Hispania HRT have been fined $5,000 for their pitlane incident involving Japanese driver Sakon Yamamoto in practice for the Korean Grand Prix today.
The Spanish team let Yamamoto leave the pit garage with one of the tyre warmers still attached. This was in breach of rules 23.1(j), 30.7 and 30.9
“It is the responsibility of the competitor to release his car after a pitstop only when it is safe to do so,” states article 23.1.
The famous 107% qualifying rule, which takes incredibly slow qualifying cars out of a Formula One race will be officially re-introduced from the start of the 2011 season it was announced today.
The rule, which was brought into Formula One in 1996 was taken away at the end of 2002 with the introduction of single lap qualifying for 2003. It was not brought back ahead of the influx of new cars this season, the new teams have been accused regularly of holding up faster cars.
The FIA and World Motorsport Council knew something had to be done, and the re-introduction of the 107% rule seemed like the right thing to do.
A statement released by the World Motor Sport Council said: “From 2011, any driver whose best qualifying lap exceeds 107 per cent of the fastest Q1 qualifying time will not be allowed to take part in the race.
“Under exceptional circumstances, however, which may include setting a suitable laptime in a free practice session, the stewards may permit the car to start the race. Should there be more than one driver accepted in this manner, the grid order will be determined by the stewards.”
It was introduced in 1996 at the Australian Grand Prix, and in the first session it was breached by both drivers for the Forti team, one of those drivers was Luca Badoer who is infamous for his chronically poor pace driving for Ferrari when he stood in for the injured Felipe Massa. Another famous breaker of the 107% rule was Ricardo Rosset, a well known Brazilian ‘pay-driver’. It was broken some 37 times in total, most appallingly at the 2002 French Grand Prix when the Arrows drivers deliberately failed to ualify due to the teams financial problems, the only reason they went to qualifying was to miss the fines the FIA would impose on the team.
Stefano Domenicali, the team principal of Ferrari has said he is going to try and lobby to change the rules regarding the test or spare car which were banned in attempts to reduce costs through equipment and crews.
However last Saturday Ferrari’s top driver Fernando Alonso smashed his car up in practice so badly he was unable to qualify.
This has meant the question over whether T-Car’s as they are known has reared its head into conversations with the FIA with the discussions stating that the teams want there to be a third car once again, based on the fact they take all of the equipment to build a third car in the event of such an accident – all that happens is that the mechanics have to work around the clock to build the car rather than adjusting it for each driver.
“Let’s start from the reasons why the rule book was modified a couple years ago: costs had to be reduced by getting rid of the T-car and reducing car crews,” said Domenicali. “This was the reason why the regulations were changed.
“After that, as usually happens in F1, we lost sight a bit of the events that may happen, like on Saturday. So I think this is an issue that will be re-discussed again as soon as possible, because preventing spectators from seeing the car for this sort of reason is in my opinion worth looking at.”
The contraversial “double diffuser” design which rocked the start of the 2009 season will be banned from the end of the 2010 season it has been revealed.
The FIA ruled that the design was legal after a major challenge to the double diffuser which was designed by Ross Brawn’s team, BrawnGP and then replicated. Major players like Ferrari and McLaren said the contraversial advantage was what lost them the title challenge when the small Brawn team took easy early victories, and eventually the title.
It has also been said that the diffuser design un-did all of the work done by the technical working group in terms of stripping away aerodynamic pieces in order to combat the boring procession races that had been occuring.
Mike Gascoyne, of the Virgin Racing team enterting F1 this season was bouyant on the move.
“I think it is exactly right,” he said.
“It is what we should do, and it is what both FOTA and the FIA are looking at for 2011. I think it is very sensible and very easy to do – just tighten up the regulations and it is done.”
The FIA have published their 2010 sporting regulations and technical regulations today.
Q1 and Q2 will now see 8 cars demoted out of each session, with 10 cars being able to run in the final Q3 portion. These cars in Q3 will run in the low fuel format as seen this season to allow for the fact that no refuelling may take place during the race itself. The 8 car rule comes in as 3 new teams, Campos, Manor and USF1 are joining the sport.
Another important point to note is the lack of change to the point scoring system, meaning that Bernie’s silly medal system is out of the window completely.
Tyre warmers will be allowed despite previous indications from the FIA being that they would be banned. Minimum car weights have been increased to 620KG to allow for the KERS system, despite all teams saying they will run without the power boosting systems for 2010 to allow a level playing field.
