Domenicali hints at further 2010 rules changes and return of KERS (Video)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Stefano Domenicali and his drivers at a campfire at Madonna di Campiglio
Stefano Domenicali and his drivers at a campfire at Madonna di Campiglio

F1 could have more compulsory pit stops and further changes to the points system in 2010, according to Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali.

He also said he wants to see KERS return in 2011 and gave a firm vote of confidence to his two drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa.

See the video interview with Domenicali in full below.

Domenicali revealed the teams will have a meeting with the FIA to finalise the rules for 2010. He said:

We are working to improve the show. We are thinking to modify the points, maybe the number of pit stops, type of tyres and a lot of things are going on.

It is important that this has to be finalised by the end of the month because then we need to have one and a half months to make sure that all the people around Formula 1 – media, public, spectators – will understand the changes because this is fundamental for the credibility of our sport.
Stefano Domenicali

He hopes to see KERS return in 2011, albeit a cheaper version. He also said they want to reduce downforce on the cars further in 2011.

Domenicali believes Mercedes, Red Bull and McLaren will be the most competitive teams in 2010 – along with Ferrari.

Watch the video in full below (higher quality version coming soon):

As far as the changes regarding the rules are concerned Domenicali said that the F1 Commission will meet on 1 February, ahead of the foreseen agenda, to give the world of F1 the time to assimilate the novelties, which will be discussed and made official. There will be further modifications of how the points in the Championship will be assigned and possible changes regarding the show?s improvement on the agenda. Asked about the safety level on the track with cars filled with petrol Stefano replied: “I don?t think that more petrol on board will be dangerous, but it will be the different number of pit stops and the consequential congestion of the pit lane, which will make the difference.”

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Image (C) Ferrari spa

92 comments on “Domenicali hints at further 2010 rules changes and return of KERS (Video)”

  1. Ugh, mandatory pit stops? Why? It pretty much stunts all of the positives of not having to refuel.

    1. I can only agree with that. Hope you’re looking at the forums FOTA !

    2. Surely the current bridgestone tires aren’t capable of doing a whole race anyway, so it’s a moot point?

      1. You still shouldn’t stop people from trying.

        They say they want to improve the show, then why don’t they listen to us, the fan, for a change.

      2. They are apparently capable of a distance of 125 miles. Which by my calculations requires only one mandatory stop. But surely it’s not beyond the wit of Bridgestone to supply tyres that last a full race distance? They have done it before!

        1. They have to use both types of tyre per race anyway. So there has to be at least 1 mandatory stop.

          1. And that, too, is a stupid-ass rule.

          2. Ey ’tis a silly rule.

  2. I hope we get KERS again soon. But there is no way that all teams could afford to run their own system, so perhaps FOTA should decide amongst themselves to all run KERS from the same manufacturer, mabye Mercedes or Ferrari, or someone independent like Cosworth.

    This may seem a bit outlandish, but all the teams already run electronics made by one team (McLaren) don’t they, so why not KERS?

    1. Well the whole point of KERS in F1 was to aid it’s development, if there’s no competition there’s no incentive to develop and you may as well not have it at all.

      1. “The whole point of KERS in F1 was to aid it’s development”

        Was it though? It was one of the considerations but I think the main reason for KERS was to improve the possiblility of overtaking, which it did, to an extent

        Obviously it makes F1 look a bit more green which is good, but it was the car manufacturers which seemed to care about advancing KERS technology, and they’re practically all gone now so who cares?!

      2. KERS in road cars is already more advanced than the F1 systems.

        1. That’s true, there were first KERS systems in road cars, not for a boost, instead to save fuel, which I think are pretty good

    2. Agreed and that supplier should be Williams..!!

      1. I was just thinking that. The Williams mechanical KERS system looked really promising, no?

        1. we never saw it in action tho. so how can we tell if its good or not.

        2. Yeah so promising they never raced it.

  3. Noooo! What a stupid idea! We need no mandatory pit stops.

    As for the points system, at least sort out the whole 7th place mess, or better yet junk it and make it 20 points for a win, and re-adjust it proportionally from there.

