FIA reveals full 2011 technical rules changes

2011 F1 season

Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso, Abu Dhabi, Pirelli tyre test, 2010

Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso, Abu Dhabi, Pirelli tyre test, 2010

The FIA has published the full technical regulations for 2011 including the specifications of the driver-adjustable rear wings being introduced for next year.

Several new rules aimed at curbing flexible bodywork have also been introduced.

The regulations also include a raft of new safety measures including extra wheel tethers and tougher tests for the survival cell.

The controversial new driver-adjustable rear wings are explained in article 3.18:

3.18.1

- When viewed from the side of the car at any longitudinal vertical cross section, the physical point of rotation of the rearmost and uppermost closed section must be fixed and located no more than 20mm below the upper extremity and no more than 20mm forward of the rear extremity of the area described in Article 3.10.2 at all times.
- The design is such that failure of the system will result in the uppermost closed section returning to the normal high incidence position.
- Any alteration of the incidence of the uppermost closed section may only be commanded by direct driver input and controlled using the control electronics specified in Article 8.2.

3.18.2

The adjustable bodywork may be activated by the driver at any time prior to the start of the race and, for the sole purpose of improving overtaking opportunities during the race, after the driver has completed a minimum of two laps after the race start or following a safety car period.

The driver may only activate the adjustable bodywork in the race when he has been notified via the control electronics (see Article 8.2) that it is enabled. It will only be enabled if the driver is less than one second behind another at any of the pre-determined positions around each circuit. The system will be disabled by the control electronics the first time the driver uses the brakes after he has activated the system.

The FIA may, after consulting all competitors, adjust the above time proximity in order to ensure the stated purpose of the adjustable bodywork is met.3.18.1 The incidence of the rearmost and uppermost closed section described in Article 3.10.2 may be varied whilst the car is in motion provided:
- It comprises only one component that must be symmetrically arranged about the car centre line with a minimum width of 708mm.
- With the exception of minimal parts solely associated with adjustment of the section, no parts of the section in contact with the external airstream may be located any more than 355mm from of the car centre line.
- With the exception of any minimal parts solely associated with adjustment of the rearmost and uppermost section, two closed sections are used in the area described in Article 3.10.2.
- Any such variation of incidence maintains compliance with all of the bodywork regulations.
2011 FIA Technical Regulations

The minimum weight of the cars has been increased to 640kg. For next year only, the FIA has set down rules on the weight distribution:

4.2 Weight distribution:

For 2011 only, the weight applied on the front and rear wheels must not be less than 291kg and 342kg respectively at all times during the qualifying practice session.
If, when required for checking, a car is not already fitted with dry-weather tyres, it will be weighed on a set of dry-weather tyres selected by the FIA technical delegate.

4.3 Weight of tyres:

The weight limits specified in Articles 4.1 and 4.2 will be adjusted according to any differences (rounded up to the nearest 1kg) between the total set and individual axle set weights respectively of the 2010 and 2011 dry-weather tyres.
2011 FIA Technical Regulations

As revealed in July, the number of wheel tethers used will be doubled next year, as is described in article 10.3.6. The teams are now restricted to using only AZ70 or AZ80 magnesium alloys for wheels by article 12.3.

The ban on sidepod-mounted mirrors, introduced at the Spanish Grand Prix this year, is now written into the regulations.

The strength of the survival cell is to be increased by a new regulation 15.4.8 which describes an additional part of the cell. The cell will also now be subjected to a load test from below the floor (article 15.5.4).

Revisions have been made to article 3.4.2, which restricts bodywork dimensions to reduce the chance of contact with other cars causing punctures.

A fresh effort to clamp down on flexing bodywork has been made, starting with a doubling of the force of the bodywork flexibility test to 1,000N in article 3.17.2.

On top of that article 3.17.5 now includes a list of items the bodywork may not include “capable of allowing more than the permitted amount of deflection under the test load” such as joints, bearings, pivots, dampers, hydraulics and other devices.

There are further detail changes in the full rules which you can download from the FIA’s website. Read the 2011 FIA Formula One Technical Regulations in full (PDF)

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85 comments on FIA reveals full 2011 technical rules changes

  1. Pete Walker said on 13th December 2010, 16:38

    Adjustable wings are fine. The restrictions on useage are not.

    I look forward to success ballast and reverse grids in coming seasons.

    And points allocated by a bingo machine.

    • Agreed, Handicapping belongs in play station games.