Also worth noting is the lack of two tier racing.
Highly regarded German car magazine Auto Motor und Sport have revealed some of the future cost reduction methods being outlined by the FIA.
While the overall actual plan of cost reduction is a closely guarded secret, AMuS claim these findings are from the highest sources.
The cost reduction proposals include:
- Reducing the number of staff travelling to races to 45, meaning double-ing up of jobs in a similar way to how driver Physio’s act as their pitboard men.
- Tem expenditure (excluding Driver + management salary and marketing) will be capped to 100m Euro in 2010 and 50m Euro in 2011
- Factory based staff reduction to 350 for 2010 and 280 for 2011. More staff will be allowed if teams make more in-house products like engines, gearboxes etc.
These proposals don’t really fill me with hope here at The F1Fanatics Blog. In truth, the cap on members of staff at races is stupid as people already double up, such as those physio’s being pitboard men, and sometimes you find Chef’s and refuellers who are also truckies and stuff. We dont want too few staff so that corners are cut and safety is hindered. Staff will also have to be fired from teams which is unfair given the current economic problems and the lack of job availability especially for these highly skilled workers.
Indeed, I believe if the FIA wants to save money on personnel at races they should have less races outside of Europe to dramatically cut down on flight and freight costs. More European GP’s should help the staff to be available much more cheaply.
The Renault F1 Team have been handed a suspension from the next round of the FIA Formula One World Championship in Valencia, the European Grand Prix after Fernando Alonso’s tyre incident in this afternoon’s Hungarian GP.
The Spaniard was released from the pits, his first scheduled stop with the front right hand wheel not correctly attached. The wheel hun “spinner” then spun round at high speed, undoing the centre nut and releasing the tyre from its housing sending it bouncing down the Hungaoring circuit. It was a tyre that hit Henry Surtees’ helmet in Formula 2 last week, killing the 19 year old.
The FIA reprimanded the team under safety breach 3.2 with article 32.1.i being broken, with the car being knowingly released from a pitstop without being safe.
The statement said that Renault “knowingly released car no. 7 from the pitstop position without one of the retaining devices for the wheel-nuts being securely in position, this being an indication that the wheel itself may not have been properly secured.”
It added that Renault, “being aware of this, failed to take any action to prevent the car from leaving the pitlane….failed to inform the driver of this problem or to advise him to take appropriate action given the circumstances, even though the driver contacted the team by radio believing he had a puncture.”
Renault will appeal the decision, with an appeal, the letter and 6,000 Euro fee being lodged around 20 minutes ago by Renault management at the circuit. The hearing will likely take place within the next 2 weeks.
Meanwhile Kimi Raikkonen was cleared of any wrong doing in connection with making contact with Sebastian Vettel, the stewards deemed he lost control of the car and touched in a “racing incident”.
The refuelling ban set out by the FIA as part of it’s eleborate new rule system for the 2010 season will still go ahead despite the majority of the new regulations being binned after FOTA/FIA agreement talks for FOTA team involvement in the 2010 Formula One Season.
The teams are fairly positive towards the refuelling ban due to the high cost of transporting refuelling equipment around the world, and also some accidents which have led to large fires, such as Jos Verstappen’s memorable pitfire at Hockenheim 1994, Eddie Irvine 1995 at Spa and Michael Schumacher’s at the 2003 Austrian Grand Prix when despite flames licking the car he still went on to win the Grand Prix.
A source within FOTA said this was still on track, despite 2009 rule revisions for 2010.
The source said: “There will be a few amendments to the rules that need to be agreed unanimously. This will be about refuelling and a few other items, and should be completed in the next few weeks.”
Just wanted to add, R.I.P Michael Jackson – King of Pop who sadly died yesterday evening of a cardiac arrest.
The FIA and Formula One Teams made no agreement in today’s emergency meeting held at Heathrow in London.
The manufacturers in F1 want a block on the budget cap rule which is coming in next season, Max Mosley thinks they’re stupid so all the manufacturers have threatened to pull out.
“It was quite a friendly meeting, but in the end all that happened was that the teams have gone off to see if they can come up with something better than the cost cap,” Max Mosley told reporters after the Heathrow meeting.
“We explained we cannot put back the entry date, as this has all been published, and we cannot disadvantage the potential new teams who will come in. But we are prepared to listen to whatever they have to say.
