formula 1’s environmental record, as well as clear up the problem of changes in car performance across the race because of tyre compounds. Of course, a pit stop would be available for an instance of extreme and dangerous tyre wear.

Here is the table for tyre compounds used already, and for the next few races:

Race 2009 compounds 2010 compounds
Bahrain Medium/Super-soft Medium/Super-soft
Australia Medium/Super-soft Hard/Soft
Malaysia Hard/Soft Hard/Soft
China Medium/Super-soft Hard/Soft
Spain Hard/Soft Hard/Soft
Monaco Medium/Super-soft Medium/Super-soft
Turkey Hard/Soft Hard/Soft

First results of FOTA survey revealed

The first results of FOTA's survey are out today

The first results of FOTA's survey are out today

FOTA’s F1 fan survey results are being revealed in parts, after the first result was published a few days ago. Today, a new set of answers were shown, the most important of which was people’s opinions on the new points system.

With over 90,000 people taking part, 44.9% thought that the new 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 system was good. However 61.9% thought that there should still be a bigger gap between first and second place finishers. To be honest, this isn’t good news for the FIA. Note that 44.9% thought the new system was “good”, not very good, and there’s no info on how many dislike the new points system. Also, 61.9% still want an improvement in this system, so it clearly isn’t going down well at the moment.

F1 fans were also asked what was the watching feature they wanted most. 65.7% of these wanted High Definition broadcasting, then the option to follow a specific car in the race (53.7%), and then to be able to watch F1 on the internet (52.4%). to be honest, internet access to F1 is the one feature I really want. Up to last year, I didn’t have any channel that had F1 coverage, so I had to watch crap quality, unreliable streams from sources that would be taken down for copyright infringement as soon as Bernie found out. I wouldn’t mind if a new official F1 stream was set up, but it’ll be far too expensive, mark my word.

The most favourited venue to watch a race was Monaco (52%), followed by Italy (50.6%), Britain (42.9%) and Germany (28.8%). I can kind of see why Monaco is there, but I’m not so sure about Germany.

Ferrari returned to the top as the most favourited team, followed by McLaren (19.1%) and Mercedes (10.01%). Of course Ferrari and McLaren are there, but why would anyone support Mercedes? Incredibly boring livery, boring results so far, and they are just a bought-out version of Brawn. Oh yeah, they have Schumacher, so everything’s fine, of course.

Like I said a few days earlier, Michael Schumacher is the most popular F1 driver (19.5%), followed by Fernando Alonso (9.7%), Kimi Raikkonen (7.2%), Felipe Massa (6.1%), Lewis Hamilton (6.0%) and Robert Kubica (4.3%).

HRT targeting Australian race finish

Colin Kolles (left), team principal of HRT

Colin Kolles (left), team principal of HRT

After the somewhat dissapointing end to HRT’s Bahrain Grand Prix, the team are looking for improvements ahead of the Australian Grand Prix next weekend. According to team principal Colin Kolles, the team is targeting a race finish. He said:

“We have worked extremely hard since the Bahrain season opener. We have worked 
long hours and successfully with Bridgestone, Cosworth and Xtrac learned from 
our first laps with the car and found a good basis from which to start
preparation for our second Grand Prix in Australia in a few days.

We have successfully repaired the damage sustained by Karun Chandhok’s car and 
focused on building our car’s reliability. Our goal is to improve steadily and 
the next step is to work towards our first race finish. I am confident we will 
achieve this goal very soon and having seen how we came together as a team in 
Bahrain I can see just how much potential and commitment we have.”
Bruno Senna, before a radiator leak causes him to retire

Bruno Senna, before a radiator leak causes him to retire

First driver Bruno Senna did get 17 laps in the race, but then the car overheated thanks to a radiator leak, causing retirement. However, the Brazilian is happy with the team’s performance in Bahrain, an hopes to build on that in Melbourne:

“We need to continue building on what we achieved in Bahrain. We put two cars 
together and ran successfully in Bahrain. Now we must continue to work as a 
team. I came early to Australia to acclimatise to the time difference. I love 
Australia more and more, as I spend more time here! I have already driven on 
the Melbourne track, back in 2006.

