Updated 2010 F1 rules include new testing, engine and safety car regulations

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Rookie substitutes like Jaime Alguersuari will get test sessions in 2010
Rookie substitutes like Jaime Alguersuari will get test sessions in 2010

The FIA has published an updated version of the 2010 F1 sporting regulations.

It adds many of the changes announced earlier such as the new ten-place points system and refuelling ban, as well as a few other small-but significant changes.

The testing restrictions will be even tighter in 2010 and drivers who perform mutliple engine changes in a weekend will now get extra penalties. Pit space – which will be at a premium next year – will now be allocated evenly between the teams.

The new changes include:

  • Changes to how drivers are given time penalties after a race
  • A reduction in the amount of one-day aerodynamic tests a team may conduct from eight to six
  • Teams may now substitute aerodynamic test days for 24 hours of full-scale wind tunnel testing
  • Teams which choose to bring in a driver with no prior F1 experience will be permitted an extra days’ testing on a non-calendar track
  • A new clause stipulates that pit space will be allocated “on a strictly equal basis” – this space will be under pressure with the addition of new teams in 2010
  • Teams are no longer allowed to use powered devices to lift the cars in the pit lane
  • Although tyre warmers remain legal a new clause says the heating element may only act on the surface of the tyre
  • There are new restrictions on how teams can test tyres
  • Drivers who use two additional engines during a weekend will be moved back ten places on the grid at that race and the next one
  • Drivers who get away slowly on the formation lap and cannot start from their designated starting position must start the race from the pit lane.
  • During safety car periods drivers must lap slower than a designated lap time displayed in their cars

Here are the revised regulations in full:

Read more: F1 2010 Season

47 comments on “Updated 2010 F1 rules include new testing, engine and safety car regulations”

  1. “During safety car periods drivers must lap slower than a designated lap time displayed in their cars”

    Finally!

    1. Are Williams drivers still exempt from this when they have a “low fuel” message showing instead?
      :)

      1. HAHA!

        and their fancy truck/trolleys to lift up the cars are also outlawed.

        So have Williams upset the FIA or something?.

      2. My guess is this year all teams will have just a one line display that insures a “low fuel” message has precedence over a minimum lap time.
        I can’t figure out how a car which can’t start for the formation lap is going to get to the pit lane to start.
        And what does “the tyre surface” mean? Do they mean the tread or just the outside of the tyre?
        And what does “strictly equal” mean? That Ferrari get the same size space as Lotus?

    2. F1 may finally be headed for the better. There seems to be alot of common sense lately.

  2. I like the rule about new drivers mid season are allowed a little test in an F1 car.

    1. Agree completely but I think it should be more than a day maybe. Although it is a very good start and much better than before.

    2. Common sense has prevailed there…

  3. “Drivers who use two additional engines during a weekend will be moved back ten places on the grid at that race and the next one”

    Presumably this is a loophole-closer of a rule rather than anything specifically important.

    1. Yes I think previously they would have only got one penalty.

    2. I don’t get it, what loop hole are they closing exactly?

      I think it’s a stupid rule.

      1. The original rule was a ten place drop per change of engine, with the loophole allowing multiple engine change’s with only a single ten place drop if the changes were made within a single race weekend.

        1. Theoretically, last year at the first race a team could have changed the engine on a car 34 times, giving them a 340 place grid drop. They would then have an engine for every race and every qualifying session which they could run at a higher power level, giving them a huge advantage.

          1. Dan what you wrote doesn’t make sense, at least not to me and contradicts what Invoke wrote.

            Invoke what you describe doesn’t really seem like a loophope to me, the team is still being penalised for changing engines so there’s no loophole, it not like there’s a way for them to change engines without being penalised.

            The way the new rule reads to me looks terrible. I hate grid place penalities and I hate penalties that effect a grand prix other than the one where the offence is committed.

          2. Mike "the bike" Schumacher
            16th December 2009, 23:01

            Greta idea Dan, shame you didn’t thik of it last year though, could have got yourself on a team with that kind of thinking!

          3. Good point. But under the new rules couldn’t this still be exploited if a team is willing to sacrifice two races instead of just one?

  4. Looks like they’ve done rather sensible changes for once.

  5. The restricted lap time is an interesting one.
    What if the saftey car comes out as a driver is the wrong side of the finish straight, on a fast lap.

    Will he have to stop and wait for the time to pass by whilst everyone queues behind?

    1. It would only apply from the beginning of the lap after the order has come through, presumably?

  6. If a driver gets a drive-through penalty in the last 5 laps they only get 20 seconds added on after the race, with a driver getting a stop-go in the last 5 laps still having 30 seconds.

    Finally they’ve accounted for the discrepancy there. Nice.

  7. “Changes to how drivers are given time penalties after a race”

    Meaning?

  8. Teams may now substitute aerodynamic test days for 24 hours of full-scale wind tunnel testing

    It’s 4 hours testing in any 24 hour period :)

    Overall good set of changes, interesting to see testing has been reduced, when there was talk of it being increased.

