The FIA has tweaked the Formula 1 sporting regulations ahead of the 2019 F1 season. This is in order to encourage drivers with engine penalties to take part in more of qualifying.
A new rule for the 2018 season saw drivers receiving more than 15 places worth of grid penalties be sent to the back of the grid in order to prevent sizeable grid drops being racked up.
However, when more than one driver was sent to ‘the back of the grid’, their positions would be formed by the order in which the cars first headed out at the start of FP1.
As a result, many drivers ended up sitting at the end of the pit lane before the end of FP1. It also meant that many would only take minimal part in qualifying as their grid position had already been defined.
However, for 2019, this will no longer be the case. Recently, the FIA issued an updated set of sporting regulations. According to that, the penalised drivers sent to the back of the grid will now line up in the order that they qualified.
The sole purpose of this ruling is to encourage drivers to take part in qualifying when there are multiple power unit penalties issued at events.
To be honest, this looks like a good move as it will force even the engineers to rethink their strategies. It will also be helpful for the drivers to gain track position over their fellow penalised opponents.
One thing is for sure, the 2019 F1 season will certainly be interesting in terms of how the drivers will stack up against their teammates. This new rule change will give the fans another thing to look forward to.