2010 F1 rules published: FIA changes post-race penalties and fuel declarations

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Race start weights will not be declared in 2010
Race start weights will not be declared in 2010

The FIA has published the updated rules for the 2010 F1 season.

F1 teams will no longer declare their starting fuel weights and post-race penalties have been changed meaning drivers could have up to half a minute added to their race time by the stewards.

Changes to the sporting rules


Stewards hand out post-race penalties in situations where drivers would be given drive-through or stop-go penalties, but incur them too late in the race for that to be possible.

Last year stewards could only give 25 second penalties, but now they will be able to give 20 second penalties to drivers who would have received drive-through penalties, and 30 seconds to those who would have had stop-go penalties.

Drivers who get penalties during the race will now have only two laps to serve them instead of three.


The widely-discussed ban on refuelling is in the rules:

29.1 a) Refuelling is only permitted in the team’s designated garage area.
b) No car may be refuelled after it has left the pit lane for the first time whilst the pit exit is open for the
c) Fuel may not be added to nor removed from a car during a race.
29.2 No car may be refuelled, nor may fuel be removed from a car, at a rate greater than 0.8 litres/second.

The FIA has also deleted the requirement for teams to publish their fuel loads before the race. This is no great surprise, as the fuel load no longer has as great a bearing on race strategy, and F1’s engine manufacturers may not want people working out which of their units are the most efficient.


In place of ‘race fuel qualifying’ the FIA is now forcing the top ten qualifiers to start the race on the tyres they set their best time on. Here’s the wording of the rule:

25.4 d) At the start of the race each car which took part in Q3 must be fitted with the tyres with which the driver set his grid time. This will only be necessary if dry-weather tyres were used to set the grid time and if dry-weather are used at the start of the race. Any such tyres damaged during Q3 will be inspected by the FIA technical delegate who will decide, at his absolute discretion, whether any may be replaced and, if so, which tyres they should be replaced with.

The total number of tyres available to a driver has also been reduced to 11 sets of dry-weather tyres (six ‘prime’ and five ‘option’).

A new clause requires drivers to hand some tyres back after FP1, which is no doubt to encourage more teams to run cars in the often-quiet first session.

Each nominated driver will be allocated three sets of dry-weather tyres for use during P1 and P2, two of ‘prime’ specification and one of ‘option’ specification. These are the only dry-weather tyres which may be used during these sessions. One set of ‘prime’ specification must be returned to the tyre supplier before the start of P2 and one set of each specification before the start of P3.


Team must now homologate certain parts of their cars at the start of the championship which they cannot change.

28.7 a) One specification of each of the following parts must be homologated prior to the first Event of the Championship season:
– survival cell;
– principal and second roll structures;
– front, rear and side impact structures ;
– front wheel;
– rear wheel.
Once homologated, changes to the these parts will only be permitted for clear safety or reliability reasons following written approval from the FIA.

It’s not hard to see how the FIA might want to widen this homologation in the future to keep costs under control.

Race suspension

New rules govern what drivers must do if a race is suspended, as it was during last year’s Malaysian Grand Prix:

41.2 When the signal is given overtaking is forbidden, the pit exit will be closed and all cars must proceed slowly to the starting grid. The first car to arrive on the grid should occupy pole position and others should fill the remaining grid positions in the order they arrive.

Some of the other changes in the 2010 sporting rules have been mentioned previously here, such as the reduced allocation of six days of straight-line aerodynamic testing (any day of which can be substituted for four hours of full scale wind-tunnel testing).

There’s also the new points system (25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1), provisions for a rookie driver test if a team needs to make a substitution during the season,

Here are the sporting rules in full:

Technical rules

Among the changes to the technical rules are a restriction on the maximum number of exits an exhaustmay have (two), limitations on the construction of suspension uprights and wheel assembly, and a revised list of permitted materials.

Drivers also have a new limit on the number of gear ratio pairs:

9.6.2 The maximum number of numerical change gear ratio pairs a competitor has available to him during a Championship season is 30. All such gear ratio pairs must be declared to the FIA technical delegate at or before the first Event of the Championship.

And these are the two additions to the technical rules which ban the use of wheel ‘hubs’ and spinners:

The ducts may not rotate with the wheels nor may they, or any of their mountings, protrude axially beyond the outer face of the wheel fastener;
No part of the car, other than those specifically defined in Articles 12.8.1 and 12.8.2, may obscure any part of the wheel when viewed from the outside of the car towards the car centre line along the axis of the wheel

Read the full 2010 F1 technical rules here