    And if you wan KERS to come back next year, how about making it unlimited instead of simply cheaper? But to be honest, I’m tired of its novelty. I still think it’s a good idea, but the whole “push to pass/defend” was kind of detrimental to the racing (especially at the start, even though it benefited Hamilton for me). Make it automatic/supplementary to the engine and mandatory, then the development race will all be about who can make the best KERS with having to lug around the dead weight of the batteries (and maybe a bit more freedom in where the batteries can be placed?), and we’ll have a properly viable green technology that doesn’t interfere with the racing.

  4. “We are working to improve the show”

    I don’t like this kind of chat… sends shivers down my spine!

    1. Yeah I know what you mean. It sort of reminds me of this Budweiser advert applied to F1:

      (apparently you can’t make links anymore so just copy and paste it, or type Budweise football advert into youtube)

      1. …doesn’t matter, the link worked OK!

        Expect to see pre race Monster Trucks and the F1 equivalant of ‘Added Time Multiball’ next season!

        1. For 5 random laps every race, 1kg springs will be launched onto the track by the marshalls. Drivers have to sucessfully dodge the bouncing springs to avoid race-ending head injuries.

          Probably unlikely, but I can see it going this far as FOTA and buddies slowly turn into a giant Vince McMahon, trying to ‘Improve ths show’.

          1. ha ha. just wait for them to change the name to XF1

  5. Jonesracing82
    13th January 2010, 12:13

    having compulsory pitstops will be a shocker of a move, it will kill off all the plus’s of having no re-fuelling!

    1. We already have compulsory pitstops – the teams have to use both compound tyres. But I agree that we don’t need or want any more of them and that the 1 we already have should be scrapped.

      I feel your worry John H, last-minute “show-improvers” does not sound like a good thing.

      I don’t see the point in everyone having the same KERS, it doesn’t really make any sense. If it came back then let everyone do their own system but as Icthyes says make it unlimited, save as much as you can, use it as much as you can. That’s how it should have been in the first place.

  6. kers was intresting I liked it, might turn up on road cars in the future too.

    1. According to Toyota, KERS was outdated and they already had more advanced systems on their road cars.

      1. Agreed.
        Toyota, Honda, BMW, and Audi all have ‘energy recapture and use’ systems – from regenerative brakes up to full hybrid.
        Ferrari’s 458 Italia will have similar things too, I hear.

  7. FOTA say they’re for the fans, but they appear to have little idea of what the fans actually want. I have seen it suggested that the points system should be changed to give points for pole and fastest lap, which is totally against the spirit of F1 – which is about being quick and consistent on race day. Literally the ONLY people I have seen who think points for fastest lap is a good idea are Kimi fans. Go figure.

    As for compulsory pit stops, the FIA and FOTA seem to have jumped to the conclusion that banning refuelling will decrease overtaking (because the fastest car will qualify at the front and just stay there), so new changes need to be introduced to shuffle the order a bit. I happen to agree with them, but I’d at least be willing to give the refuelling ban a chance before attempting the knee-jerk reactions. Seeing cars going the whole race without stopping would be interesting, rather than watching them all be shoehorned into the same tyre strategy.

    As for KERS, like all innovations it should be developed freely (within limits only imposed for safety reasons). The costs should be controlled but the technology should not.

  8. I don’t know about any of you lot, but whenever anyone in F1 utters the words “the show” I instantly get an urge to put my head in my hands. And possibly weep a little.

    1. Exactly, it’s a sport.

      Slightly a weird tangent, but I played Gran Turismo 3 on the playstation 2 today. I won a few races by staying out on the track with shot to pieces tyres, while my opponents pitted twice. Other times the roles were reversed and I chased down cars on bad tyres while I had fresh tyres. My point? Pit stops should not be mandatory.

      Also, KERS should be freely developed. Only then will it gain road relevance.

    2. Indeed. “improving the show” seems to be the new “for sure”

  9. “I have seen it suggested that the points system should be changed to give points for pole and fastest lap, which is totally against the spirit of F1 – which is about being quick and consistent on race day.”

    Whether it’s right or wrong or not, I wouldn’t really say a point for fastest lap is against the spirit of F1, having been used back when the championship originally started in the 50’s.

    1. But then you have smaller teams putting so little fuel in they can’t finish the race, or running so little downforce they have to changes tyres five times, just to pick up that fastest lap point because they’re not going to finish 10th anyway.

      1. Like I say, not arguing if it’s the best or worst thing to do (I think there’s good points on both sides of the argument). Just making the case that if it’s been done before I find it hard to say that its against the “spirit”, whatever that exactly entails, of the sport.