      • Todfod (@todfod) said on 13th December 2010, 20:34

        Well said. It reminds me of catch up mode in some racing games. The usage restrictions are making a mockery of overtaking.

      • disagree. I don’t want my PS3 games beind ruined by such rubbish!

        The basic principle of track race overtaking is simnple. On car must get past the other. By having these wings it means that the back car has a massive advantage and will easily overtake. Hence no skill required, no need to stick your nose up the car infronts gearbox and follow through with kobayashis balls and then overtake, no you follow, hit your button and wize past doing 15km/h more. If anyone actually drives then youll now that if your siting behind someone doing 85 on the freeway and theyre doing 100, there is a massive difference.

        Added to that, 2010 provided 3 different cars, the redbull was brilliant in the corners but horrible on the straights (engine probs not big problem due to renault being good, probably instead the bloated body at the back), the ferrari which was good on the tyre grip but not so good at high speed and the mclaren which lacked in corners back was fast ont the straight.

        Now, there is no need, the redbull after pushing the button will be easily faster than the mclaren this year regardless of the better engine or the slipstream bodywork. Cars will be more about corners which means they will more more similiar which inevitably means more of the same which is boring.

    • I tend to agree. It seems like FIA want a spec car, want 12 teams to essentially design and build the same car.

      I say less regulations, and more innovation. The FIA should specify maximum / minimum length and maximum width, tyre sizes, engine capacity (not number of cylinders), minimum safety cell requirements and leave the rest up to the individual teams. Sure it would be expensive, and we’d see some speculator failures, by it would at least be interesting.

      • Ben Curly said on 14th December 2010, 10:21

        I’d go a step further. I don’t think the engine capacity should be restricted. We need only one thing regarding engine regulation, and that’s the amount of fuel allowed for the race. Whatever you do, you cannot burn more than this, now go design your engine! That would bring some brilliant, innovative, efficient and “green” ideas.

        I know, the costs could potentially go through the roof, but I if you worry about that, just introduce the budget cap already. It’s far better than having 20+ spec cars running around the track!

        • Yeah that’s a good point Ben Curly. Limiting the amount of fuel allowed for a race would naturally encourage the different engine suppliers to either a) look for ways to create a more fuel efficient engine, or b) look for ways to get more out of hybrid systems. Then once every team is easily achieving the required fuel consumption the FIA could go along and reduce the maximum fuel load even more, forcing the teams to continually develop more economical engines.

          Either way, the benefits from the reduced fuel consumption would be somewhat transferrable to road cars, hence making F1 more green (by having done the research to make road cars more environmentally friendly), than any token effort that other racing series employ, like carbon dioxide offsetting.

          • Totally agreed.

            But to go one step further still they could not specify an amount of fuel, rather a total amount of energy available at the start of the race.

            That way the teams could use any non-toxic fuel – hydrogen, petrol, electricity, parafin, coal – whatever they want, in any wierd and wonderful combinations they can dream up (electric motor powered by gas turbine with kers boost?).

            Then, as you say Pinball, the FIA could reduce the available energy limit each year.

            Now, that would lead to real innovation.

        • Daniel said on 15th December 2010, 11:56

          A friend of mine suggested they should be able to do whatever they want so long as their race weekend was carbon neutral.

          Personally, I’m beginning to feel like F1 is V8 Stupid Cars. I might go and watch more LeMans action. Or at lease I would if they used the Safety Car less.

    • Agreed. It’s about cars covering race-distance in minimum time. You shouldn’t encourage arbritrary factors, like where other cars are in relation to yours, to affect that. I’m sure that it would be quite unfair to a team that shoots off into the distance and has no “low drag” button to press before deciding to have a pitstop.

      And I’m sure that cars being “less than one second behind another” in 3.18.2 means race time and not track time. I’m sure that the FIA would be vigilant enough to not allow race-leaders to boost past back-markers at the start of long straights… I’ll read the regs in full before new-year as a matter of course, ofcourse.

    • What would be the point of having adjustable rear wings if all drivers could use it whenever they want? Would be completely pointless.

      • Pete Walker said on 14th December 2010, 13:21

        Not pointless if you restrict it to X-number of uses per lap or race.

        In A1GP they could use the boost button whenever they like, but they were limited to 8 uses (in the feature race). Some drivers blew their wad within 2 laps to gain an early advantage, some saved them for a late push. It made for a great racing.

        As I’ve said elsewhere, the rules giving an advantage to the chasing driver are what makes this artificial. Fundamentally, all drivers should have equal opportunities at all times.