  9. The changes seem fairly straightforward, when I have time I will have to read the full regulations to check the details on some of them.

    With regard to pit space, I have often wondered how this works, do the garages have temporary walls that can be removed for different race events so making each garage larger or smaller when needed, or do the top teams just get two garages next to each other.

    As for tyre warmers, how did the teams manage to warm other areas apart from the surface in the past, or is this just to prevent them from starting to do this in the future rather than stopping something that already happens.

    Also does anyone know if there was any real desire from most of the teams to increase testing, such as on the Monday after a Grand Prix, or did they just want someway for new drivers to test?

    1. I am intrigued by the garage space allocation too. Do you think anybody from the FIA been round all the circuits seeing just how many garages are available at each one? Haven’t the more recent ‘Tilke-dromes’ been designed with smaller grids in mind?
      And does this come with any further restrictions in the personnel numbers of the teams? Otherwise aren’t the likes of Ferrari and Mercedes going to complain about the lack of space for their VIPs?

  10. # Drivers who get away slowly on the formation lap and cannot start from their designated starting position must start the race from the pit lane.

    How slow is slow?

    1. That was my first thought? Does this mean if the #2 driver gets 1 foot in front of the #1 driver before he starts to move, the pole driver now has to start from pit lane?

      Or does this mean if the entire field passes before the car starts to move?

      Or does this mean if the driver’s not able to catch up and take his grid position before the start of the race?

      It may just be a “loophole” tactic to prevent someone from timing a “running start” at the grid by doing a very slow parade lap.

      1. Read the rules, and it’s basically “if you can’t get back into position before the end of the formation lap, you have to start from pit lane”.

        1. Oh ok that makes some sense.

          1. I’m not honestly sure from how it’s different now. You’ve always been allowed to get back into position provided the entire field hasn’t passed you.

    2. I guess this is to prevent cars from overheating from waiting too long on the grid.

      I wonder how they police it? Possibly there’s a flag marshal at the pit lane entrance who redirects any laggards into the pit lane once the main pack has passed.

      Which leaves me to wonder — can they start a race while someone is still cruising down the pit lane?

  11. Intrigued by the tyre warmers clause. Will everyone have to use less effective tyre blankets now (and be slower on their first lap), or is it just a ban on some trick tyre warmer that one or two teams have discovered?

    1. Previously the tire blankets had heating elements on the “surface” of the tire, and the sidewall, and inside the rim (when not mounted on the car).

  12. I also wonder if we won’t see anything new chucked in at the last minute with the WMSC decision to get a Sporting Working Group to propose some “spice-up” rules to be adopted in time for the 2010 season.

  13. Teams are no longer allowed to use powered devices to lift the cars in the pit lane

    So no more jacks, eh? Interesting…

    1. Hydraulic jacks I believe this refers to. I’m sure man-powered jacks are still legal.

      1. Teams are no longer allowed to use powered devices to lift the cars in the pit lane

        what are these? is there a clip on utube of these or a pic or something? I wanne see one of those

  14. Although tyre warmers remain legal a new clause says the heating element may only act on the surface of the tyre

    Oh thank god. I always thought rescinding the ban was a cop-out.

  15. Good start!! That too the safety car lap time rule!! Hope this begins a sane period in f1 racing

    1. Do you realise what you just said. If we get sane periods in F1, what are we going to complain about?

  16. Some of these new regulations seem quite odd…

    (Oh and could you please post a link in your article or subsequent comments to the regulations, as I’m obviously having a blond moment and can’t seem to find them on the FIA’s site, and would like to read them later for explanations to the changes. Also could you enable the download button on the drop.io please. Ta)

  17. Thank goodness for Jean Todt, if we had max we could of ended up with one weekend of testing at Rye House go-kart track. Id still like to see a mid season test, the week after a race as to keep costs down. (Moto GP did this at the end of the season)

    Seems mostly decent rule changes, and the enginge thing was to stop the proposed vettel tactic (tho he never carried it out) where he was to drop 20 places to get 2 new enginges.

  18. Here’s the link to the document

    Sport > Regulations > Formula One World Championship:
    http://argent.fia.com/web/fia-public.nsf/B113B92B22ACE29CC125768D002AF688/$FILE/1-2010%20SPORTING%20REGULATIONS%2011-12-2009.pdf

    Some quite sensible changes, in my opinion.

  19. “Teams are no longer allowed to use powered devices to lift the cars in the pit lane”

    What’s the difference how the cars are lifted?

  20. Can anyone clarify if the “lapped cars may now unlapped themselves” during safety car rules still apply?

    1. I don’t think that rule still applies because according to rule ‘During safety car periods drivers must lap slower than a designated lap time displayed in their cars’. so they cannot overtake the cars which have lapped it because I’m sure the designated lap time displayed in all the cars will be same.

  21. Younger Hamilton
    23rd December 2009, 0:35

    i had a perfect Regulation Drivers who make through to Q3 cant be on one stop strategies but since Refuelling is banned thats never Possible

  22. that no refull rule is stupid. At least it seems to me so.

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