        Just a personal view, though.

  10. KERS is allready more viable option with narrower front tyres and increased lenght of the car it isn’t so penalising any more to have extra weight at the back. At least that was what Patrick Head was saying last season.

    I really don’t like this ”we will agree about the 2010 rules soon”, isn’t it really bad idea to go this far in car development without determing the rules? All bad news from mr. Deomenicalli, don’t get me even started on mandatory pit-stops, I really don’t see why is it so bad for some teams to try to pull a no-stoper. It is bad enough we have mandatory use of 2 tyre compounds, making 2 or 3 mandatory pit stops for artificial reasons is just silly. How is that suposed to improve the show? More chances for pit crews to make a mistake?

  11. Formula 1 does itself no favours with the constant chopping and changing of the rules. Casual fans (who are very important to F1 as they make up a large proportion of the TV viewers) will only be confused and frustrated by the bizarre and arbitrary changes of the rules and regulation which happen every year. Changing the points system twice between seasons really is going too far, and points for pole and fastest lap is just silly. F1 shooting itself in the foot again.

  12. Abolish the idea of having mandatory pitstops but give the teams a specified amount of tyre sets with 3 different compounds to be used by the teams as they please over the race weekend. Then each team can chose their optimal strategy according to car and driver preferences. This would i believe give the best possibility of different strategies during the races.

  13. …we are thinking to modify the points, maybe the number of pitstops…

    Maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but he never said more stops. Could it be they’re thinking of getting rid of compulsory stops?

    He’s dead on about the “credibility of our sport” – I hope they publicise the new rules properly and in good time, and avoid last year’s shambles with the “most wins” rule.

  14. What has to be done is make the cars SHORTER, not longer : they look like a train and this makes it more difficult to pass.
    Shorter cars would fit better in classic venues and would make for a more visible skill display by the drivers.

    Without shorter cars, more classic tracks will be lost and more races will be held in new Tilkedomes out there.

    1. Also, would having the cars shorter mean that they could race in venues that are currently forever barred to F1, such as Laguna Seca?

    2. I never thought about this… what have been the changes in F1 car lengths over the years?

  15. Hopefully the reference to “the number of pit stops” is to scrap the current tyre rules that make at least one madatory. That said, could/would Bridgestone have the time to develop tyre that could last a full race distance before the begining of this season?

    As for the current KERS regulations providing “properly viable green technology” – I’m not so sure. I doubt very much that there will ever be a turbo-boost button on a road vechile, so until there is the ability to develop the powerplant as a whole, KERS will do as much for saving the planet as painting green stripes on your tyres. I know little of the details, but i believe that this is the direction they’ve taken Le Mans with some great results so far.

    1. “I doubt very much that there will ever be a turbo-boost button on a road vechile,”

      Well in road cars, the turbo boost button will be converted into a standard acceleration feature, so the release of energy from kers will be used every time you accelerate in a controlled manner. so in effect it does provide significant advances to road cars..

  16. James Allen has certainly said in his blog there was a thinking that they would ADD another compulsory stop, so I would be very surprised if the were thinking of getting rid of the current one, even if it is what really ought to happen.

  17. Like other people on here I don’t like the phrase ‘working to improve the show’ it just doesn’t sound right when talking about sport.

    I hope when he says they are thinking about modifying the points system again it is either to correct the problem with seventh place or change it so it is more like the old points system.

    The only change I would be happy with regarding the number of pit stops and type of tyres would be to get rid of the mandatory pit stop resulting from drivers having to use both types of tyre.

    As for KERS, the reason the teams themselves decided to drop it was because of cost and the only way around this would be to have a standard KERS for every team which personally I don’t see the point of.

    If they want to make F1 easy to understand how about not changing the rules every season or at the very least make sure they are finalised well before the first race unlike last year.

    But most of all F1 should be easy for the casual fan to follow, so they can just sit down and watch qualifying and the race and be able to understand what is happening on the track without having to check specialist media, which people like us do out of choice.

    1. Well said!!

  18. Bring back the tire wars!

    1. No! let’s have the cars winning the races and not the tyres.

      1. Agreed. A Tyre war also sends speeds through the roof, so technology would have to be limited in other areas.

  19. Added a clip from Ferrari’s press release above. Some interesting phrasing in there:

    the F1 Commission will meet on 1 February, ahead of the foreseen agenda, to give the world of F1 the time to assimilate the novelties

    1. Lol that’s a bit “all your base are belong to us”, isn’t it…

      Still, at least we know we’ll find out what wacky ideas we’re going to get on 1 Feb.

