The 2020 F1 season is set to commence in a couple of weeks’ time. However, F1 fans shouldn’t expect empty stands to be the only new thing introduced this season. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, F1 teams and drivers will have to take numerous precautions. To ensure the safety of staff and drivers, the FIA has amended a number of race procedures. When the season begins, these regulations will come into action.
The FIA has compiled a list of 6 amended regulations that will not only safeguard the health of drivers but also of all F1 personnel. The first change is, “Ability for the Stewards to operate remotely in exceptional circumstances. Should the conditions require it.” This allows the stewards to address any travel issues they may face in getting to a race. The second is, “Adjustments to team curfew periods because of working conditions under social distancing.” This will allow team personnel to work an hour later on Thursdays and Friday. Additionally, 8 hours is to be the new curfew time instead of 9.
The third change is, “Amendments to the tire allocation regulations to give greater flexibility to the FIA and Pirelli.” All drivers will now be given the same allocation i.e 2 sets of hard, 3 of the medium, and 8 of the soft. Additionally, Pirelli can now announce the allocations a minimum of two weeks before an event. 15 weeks before flyaway races and 9 weeks before European ones were the old regulations.
The fourth is, “Introduction of Team Personnel Limits at the starting grid.” Only 40 personnel per team will be allowed on the grid. Fifth, “Adjustments to certain race procedures (start, race resumption, etc).” The pit exit will now close 20 mins prior to the start of a race. Previously this number was 30 minutes. Also, a new rule states that there can be only 16 crew members per driver still on the track when the three-minute signal is shown.
The sixth change is, “Definition of the podium ceremony for Open and Closed Events to cater for COVID-19 restrictions.” What replaces the Podium ceremony isn’t clear as of now. But the FIA gives the race director the authority to determine the ceremony.