        • Yeh thats what im getting at. My post was aimed at the very first one at the top. I like the idea of having adjustable rear wings if only just to spice things up a little, but it would have to be restricted agreed or else there would be no benefits to having it. What would be completely pointless is having ppl being able to retract thier rear wing when ever they want.

  2. Xanathos said on 13th December 2010, 16:43

    Any changes concerning the double diffusers? I think they’ll be banned too.

  3. Osmar CassĂŁo said on 13th December 2010, 16:55

    Ajustable rear wings may be very useless. Lets take for example the tracks where 3 or 4 cars are near eachothers… All wings will “open” and nobody will pass.

    • Cacarella said on 13th December 2010, 17:04

      I think it’s only the pursuer’s car which can activate the wing.

      Which when you think of it would really suck for a driver leading a group of cars all less then a second apart.

      Sucks to be Jarno.

      • Andy W said on 13th December 2010, 18:51

        well they had to do something his Lotus with a renault engine and red bull rear end might be able to get more than half way up the grid given his quali skills…. They have to do something to stop the Trulli train.

      • Personally, an this really is plumbing the depths of gimmicary, I reckon on certain tracks, (ie Interlagos, Canada etc) where overtaking is naturally facilitaited by the nature of the circuit, the things should be available at any time. Everyone gets the advantage and it just comes down to who uses it best and has the most efficient system.

        However, on the tracks where overtaking is very rare, especially when thats due to the aero demands and the amount of time spent following through long corners, proximity might not be a bad idea. I mean Spain for instance, it’s quite rubbish, lets face it, all that race is good for is, whose got the best aero? Good, here’s pole and 25 points. Why not spice things up where spice is required to season lap after lap of bland mash-potatoe racing? Imagine if Abu Dhabi this year but with proximity wings, Hamilton might have had a crack at Vettle and Alonso on Rosberg. Regardless of your veiws on the result this would have ramped up the excitement no end.

        • Pete Walker said on 13th December 2010, 19:22

          It depends on your definition of ‘excitement’ I guess. When its artificially created it just feels kind of hollow.

          Besides, I found Hulkenbergs defences at Interlagos very exciting. He’d have been a sitting duck if proximity wings were in use. The days of a driver in an inferior car doggedly defending a position that exceeds expectations may well be drawing to a close.

          The principle as I see it is simple: Anything at all that penalises success to maintain close competition is anti-sport.

          • I did mention Interlagos as the sort of track I wouldn’t have proximity wings at, because

            overtaking is already possible

            at tracks where thats just not the case, creating the possibility turns an achingly dull spectacle into something worth watching, an spain can be achingly

            dull.

            I think at tracks that tend to be eventfull, keep that sporting purity. At tracks where nothing might happen, what really is the point of keeping to romantic principles of sporting intergrity when you don’t really need to. Thing is F1 isn’t a sport like the others, changing the rules is vital to keep the sport viable.

            Kinda said that in the above post.

          • woh there, b/quote and bold button confused.

            I wish this thing had an edit function, still it makes sense.

          • Andy W said on 13th December 2010, 22:20

            Whats artificial? The entire sport is engineered…. The problem is that we are at an impass (or close to) I don’t think anyone wants a gimmick to make overtaking happen all the time, we want the drawn out battles but we also want to see people overtake… Lewis is great at and so is Kobi, but we all know that at certain tracks you aren’t going to see much if any overtaking for position on the track… what we want is to change that without ruining the sport.

          • Yeah, the idea that proximity wings will fill all tracks with loads of previously unseen possibilities creating Nascar with corners is bogus. It’ll increase nothing more than the possibility of an overtake. After that, it’s all the drivers.

  4. No changes to KERS technical regulations.

    • I believe KERS remains as 60KW (82Bhp) for 6.7 secs per lap.

      Then from 2013 it is to be more integrated into the Turbo 1.6lt engines.

      • Plus extra’s apparently, possibly greenspinning as they haven’t stated what yet. Still if they get round to it and it adds horsepower, they’ll make the sport greener and faster. Everybody wins.

  5. MinusTwo said on 13th December 2010, 17:33

    Hey, here’s a question I have not heard anyone else mention – why is flexible bodywork such a problem?

    I mean, unless there is some safety or sporting reason why having the cars change shape at high speeds is wrong… why bother banning it?

    I get why people were all suspicous of RB breaking the rules last year, but I just don’t see why there was a rule against it in the first place.

