Formula One 2020 Season: All the Technical and Regulation Changes Coming This Year

January 20, 2020 12:16 am

Formula One has come a long way in the last 70 years. From an Alfa Romeo 158, a 1.5-litre straight-8 supercharged engine which was driven by the great Juan Manuel Fangio to Mercedes AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+ in which Lewis Hamilton won his 6th Formula One world championship. We are currently seeing the hybrid era in Formula One world championship. The cars can be tricky to understand due to the amount of engineering is being put into them. Let’s talk about the regulation changes for the 2020 season. These changes are divided into two parts – Sporting regulations and Technical regulations.

Sporting Regulations for 2020 Formula One season:

  1. Screens during testing–Teams have been using screens during testing to protect the new cars from the eyes of the tabloids but since Liberty Media has got its hands on the steering wheel of Formula One it has done some changes to attract more fans across the globe and this change is synonymous to it only, from giving green lights to ‘Formula 1: Drive to Survive’ and ‘F2: Chasing the Dream’ documentary which gives an inside view of the racing world. Now teams will not be able to use the screens in the pre-seasons tests when the track is live. Teams can use screens when the car’s floor is not fitted
  2. Chequered flag– The chequered light panel replaced the chequered flag in 2019. Due to a technical glitch at the Japanese Grand Prix, these chequered light panel flashed a lap before the official last lap. It caused the official results counted from a lap before from the last lap, as a result, FIA has decided to bring back the chequered flag
  3. Points for free practice sessions – The young drivers recruited as the test drivers are now eligible for FIA super license points. A driver that completes a minimum of 100 Kms during a free practice session will receive additional points on their license provided they do not commit any driving violation
  4. Testing – FIA has cut the number of days testing used to take place earlier from 8 to 6 days. There will be 2 three days tests in Barcelona on Feb 19-21 and Feb 26-28. FIA has also removed the mid-season testing. It is now mandatory for teams to use drivers with two or fewer GP starts in at least one day of the post-season testings
  5. Design Change – A design change that would provide little aerodynamic impact on the cars, ‘Shark Fins’. These are small plate on the engine cover to display the drivers’ number for better viewing experience for the fans
  6. An extra hour of sleep!! – F1 is a team sport and even a single mechanic or pit crew can create an impact on the team’s performance. FIA introduced a mandatory curfew for the mechanics of Eight hours on Thursday & Friday during which they are not allowed to work on the cars has now been made to Nine Hours
  7. Penalties on Weighbridge and Jumpstart – 2019 saw penalties for Pierre Gasly and Sergio Perez for accidentally missing the weighbridge checks. It led to heavy penalties and eventually teams filled complaints. The rules surrounding jump-starts and the weighbridge have been relaxed now. The race stewards will hand out less severe punishments for missing the weighbridge and jump-starts

Technical Regulations:

  1. Formula One has been working to ensure safety in the sport. The teams should use carbon fiber instead of metal for the first 50mm of the front wing endplates
  2. ‘Listed Parts’ now include the ducts for cooling the brakes. The teams now have to design it rather than outsourcing
  3. An Extra MGU-K!!! – To understand this regulation we have to first understand what Energy Recovery Systems or ERS is. It’s a Motor Generator Units that utilize waste heat energy and waste kinetic energy. An F1 car has two ERS: MGU-K and MGU-H. ERS can provide 160BHP for approximately 33 seconds per lap. In the 2019 season, drivers could use only two MGU-Ks. Now they can use three which means fewer penalties, given that nine out of the 20 drivers exceeded their limit in 2019
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