A raft of changes have been announced for 2011 and 2012
The FIA has announced a new series of rules for the 2011 season, and some to be introduced in 2012, the most important of which being that gearboxes now have to last 5 races.
This improves upon last year’s restrictions of 4 races on the same gearbox. As the 2011 F1 calendar contains 20 races, this means that most teams will be looking to use only 4 gearboxes for the entire season.
Steward penalties have been revised relating for the rules on “driving and driver conduct”. Race Director Charlie Whiting also has the option to close the pit lane during the race, for safety reasons, if he deems necessary.
The rules will be clarified as to when cars can overtake the safety car, following the controversy at the Valencian GP. Shallow wet tyres (behind the full wets), are now reclassified as intermediates, but that’s what most of us have been saying anyways.
A penalty can be awarded to any driver who fails to use both specifications of tyres during the race. The cars will be modified to allow “anti-intrusion panels” to protect the driver’s legs in case of an accident. On the technical side, the definitions of the “reference plane, and reinforcement of bodywork deflection tests, especially at the front of the reference plane” have all been changed.
For the 2012 season, all team radio communications will be available to F1 broadcasters. The intention of this is to allow more transmissions to be displayed to the audience.
Fuel compounds will be produced from biomass, but no further detail is available at the moment. The number of suspension uprights will also be limited.
The long-awaited 2013 engine rules have been announced, as well as a statement on team orders, and these will be dealt with in separate articles.