    If anyone knows the underlying issue, I would love to learn more.

    • judo chop said on 13th December 2010, 17:58

      Read the first line of the first comment.

    • I remember this article being done by Keith quite a while ago: http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2007/01/25/banned-flexi-wings/

      I think the problem is mostly how to have flexi wings whilst keeping them safe/reliable

      • Just realised that ‘quite a while ago’ is nearly 3 years ago.

        Keith – you must feel like an old pro by now!

        • Also, there where a few incidents this year where the RB front wing wobbled violently in close driving situations. While it may not have actually cause crashes, it certainly didn’t help.

          Plus, it’s the sort of thing hat could easily get out of hand, also sorts of flexi, all over the cars, probably quite unsafe.

          Like the F-duct actually, the problem wasn’t the system itself but what, with the loop hole it created in mind, would be next?

          • I am pretty sure we will see some creative interpretations of that rear wing next year.
            Actually my hope is set on the teams deciding not to use them after the first tests.

    • Andy W said on 13th December 2010, 18:59

      The simple answer is that the more the wing flexes when under extreme load (at highest speed) the more of an advantage it will give the car in shedding drag (the fduct worked in a similar manner by stalling the rear wing), but as you increase the amount of flex you increase the risk of the wing failing.

      Wing failures are one of the worst things that can happen to an f1 at speed and have produced some of the most horrific accidents.

      So what it comes down to is the less the wing flexes the less likely it is to fail…

  6. MGPW01 said on 13th December 2010, 18:04

    I know its not on the article but F-ducts are definitely banned. However, by the term ‘F-DUCT’, does it mean the type used by Mclaren, Renault, Ferrari etc. If so, then surely Mercedes Gp’s passive ‘F-duct’ isn’t banned, and will be legal. Does this give Mercedes Gp a head start if i’m right because they needed a passive f-duct because of their radical airbox and because their passive f-duct was working correctly by the end of the season.

    • thestig84 said on 13th December 2010, 18:29

      No, all blown slots are banned. This is from @ScarbsF1 twitter:
      article 3.10 a minimum raidus rule prevents rear wings having full width slots, this bans F-ducts and other blown slots.

      The “other blow slots” would be the passive merc one too.

      • Don’t belive Mercs was passive by the end either. For instance, I heared Rosberg instucted to do F-Duct laps and non F-Duct laps in Valencia during free practice.

        • LewisC said on 14th December 2010, 14:01

          The concept of the car’s aero performance changing according to wind pressure is an interesting one though, and I fully expect it’ll make a reappearance.

          Either by some extremely clever (fixed) body shaping, or something flexing that isn’t specifically tested by the flex tests – the engine cover, or sidepods, or something.

  7. The strength of the survival cell is to be increased by a new regulation 15.4.8 which describes an additional part of the cell. The cell will also now be subjected to a load test from below the floor (article 15.5.4).

    Revisions have been made to article 3.4.2, which restricts bodywork dimensions to reduce the chance of contact with other cars causing punctures.

    Webber’s crash had a great influence.

    • I think Luizzi’s Intergalos crash and Glocks at Suzuka last year are whats influenced these rules. Two instances of the survival cell failing by puncture. Both with mild injuries sustained.

      The puncture thing isn’t really that sort of territory either, Webbers crash would have happened regardless of these changes. If you look at it from an F1 saftey point of veiw, after he flipped the entire thing was a triumph for driver saftey, he walked out fine, survival cell and car completley sucseeding in protecting driver. Biggest success since Canada 07.

  8. Younger Hamilton said on 13th December 2010, 19:27

    Im surprised Blown Diffusers or Pull-Rod Suspensions arent banned they are both Red Bull Innovation while Mercedes and McLaren Innovations are banned not suggesting anything but i would keep that in mind.F1 is moving in the right direction and its so good to see that.

    • US_Peter said on 13th December 2010, 20:46

      Banning pull rod suspension would be pretty silly. It’s not a clear advantage, just a different way of setting up the suspension, that in the case of Red Bull was used to optimize their overall design.

    • Bertie said on 14th December 2010, 9:12

      Not to mention Blown Diffusers and Pull-Rod Suspensions have been around for years.

  9. Adrian said on 13th December 2010, 20:16

    I have nothing against the moveable rear wing, but why oh why must they impose “designated overtaking areas”…

    …let the drivers choose where they are most comfortable using it.