I did the F3 support race for F1 back then and had a fairly successful weekend. 
I won! Now, I must work with the team to continue learning about the car. I 
have enjoyed working long hours with the team so far and I will be giving my
all as I really want to progress and guarantee them good results.”
Karun Chandhok just after his crash on Lap 2

Karun Chandhok just after his crash on Lap 2

Meanwhile, Karun Chandhok had a much harder time. He wasn’t able to run the car in Friday practice thanks to technical problems. He drove the car for the first time in qualifying, and was only 1.7 seconds behind his team-mate after only 2 laps in the car, which is pretty impressive. He still wasn’t used to the car, however, and crashed on Lap 2 of the race. Chandhok is now looking forward to the race in Australia:

“I am really looking forward to my second F1 race this weekend. I have never 
driven in Melbourne, but I am a very quick learner. I was able to work on a 
team’s simulator before the Grand Prix so that will help my familiarisation a 
little bit! Our next step with the team’s engineers is to make the car 
reliable for the race. The secret of good racing preparation is to complete 
as many laps as possible on Friday to see where we are with the car. Finishing the
race would be a fantastic achievement we will strive for.”

With the complete lack of track time, HRT did what they could in Bahrain. I don’t actually think they will, nor do I expect them to, finish in Melbourne, because of the track’s car-breaker record. Still, if they can set consistent laps for about 20 laps or so, then I would be happy with them. Naturally, with much more track time, I’m hoping for at least one finish each from Lotus and Virgin. All of this will change by Barcelona  (Race 5), and I will be expecting race finishes by all three teams by then.

Epsilon Euskadi looking for 2011 grid spot

Joan Villadelprat

Joan Villadelprat

Joan Villadelprat, the head of the Epsilon Euskadi team, has said that his squad is aiming to get into Formula 1 next year from 2011, after failing in its attempts last year.

While Epsilon Euskadi was on the shortlist for the 2010 grid spot, the place eventually went to the completely incompetent USF1, who promptly bottled it, and retracted their entry a week before the first race. The lack of time meant that no other team could be picked in time. However, Villadeprat is hopeful that his team can mount a more successful challenge for next year:

"We were ready in June, we had the financial support, but for whatever reasons 
we were not chosen.

We will reopen the project and my job is to re-gather all of the support that 
we had. If the FIA gives us enough time to be ready for next year, we can be in F1."

Villadelprat is not to be taken lightly, having been working for no less than 5 F1 teams over his lifetime. At the moment, his team works in the Le Mans Series, World Series by Renault, and the Formula Renault 2.0 West European Cup. They have also worked with many well-known drivers like Robert Kubica, Brandon Hartley, Jaime Alguersuari and Albert Costa. Like Stefan GP, they have good resources behind them, but it will still be down to the FIA to decide who gets the spot.

Stefan GP ends Toyota partnership

Stefan GP has now ended their technical partnership with Toyota

Stefan GP has now ended their technical partnership with Toyota

Stefan GP have announced today that they have ended their technical partnership with Toyota. The Serbian team, led by Zoran Stefanovich, had bought Toyota gearboxes, chassis and engines in expectation of getting a grid slot this year. However, since their application was rejected by the FIA, there will be no need for this partnership this year.

Stefanovich said:

"For 2010, it's not feasible to do it anymore. We are very grateful to Toyota, which is a great company and doing a 
great job in what they are doing. They are now organising things differently - they are now more profit-centered in 
TMG in Cologne.
We are looking for a solution which is feasible for us all the time. At the moment there is no opportunity to 
organise anything. We're basically looking to see which direction we will go in the very near future."

After this, he stated that another partnership with the Cologne squad was possible if the team were looking into applying for the 2011 F1 championship. At the moment, the FIA are open to submissions for the 13th grid place, and the reserve team. It is currently unclear if Stefan GP are going to apply for this position.

Hopefully they will, having come so close this year. To get hold of a reliable supply of vital car parts like they did is a great way of starting up an F1 team, and hopefully they can do the same next year. If they don’t, then they’re just giving up to a governing body which seriously mishandled what should have been a welcome sight, seeing many new teams in F1.

2009 flashback: When Brawn GP shocked the world

In a new series, before each race, I will look back at the race from last year, and talk about what we can expect this year. I would have done this for Bahrain, but I hadn’t thought of it then!


Button and Barrichello celebrate their historic 1-2

Button and Barrichello celebrate their historic 1-2

At no point over the winter of 2008/2009 did anyone at the Honda garage in Brackley think they would even be reasonably competitive in 2009, never even be able to compete. But, thanks to a bit of Ross Brawn magic, the team was saved, and their car made its testing debut three weeks before the season opener in Australia. Their pace shocked the paddock, as the Ferraris appeared quick – right up to the point where the Brawn went out on track. Richard Branson clearly saw something in the cars, and rushed to get his Virgin group sponsorship hastily applied on the cars, two days before the race. In qualifying, the Brawns took the front row, and the real surprise was when the fuel weights were revealed, and they were certainly not running light. As the cars lined up on the grid in Australia, with Button and Barrichello on the front row, the entire world knew they were in for something special.