“In the meantime, the regulations are as published. We have explained that we want everyone to race under the same regulations. We have explained that we would like all of the teams to come in under the cost cap and that is what they have gone off to consider.
“We have said that we cannot see why anyone wouldn’t want to operate under the cost cap, and it would mean a gradual relaxation of the technical regulations – which all the engineers would want. We said in the end the choice was between intellectual freedom and financial constraint, or intellectual constraint and financial freedom – which is what they have had up until now.
“We have pointed out, and it is something the engineers have said, that current F1 consists of endless refinement at enormous expense and we want to move away from that and have invention and creativity, but we can only do that if we restrict the cost – because if we have unrestricted cost nobody would be able to afford it.
“I think some of the teams agree with that idea, and some don’t, and they have gone away to discuss it.”
Meanwhile, it was discovered during the meeting that Ferrari have taken the new rules to a French court claiming that it is a breach of the technical regulation veto they have.
“During the meeting it became apparent that Ferrari has made an application to the French courts, and I don’t know the details, but it is to apply for an injunction to stop us doing what we want to do. So that is where the situation rests as far as Ferrari is concerned.”
When the FIA brought out the official rule book for 2010, the headline grabbers were the budget caps, the theory from teams it would create a two tier series and the ban on refuelling during the race.
But many of us have missed one of the biggest rule changes, one which the FIA conveniently decided NOT to highlight in the packs.
The FIA have revived the idea that whoever wins the most races wins the title. Irrespective of overall points. “Article 6 states that the drivers’ title ‘will be awarded to the driver who has been classified first in the greatest number of races”
Another thing that lacked discussion until now was what will happen with Q3, where the cars used to have to pick a strategy for the race and run with race fuel. The FIA confirmed it will be a low-fuel dash for pole system.
Talk about underhand from the FIA though…
The FIA have announced radical plans for Formula One today, with a £40million budget cap being the biggest new rule and regulation to be implemented from the 2010 season onwards.
It is a figure brought up from £30million pounds cited in earlier meetings by the FIA.
The cap covers all costs and expenditure, apart from driver salaries, marketing expenditure and most suprisingly engine development.
Teams who sign up to the new cap will recieve special benefits, including un-rev limited engines, flexible wings, unlimited testing and totally free reign over technical developments.
It is likely to turn the series into a two-tier championship though.
The FIA have also allowed up to 26 cars to race in the championship, up from 24 as new teams show interest in racing. These new teams will be given money from Bernie Ecclestone and also free transportation of cars and some staff to race events as a way to convince them to join. iSport, Lola, Aston Martin and USF1 are all teams interested in joining the series.
The FIA also took the opportunity today to reiterrate their stance on refuelling, and its ban during races. Tyre heating devices will also be banned.
“It was confirmed that from 2010, refuelling during a race will be forbidden in order to save the costs of transporting refuelling equipment and increase the incentive for engine builders to improve fuel economy (to save weight),” said the FIA in a statement following a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council.
No offence on this one, but perhaps I have missed something. The cars will be on the grid, brimmed with 70 laps of fuel. They will have no tyre blankets, thus COLD slick tyres, which will have little or no grip. Methinks there will be a f*cking big accident into Turn 1 and a huge fire. BIG MISTAKE FIA.
Former 7 Time World Champion Michael Schumacher, and one of his former rivals, 2 time champion Fernando Alonso have both publically slammed the FIA over their rule changes relating to the budget caps, a two tier aerodynamic rule system and the new point/win idea for world champions.
Schumacher made an open post on his official website, saying that KERS is a very debatable idea, but at least everyone is facing the same issues, which makes it exciting. With the teams under a budget cap being able to change aero, and those with all the money can’t, Schuey reckons this is just blatently stupid.
“During the tests we had to fight with several topics as well but this is more than normal at this stage prior to the season,” Schumacher wrote on his personal website.
“But you also have to say that KERS is a risk for all the teams using it, with this restricted testing possibilities. So there are, as always, certain question marks before the first races. But this is what makes the whole thing so attractive, isn’t it?
“I doubt the same goes for the new rules given out on such a late moment prior to the season – something which to me is really, well, astonishing, as in all the years, when the majority wanted to have a rule change for a good reason, they always said that would not be possible in a short term or so late before a season.
“I cannot imagine those changes to help F1, especially regarding the new system to find the champion. I cannot see how it makes sense to eventually have a world champion who has less points than the driver coming in second, even if I also think it is a good move to try to strengthen the winner’s position.