  20. “We are FOTA. You will assimilate the novelties. Resistance is futile.”

    1. Haha! I like this suggestion I got via Twitter:

      It’s obviously little racing car snowstorms, pencil ends, scented rubbers and false Nigel Mansell moustaches.

      1. Eh… sorry, I don’t get that. :-)

      2. Novelties init.

        Like Hungary 1997 Damon Hill commemorative plates or Juan Pablo Montoya porcelain thimbles or Gerhard Berger Tea Towel.

        1. Or Kimi-shaped ice cube trays !

  21. What about mandatory overtaking??? come on…

    1. in order to be classified at the end of a race, you must have overtaken at least twice…

  22. In Autosports article Domenicali hints about tweaks to quali – nothing major, but some sort of discussion on tyres?

    1. Oh, and another revision to the scoring system…that may at least do what we want and increase the gap between first and second.

  23. Will hate the idea of compulsory pit stops.

  24. Mandatory pitstops are ridiculous!!

    No refuelling is great, reduce downforce and increase mechanical grip by using bigger tyres and just leave it at that please!!

    The options of tyres should be free as they used to be during the 90’s, e.g. A, B, C and D compounds and everyone should be free to choose which they would like to use and this will result in different amounts of stops which everyone should choose for themselves.

    More rules to “spice up” the action are artificial. Racing should be natural, so stop destroying the tracks and stop introducing rubbish rules.

    I have been go-karting for a long time and it’s great because there aren’t so many silly regulations.

    Overtaking should happen because of a natural reason (a faster driver coming up behind a slower driver), not because of a rubbish mandatory pitstop or an even worse hairpin-straight-hairpin sequence.

  25. Stefano Domenicali wants more number of compulsory pit stops. From this we can assume that the Ferrari is hard on tyres and it would like its disadvantage to be nullified by making others pit. Oh God Save F1 from this filthy team. After Michael Schumacher left Ferrari, Domenicali is speaking nonsense.

    Points I’m not sure and have no idea but pit stops SHOULD NOT BE MANDATORY. Then we can see some terrific action by some drivers who don’t make a stop and some with a one stopper.

    1. Really? Please, the whole Ferrari are evil thing is a bit old now. Last years F60 was the easiest on its tyres too, and Ferrari have traditionally had cars which are easier on their tyres. Besides, I don’t see where Stefano explicitly said ‘we want more compulsory pit stops’ at all.

  26. Please, please, please don’t shorten the races

  27. Keith, I know that you hate the idea of compulsory pit stops – How about starting a pettition against them. I for one would be happy to sign.

    1. Last year we did a poll on whether fans supported FOTA, which Ferrari thought highly enough of to put on their website:

      So next week we’ll do a poll on mandatory pit stops, see what people think, and try to get a response from Ferrari or FOTA.

      1. Cheers Keith, Good enough for me.

  28. With no refueling further dropping the number of overtakes this year, I’d expect to see them add a secondary tyre stop before they ever would consider removing the one.

    Those pricey pit lane luxury boxes want to see action in the pits on raceday and requiring two tyre stops would be an easy way for the FIA to spoil their most prized fans.

  29. KERS would be a good idea if it had been used with cleverness. But it’s a maturity question. Time may be good to this.

    I think all teams came to use this system so we’ll have a great boost in Formula 1.

  30. I totally agree with the consensus above. “Show” is so scary just leave it.

    Im now really really concerned they are going to add another pit stop. Whats next touring car success ballast!? Grrrr.

    The most concerning thing for me is FOTA. They really are not living up to my expectations. Most have their ideas seem based on appealing to the masses. Whatever happened to the asking the fans aspect they were supposed to be going for????? Ive NEVER seen a survey. I think FOTA’s “fans” are just money grabbing voices inside their own heads.

    1. James Allen replied to me about where are these FOTA surveys they promised.

      Apparently they havent got round to it. Pathetic!!! If they spent less time round tables thinking of useless knee jerk rule changes they might have a spare few days maybe even hours to put up a survey website.