    • US_Peter said on 13th December 2010, 20:49

      Yeah, that’s the worst part, even worse than the one second gap. It worries me that drivers will start to get it into their heads that overtaking only happens at the designated points on track, and won’t try for it in other places. At least we have Kobi who will go for it anywhere and make it stick.

      • dyslexicbunny said on 14th December 2010, 0:31

        I’m curious whether you can use them against backmarkers. Technically the rules say within 1 second so in theory, I could just blow through the field when lapping people.

        Or could the backmarkers use it against leaders? Lots of questions.

    • Toby Bushby said on 14th December 2010, 0:28

      …why oh why must they impose “designated overtaking areas”…

      You’re starting Chinese whispers with this, Adrian. It doesn’t say “designated overtaking areas”, so I don’t know why you “quoted” it.

      The rule says “It will only be enabled if the driver is less than one second behind another at any of the pre-determined positions around each circuit.”

      This (to me) means that the “pre-determined” parts of the circuit are where the timing can verify that a driver is less than a second behind another. That would probably be based on sector timing stations. It does not state that the overtaking must take place at a certain point on the circuit…

  10. Cynical said on 13th December 2010, 20:17

    Rule 9′.7.5 At designated parts of the track a driver may initiate a device deploying a giant hand to grab the driver in front. And attempt to move them out of the way. The driver in front, upon noticing an attempt to grab it can deploy the following, but not limited to , countermeasures. Oil slick on the road, oily smoke to reduce visibility and if the car following has a previous world champion in it, then a deployment of tacs may be used.

  11. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 13th December 2010, 20:45

    Well it’s at least comforting to know that F1 knows it has an overtaking problem by making it official in the rules. A solution that has integrity would be more welcome, though.

    • dyslexicbunny said on 14th December 2010, 0:33

      What? Do something reasonable? Surely you kid Icthyes. Adding more mech grip is just a terrible solution.

  12. I hate the adjustable rear wing idea. It’s such a gimmick and so cheap. There is a problem with overtaking in F1 and despite the masses of overtaking we had this season it was mostly because of the weather so the problem is still there. However, I want overtaking to be hard and (forgive me for this) I’m going to quote Jacques V and say overtaking should be “as hard as scoring a goal”. The majority of the thrill is in the anticipation and it means the quality of passing is high at least if it is hard. This basically gives certain drivers an invitation to go through.

    That’s the best they could come up with to aid overtaking? Try harder next time please.

    It would also be nice if when it came to these things that FOTA et al would ask the drivers for their opinions.

    I must admit I do like the odd rule jig as it’s more likely to spring a surprise than if the rules were static.

    • DeadManWoking said on 13th December 2010, 21:48

      I like the rule jig myself, wanna dance Steph??

      • Why don’t you like it Steph? if an idea will help overtaking and increase the spectacle which sometimes is lacking in F1 don’t you think its a good idea?

        Imagine drivers constantly re-overtaking each other every lap, now that would be an entertaining race!

        • dyslexicbunny said on 14th December 2010, 0:37

          No it wouldn’t. I’d lose interest not knowing where anyone is. And you’d likely have more accidents for it.

          Overtaking is a problem yes. But tons of overtaking for its sake is just absurd. I’d be better off reading the results, taking shrooms, and hallucinating the race myself.

          • MGPW01 said on 14th December 2010, 7:36

            I thought there was enough overtaking anyway, yes Bahrain was boring, but if people have these wings it will be constant and in the same place, imagine the commentators ‘and here goes Hamilton overtaking Schumacher on the start straight agian’ and then on the next lap… ‘and here goes Schumacher overtaking Hamilton on the start straight for the tenth time’. And then if their is a group of four cars, it will be an utter mess for the person in front, every car behind will have their wings activated and will all go past him. It makes you think that the person at the front of the group will perposefully loose a place to the person second in the group and then overtake him later because if you get in the lead of the group you get overtaken anyway. Simply i think its pointless, but if it works well done the FIA!

  13. Cynical said on 13th December 2010, 21:20

    I guess if they Made it so you can use it anytime to a maximum of 10 times in a race then the system locks, it would allow for more integrity. So it could be used for defense as well.

  14. I think its a great idea, bye bye boring races !

  15. Dutch_Alex said on 13th December 2010, 21:54

    Rather stupid that they are making the cars heavier again. Handling gets worse and fuel consumption rises. The first is rather import for an F1 car and the second is being made important by the FIA. Plus that car manufacturers are finally seeing that their cars are becoming way too heavy, so they are searching for ways to decrease the weight.

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