“In general we should also make sure that F1 remains the top series of motorsport, displaying its competition also on the highest technology level.”
Fernando Alonso was not too impressed either on a post on his own webpage,
“I don’t understand the need to change the rules of the sport constantly. I think this kind of decisions can only confuse the fans,”
“Formula 1 has existed for over 50 years thanks to the teams, the sponsors, the drivers and, above all, the fans from all over the world, and none of them have been able to express their views in front of the FIA.
“I worry, not so much about the decisions that affect the season that’s about to start, but, above all, those that affect the future of the competition in the coming years.
“I hope somehow these measures can be reconsidered in the short-term.”
FOTA, the F1 teams association, has had another successful meeting today in which customer engines, and KERS were discussed.
On the point of customer engines, FOTA want customer engines to be produced and then sold for 5 million euros to allow smaller teams using these engines, usually “independents” a chance of surviving as costs increase all around.
It is just one of many cost cutting measures that FOTA have been discussing over the months, and with Ferrari’s Luca di Montezemolo and Toyota John Howett on board, it looks like there is a good chance.
FOTA chairman Luca di Montezemolo told Gazzetta dello Sport: “This is a first package of proposals, voted unanimously, which will bring important cost reductions. We agree on trying to have five million Euros engines in 2010. We also agree on producing new engines in 2011 at lower costs.
“Before the end of 2008 we’ll face the issues regarding 2010. It was unthinkable that the future of Formula One should be decided between the Chinese and the Brazilian GP. More time is needed, but the spirit of collaboration is really nice.”
FOTA appears to be doing well, and Ross Brawn of Honda is impressed.
“I think the work that FOTA is doing is very good and I hope through FOTA we can make some alternative proposals which achieve the FIA’s objectives, FOTA’s objectives and we can come together on that. There are some very good ideas.” he said.
The FIA and FOTA have had a landmark meeting today in Geneva, Switzerland, out of which massive changes from the 2009 season onwards have been decided.
The changes are yet to be officially announced, but we have learned various changes that will be coming into place.
- Engines now have to last 3 races from 2 races (2009 onwards)
- A standardised KERS unit will come in 2010
- Manufactuers must make 25 engine units available for customer cars at least per season
- Testing limitations will be decided in Brazil
- Also in Brazil, changes relating to customer cars and parts sharing will be discussed
A statement read:
“Today’s meeting in Geneva has produced significant cost savings for 2009 and 2010.
“FOTA are working urgently on further proposals for 2010 and thereafter.”
An FIA member commented only: “The meeting was very positive and constructive.”
The Canadian Grand Prix has been dropped from 2009 onwards it was revealed today as an advanced schedule for 2009 was released.
This means that there will be no North American Grand Prix in 2009.
Along with Canada being dropped, it would appear that the FIA and FOTA have come to some agreements on the future, radical changes to the rules, cost cutting measures and from 2009 equal engine performance.
We’re going to introduce radical measures to achieve a substantial reduction of costs in the championship from 2010.” a statement from the FIA read,
“Failing agreement with FOTA, the FIA will enforce the necessary measures to achieve this goal,”
“It was further unanimously agreed to allow Formula One teams to equalise engine performance across the field for 2009, pending the introduction of cost-saving measures from 2010,” it added.
2009 F1 Calendar (provisional)
Australia 29 March
Malaysia 5 April
Bahrain 19 April
Spain 10 May
Monaco 24 May
Turkey 7 June
Great Britain 21 June
France 28 June
Germany 12 July
Hungary 26 July
Europe (Valencia) 23 August
Belgium 30 August
Italy 13 September
Singapore 27 September
Japan 11 October
China 18 October
Brazil 1 November
Abu Dhabi 15 November
Mike Gascoyne of Force India is backing Max Mosley’s renewed drive for lower costs by suggesting even greater testing restrictions.
Back in the day (hastens not to sound old!) there used to be testing of some form almost every day, wheter that be Jordan pushing a car to Silverstone or Ferrari racking up the laps on Fiorano.
For the past few years testing has become more and more restrictive, 1 driver at a time, limited miles, limited tyres and completly regulated by the FIA. With 3rd cars being run on a Friday outlawed, it has put pay to the need of test drivers.
Nevertheless, Gascoyne reckons more restrictions are a good idea. Sadly, I do not follow!
