Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Montreal, 2011

Four-hour time limit among new 2012 rules

2012 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Montreal, 2011
The Canadian Grand Prix took more than four hours this year

The FIA will impose a maximum time limit of four hours on Grands Prix as of 2012.

It comes after this year’s Canadian Grand Prix took four hours and four minutes to complete due to heavy rain causing a lengthy suspension. The existing two-hour time limit on races that are not suspended will remain.

The FIA has also confirmed new rules on driving standards. When defending a position, drivers will not be allowed to move back onto the racing line after moving off-line.

This was a cause for debate following the exchange between Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton during the Italian Grand Prix this year.

Drivers have also been told they can no longer leave the track without a justifiable reason. Some drivers have been cutting chicanes during practice and qualifying sessions to save time and/or fuel – such as Sebastian Vettel did in Korea and Schumacher in Abu Dhabi.

Drivers will be allowed to use all sets of tyres that are allocated to them on the first day of practice if they choose.

During a race suspension, cars which are in the pits when a race is suspended will be allowed to re-join the cars on the grid in the position they were in.

Teams will also be required to have their cars pass all FIA crash tests before they participate in pre-season testing.

The FIA also announced the following changes to the technical rules:

“All engine standard ECU set up and control parameters, which were formerly contained only within a technical directive, are now contained within the relevant parts of the technical regulations.

“The exhaust tailpipes are now strictly regulated in order to ensure that the aerodynamic effect exhaust gases have on the car is kept to an absolute minimum.

“Better marking of in-car emergency switches operated by marshals are now stipulated.

“The side impact structures will now have to be subjected to a further (upward) push-off test.”

More information on the 2012 F1 season.

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Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images