      Im sure even Keith could do one for them is they asked nicely!! I am very disappointed in FOTA

      1. FOTA did a survey last year, I put the results up in March:

        FOTA’s F1 fans survey results in full

        One of their conclusions was:

        Fans are most interested in seeing driver skill and least interested in changes to the regulations

        They should remind themselves of a few of those findings.

        1. Thanks, I dont remember seeing that. Still 8,500 ‘fans’ asked. Not really an exhaustive survey, more a general F1 survey, and one that is nearly a year old.

          Why not release a survey when they are thinking of these last minute panic rules. At least then if the majority of fans agreed with the changes they could be more confident the public wont be demanding them to change them asap

        2. Interesting.

          They might have forgotten.

          Or they’ve seen data to suggest that variation in driver skill is minimal in F1 …

  31. sorry, but next year will the optimum strategy be to stop once or twice for tyres? (presuming mandatory pitstops aren’t in the rules…)

  32. theRoswellite
    13th January 2010, 19:35

    …from way out West.

    Must agree with Robert McKay (sorry Bob!) when he questions the statement of Red Andy that points for qualifying and fastest lap are ..”totally against the spirit of F1″, a position I believe Keith is also in agreement with.

    I would submit that the “spirit of F1”, whatever that might be, should certainly have as a core element…pure speed, both in car and driver; and that if this is the case then it should be rewarded as an important element of the championship and reflected in the points. There certainly is historical precedent.

    But, more importantly, what it will do is add more emphasis on the events of Saturday, the actual qualifying, and on an additional competition going on within the race itself…fastest lap.

    I realize the opponents of this position envision cars, which are running out of the points, pitting to reconfigure in an attempt to grab a FL point. But it is far more likely that, with a point up for grabs, the fast boys will be attempting to set the best time…when their cars are NATURALLY in a quick mode (lighter on fuel, fresh tires, “quicker track”). If the organizers and the media kept the fastest lap, and the driver who set it, conspicuously displayed then it would soon become an integral part of each race.

    And also importantly, if races are becoming processional, as apparently some people fear under the new ban on refueling, then the fastest lap would ADD not distract from the race.

    Sterling, Jimmy, Gilles, and Ayrton…men we remember today not for “managing” their way to wins or championships, but for an incredible gift for speed.

    F1 could benefit by showcasing this gift in the most predominate manner possible.

    1. I agree that speed should be rewarded, but its a race, only race positions should determine points.

      It would be farcical, low position cars pitting to set up several times, cruising to get clear track so they can pop it, P26, pitted 6 times, running on minimal fuel, doing qualy laps until crashing out – it wouldnt work.

      Qualifying is qualifying, pole and track position is its own reward.

  33. Call me old-fashioned, but what exactly is wrong with a single compound and letting teams approach their strategy however they like from there?

    1. It’s too logical for F1 to get its head around Noel :P

      1. Steph! And you have a blog! Must add it to my bookmarks.

  34. Well, if there are mandatory pit stops for tyres, why not fuel at the same time?

    Just kidding :)

  35. I think what really scares me is the mention of congestion in the pit lane – what the hell does that suggest? Mandatory stops after so many laps, like in Indy?… or teams have to bring both their cars in on the same lap…? or some other “show improver”?

    1. “I don’t think that more petrol on board will be dangerous, but it will be the different number of pit stops and the consequential congestion of the pit lane, which will make the difference.”

      I was hoping he was referring to the fact that the pit lane will have to accommodate more pit boxes for the 3 new teams.
      But that wouldn’t be a consequence of more number of pit-stops, would it?

      Vague, much.

    2. I wondered what that meant as well. Under the rules as they are now the only cause for congestion will the three extra teams

      However as the cars will only be pitting for tyres not fuel I would have thought it more likely that the laps drivers pit on would be more varied as each drivers tyre wear rate will be different, rather than how it was with refuelling when for example the optimum time for a fuel stop is lap 20 you could expect most of the cars to come in within a lap or two of that lap.

      1. I would have thought that simplifying the equation will mean pit stops coincide more frequently, especially if everyone is on the same compound, tyre wear wont vary enough to split the stops. Interesting.

  36. Introduce a KERS system which actually gives the driver electric shocks everytime they touch the button and they can use it as many times as they please. That would separate the men from the boys. “OH here it is boys, Touch it at your Peril” kind of rule.

  37. Halleluliah! For a moment there I thought I was in a minority of one who is in support of kers…

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