“The manufacturers understand they need independent teams,” said Gascoyne.
“Otherwise, if it’s just five manufacturer teams racing around that is not in anyone’s interest.
“I think we need regulations like reducing testing, we shouldn’t be testing during the season. That will reduce costs, and I don’t think anyone can argue that shouldn’t be the way we go.”
How can you implement new parts if you cannot test during the season?
Perhaps the FIA should consider unlimited testing in the winter, until Australia starts and then restricted sessions during the season?
The FIA have U-Turned on their decision to ban tyre blankets from the 2009 season onwards.
The organisation had decided to ban the blankets as it was an increasing cost, an uncessary one apparantly. But their decision angered many drivers and teams, as the tyres need to be warm to avoid accidents.
The other worry, from teams and drivers was the fact that slick tyres were returning next season, and they rely on being warm to be at their highest grips, when cold they are just purely dangerous.
Now the blankets will be kept.
Ross Brawn commented recently;
“You can run tyres for sure without blankets, lot of formulae do, but we are a particularly competitive formula and if you don’t run blankets with tyres you need to have a minimum pressure control.
“We haven’t worked out how to do that and that was the big concern – how to introduce it fairly and effectively for all the teams? And how do you avoid the massive overhead of policing it?
“The TWG (Technical Working Group) said it wanted to keep tyre blankets because it could not see a solution to controlling minimum tyre pressure, and that was a big worry. So the option of having blankets was the easiest.
“And interestingly tyre blankets are not prohibited in testing, so for efficiency of testing we will almost certainly be using tyre blankets in testing. So we will have had them in testing and not racing.”
Pedro de La Rosa has joined other drivers in expressing concern over the forthcoming 2009 ban of tyre warmers, alongside the intorduction of slick tyres.
The warmers were used to get heat into the tyres, so that on the first lap people wouldn’t be crawling around, causing a danger to themselves and others.
With slick tyres, having heat inside them is very important as they need to be hot to have grip, otherwise they can be lethal.
“Bridgestone is trying to make the tyres work at low temperatures, because in theory we are not going to have tyre warmers,” de la Rosa told reporters in Barcelona.
“We had a lot of problems in Jerez to make them work without the tyre warmers. Here it was better. It’s still difficult but it was somewhat better, because Bridgestone has created a compound that works in lower temperatures.
“The first lap is very slow, and that’s the danger. There are cars which are up to racing speed and you are coming out of the pits very slowly. You are like a mobile chicane.”
He has a fair point, and I am against the banning of tyre blankets. I think they are a necessity in this sport, especially with all of the new regulations.
The Spy-Saga of 2007 in F1 is still simmering on as it has been revealed that Mike Coughlan, one of the men central to the whole case has been charged and reprimanded by the FIA.
Coughlan, a former employee of McLaren, took the data from Nigel Stepney and was the one that took it to the copyshop to be published to more personnel within the British based team, McLaren.
Coughlan has made official apoligise to Ferrari and the FIA.
Nigel Stepney is to be reprimanded by the governing body too, he needs to respond to the charges given by the FIA, and is allowed to defend himself.
It is thought that Stepney could recieve a 2 year ban from working in international motorsport.
F1 drivers will no loonger suffer a penalty for their first engine change of the season it was revealed today in a letter sent to the teams by Max Mosley.
Formerly, the drivers would recieve a 10 place grid penalty if they were to change their engines, but this has now been lifted for the first change.
It was agreed at a meeting of the team principals in Paris last week.
“It was agreed that each team could have one engine failure per car without penalty during the 2008 season,” wrote Mosley.
“This would be the first engine failure suffered by each car.”
The FIA have annoucned that Wind-Tunnel restrictions are going to be coming into force in 2008.
They can only be used for 15 runs per 8 hour day and only 5 days per week running.
The wind tunnel tests must be with air at atmospheric pressure, the maximum wind speed is limited to 50 metres per second, and the maximum scale of the model will be just 60 percent. Only one car model can be used during each run.
The FIA have also banned straightline speed-testing, only allowing teams to test on circuits approved by the FIA. This voids tracks such as the Menorca Speedway and Santa Pod Raceway, venues used in the past by McLaren, Honda and Spyker.
There are also many other restrictions being brought into place on Hydraulic systems and other technical factorings. KERS will be left as “open technology” when it is introduced in 2009.
The new ideas will be officially presented to the teams on January 11th.