It was, but not initially in the way they would have expected. Barrichello nearly stalled on the grid, and fell nearly 8 places before the first corner. He was far too quick to try and recover, and ended up in a collision with Mark Webber, which consequently took out Heikki Kovalainen, Adrian Sutil, and Nick Heidfeld. He remained in the midfield, but then ran into the back of Kimi Raikkonen a few laps later, whih damaged his front wing. This would be replaced at his first pit stop on Lap 18.

While all this was happening, Button was sailing away at the front, and pitted on Lap 19. However, unknown to him, Kazuki Nakajima crashed on that exact same lap, bringing out the safety car. Button had timed his pit stop to perfection, but still saw his 47.7 second lead reduced to nothing, until the safety car pitted on Lap 24. After this, he started to make a lead for himself again. Further back, it became apparent that there were problems with the tyres. The super-softs wore out after only 9 or 10 laps, which severely affected the Ferraris who took them on their first stint, and the medium tyres were impossible to put heat into.

Kubica crashes after colliding with Vettel

Kubica crashes after colliding with Vettel

This problem came to a climax on Lap 55. Vettel, in 2nd, was struggling with the graining super-softs, while Kubica in 3rd was flying on the medium tyres. Into Turn 2, and when Kubica tried to go round the outside, Vettel understeered into the BMW Sauber, and both cars collided. They both managed to keep going, with broken front wings, but not for long. Both drivers crashed within a few corners, because of chronic understeer from their damaged front wings. While Kubica was out on the spot, Vettel attempted to keep going on three wheels. His thinking behind this was that there were only a few laps left, and since the safety car would be out again for their crash, nobody would be able to overtake him, and he could keep 2nd place. He kept going for a few laps, but eventually gave up with two laps to go, and parked his car. The stewards were unimpressed with these actions, and handed him a 10-place grid penalty for Malaysia.

Meanwhile, under the safety car, there was even more action. In 3rd place, Jarno Trulli was struggling to keep his tyres warm under safety car conditions, locked a wheel, and ran onto the grass. While that happened, Lewis Hamilton moved up past him. For the next half a lap or so, both drivers talked to their teams on the radio, about whether Hamilton had to give the place back or not. McLaren decided to play it safe, and ordered Hamilton to give the place back to Trulli. While Trulli was initially confused, he soon took the place back, and finished 3rd. But, more was to follow after the race. McLaren, after the race, told the stewards that Hamilton had not been instructed to let Trulli past, and Jarno had gone past of his own accord. This penalty after the race meant Trulli was demoted to 12th, and Hamilton took 3rd. But, this was to turn into a large controversy before Malaysia.

After all of his incidents, Rubens Barrichello was incredibly lucky to be in 2nd place. His team-mate Button was slightly luck not to have been caught by Kubica in the closing stages, but his crash left the coast clear for a Brawn GP 1-2. This was the first time that a debut team had scored a 1-2 finish in their first race since Mercedes-Benz in 1954 with Juan Manuel Fangio and Karl Kling. Behind this duo, it was Trulli (yet to be penalised), Hamilton, Glock, Alonso, Rosberg, and debutant Sebastien Buemi for Toro Rosso. Neither Ferrari finished, as Massa had a mechanical problem, while Raikkonen spun and retired afterwards.

Button celebrates after winning in Australia

Button celebrates after winning in Australia

Button’s historic victory was the 200th for a British driver. This 1-2 finish indicated the start of a glorious season for Brawn GP. But, the battle of Trulli and Hamilton was about to resurface again. The FIA soon found out that Hamilton and McLaren had lied to the stewards, and disqualified him from the race. Trulli was handed back his 3rd position. Before Malaysia, it would be announced that Dave Ryan, who influenced Hamilton to lie to the stewards, would be fired from McLaren, and Hamilton would hold a special press conference to apologise.


So, what can we expect for next week’s race in Australia? The team formerly known as Brawn – Mercedes – doesn’t appear to have the pace to win, although Nico Rosberg is gunning for a podium. Ferrari, despite their torrid record in the last 2 years in Australia, must be confident, after their 1-2 finish in Bahrain. McLaren will be looking to improve upon the last race, and hopefully get Button higher up the field this time. And Red Bull just have to pray that Renault have fixed their engine reliability woes.

