17 Technical Changes in 2015 F1 Season

Published 12/15/2014, 12:29 PM EST


Apart from drivers switching teams, new engine providers and new Grand Prix, here are some technical and sporting regulation changes for the next F1 season.

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  • The number of power units that a driver is permitted to use in a season has been reduced from five in 2014 to four in 2015. With some teams having used as many as seven power units in 2014, this is predicted to be a big challenge.

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  • The rules regarding engine development that were introduced in 2014 have been changed. Now the manufacturers are authorized half the development permitted in 2014; the development will be halved again in 2016.
  • Following the backlash over “ugly” nose designs in 2014, the FIA moved to amend the rules surrounding nose designs for the 2015 season. Noses will now be lower than in 2014, retaining a minimum cross section, but they must taper to a point at a fixed linear rate, effectively outlawing the dramatic finger shapes seen in 2014 in favor of a more gradual shape. Furthermore, the design of the nose must be symmetrical and consistent with the centreline of the car, thereby banning the more exotic designs, such as the “twin-tusk” approach used by Lotus on the E22.
  • The minimum weight of the cars at all times during an event has been increased to 702 kilograms (1,548 lb).
  • The ban on Front-and-Rear Interconnected suspension systems (FRIC) implemented in the middle of the 2014 season has been formalised, with the regulations stating that the front and rear suspension must be designed in such a way that any change in performance must be a direct result of a change in load applied solely to them.
  • The anti-intrusion panels on both sides of the survival cell have been extended upwards to the rim of the cockpit and alongside the pilot’s head.
  • Following the financial struggles faced by Marussia and Caterham in 2014, the FIA has approved the use of 2014-specification chassis in 2015 provided that teams showed cause and received an individual dispensation to compete with their old chassis.
  • The partial ban on pit-to-car communication introduced at the 2014 Singapore Grand Prix will be extended to include a blanket ban on sharing technical data between team and driver, such as specific fuel consumption settings.
  • Double points will no longer be awarded at the final event of the championship. This change gives equal significance to every Grand Prix unlike in 2014.
  • Following the serious accident of Jules Bianchi during the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix a new procedure called Virtual Safety Car (VSC) will be introduced, obliging drivers to reduce their speed to match the one indicated on their displays on their steering wheels. The procedure may be initiated when double waved yellow flags are needed on any section of a circuit where competitors and officials may be in danger, but the circumstances are not as such to warrant deployment of the actual Safety Car. Earlier speed restriction was left for the driver to decide. This change would provide safer conditions.
  • The Safety Car procedure has been amended. Now, once the last lapped car will have passed the Safety Car, it will return to the pits at the end of the following lap. This is a change of the previous practice which required the unlapped cars to catch up with the back of the pack before the Safety Car could return to the pits.
  • If a race is suspended, the cars will no longer line up on the grid but will slowly proceed to the pit lane instead. Pit exit will be closed and the first car to arrive in the pit lane will proceed to the exit with the other lining up behind the first one.
  • If any team personnel or team equipment remain on the grid after the fifteen-second signal has been shown before the start of the formation lap, the driver of the car concerned must start the race from the pit lane. If the driver concerned fails to obey this, they will receive a ten second stop-and-go penalty.
  • The replacement of a complete power unit will no longer result in a penalty. Instead, penalties will be applied cumulatively for individual components of the power unit. If such a grid place penalty is imposed and the driver’s grid position is such that the full penalty cannot be applied, then the remainder of the penalty will no longer be carried over to the next race, but will instead be applied in the form of a time penalty during the race corresponding to the number of grid spaces remaining in the penalty.
  • In addition to the existing five-second penalty that may be served during a driver’s scheduled pit stop, a new ten-second penalty that will have to be served in the same manner, will be introduced.

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  • If a car is deemed to have been released from its pit stop in an unsafe manner, the driver will receive a ten second stop-and-go penalty. Further penalties will be applied if the stewards believe that the driver is aware of this and attempts to drive the car regardless.

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  • The qualifying procedure has been further clarified to cater to different sizes of starting grids: if twenty-four cars are entered for the race, seven will be eliminated after the each of the first two qualifying segments; if twenty-two are entered, six will be eliminated after each qualifying segment and so on if fewer cars are eligible.

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Pranav Aggarwal

27 articles

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