The tyre compounds are the same as last year, with super-softs and mediums being the choice again. Last year’s difficulty of the super-softs graining and wearing too quickly looks to have mostly been solved by Bridgestone this year, but expect the medium to be the tyre of choice next weekend. Again, unless there is an incredibly quick rule change, expect a 1-stop strategy, with the medium tyres to be used first. Some teams may opt to use the super-softs first, but I think that this is a really bad idea. No matter how hard Bridgestone work, the super-softs will still wear quickly. The very heavy fuel loads at the start of the race will mean excessive wear on softer tyres within only about 10 laps. Therefore, my ideal strategy would be to use the medium tyres for about 40 (out of 58) laps, with the super-softs lasting for the last 18. If the mediums do not last 40 laps, which they might not, then expect a two-stop strategy, with mediums used first, then two stints on the super-soft tyres.

One mechanical difficulty this year will be brakes. Australia has always had a reputation for heavily worn brakes, thanks to its many hard-braking areas in various places around the track. Like the tyres, the full tank of fuel at the start will mean huge amounts of wear on the brakes in the first stint. Therefore, don’t be expecting to see full braking by the drivers in the first stint, unless the teams have developed more durable brakes. As the fuel burns away, you would expect to see track times to decrease rapidly, but don’t expect too much of it. By the time that the fuel will be low, I would expect the brakes to be shot by this point.

Another part of the car that will be prone to wear is the engine. According to Williams, two-thirds of the lap is spent at full throttle, so there will be a high degree of engine wear here. Expect to see the Ferraris use their first engine (practice and qualifying) in practice here in Australia, and then use their third engine for qualifying and the race. The second engine used in the Bahrain race will be used later in the season.

As for the drivers? Expect to see Nico Rosberg perform well here, as he has a good track record here. Australia 2008 is where he got his first podium, don’t forget. He would have done better than 7th last year, if his tyres had been up to scratch. Apart from him, Lewis Hamilton has always been able to get a good result here. In his first ever race in 2007, he overtook Fernando Alonso and Robert Kubica on the first corner, and did a fine job keeping that position after that. He dominated the first race in 2008, and in 2009 fought his way up from the back of the grid to 4th. His lying after the race may have spoiled it all, but he still has great form here.

The new teams will hardly expect to finish here, with the track’s car-breaker record. If anyone can do it, it’s Lotus, as both Trulli and Kovalainen have good experience of this track, and know how to handle it. But, their Hitco brakes will probably not be up to the challenge, although their Cosworth engine should perform well. Expect the same from Virgin and HRT, but their hydraulic problems will probably not be fixed fully in time.

So, before any of the cars take to the streets of Melbourne, my provisional winner would be Sebastian Vettel. Red Bull, thanks to their Renault engine, can carry 10kg less fuel than their rivals at the start, and this will be a huge advantage in the first stint, which may enable them to use the super-soft tyres at the start, if they wish. If the car is fast enough, expect Vettel to take the win, although I’m not so sure about pole position. As long as their engine holds up this time.

Schumacher voted most popular F1 driver

The FOTA logo

The FOTA logo

A few weeks back, FOTA launched “the most exhaustive F1 fan survey ever”. A huge range questions were put to the fans, and one of these has become the first result to be published from the survey. Michael Schumacher has been voted the most popular driver in F1, ahead of Fernando Alonso.

However, the margin of how popular he is is quite surprising. Schumacher took 19.5% of the entire vote, compared to Alonso’s 9.7%. In third place was a driver who isn’t even in Formula 1 any more – Kimi Raikkonen.

This is the first result of a huge survey. Over 90,000 (knock off a zero there, and I can make a good few jokes!) people took part, and there will be a huge degree of expectation to see some of the answers, such as how they feel about races, and how they could be improved. These results should be out within a few weeks.

FIA closes rear diffuser loophole

Artwork of McLaren's starter motor and diffuser design

Artwork of McLaren's starter motor and diffuser design

The FIA has clamped down on 4 of the teams’ diffuser designs, after they closed a loophole in the technical regulations which allowed the teams to aerodynamically improve their diffuser with the starter motor.

At the moment, there is a hole in the starter motor, to allow the car to be started up. However, these holes have since been aerodynamicaly sculpted to allow diffuser improvements. While the FIA cannot do anything about the aero sculpting, they can limit the size of the starter motor hole. They felt that this hole was too wide, which is not a technical infringement, but is against the spirit of the rules.

While there is no strict dimensions for the starter motor hole, the FIA have sent out a letter to each of the teams, laying out the maximum diameter of the hole, and maximum projected area that is now allowed. This rule change affects four teams – McLaren and Mercedes, and Renault and Force India are rumoured to be the other two.

This means that these four teams will have to change their starter motor and diffuser designs before the Australian Grand Prix next weekend.