FIA changes rules to allow race drivers to test

2013 F1 season

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, 2013The FIA has confirmed changes to the F1 rules to allow race drivers to participate in the Young Drivers’ Test and for new tyres to be introduced immediately on safety grounds.

Race drivers will be allowed to test to evaluate planned changes to Pirelli’s tyres which will be introduced at the Hungarian Grand Prix. The FIA will not allow them to participate in the test for any other purpose, such as to evaluate developments to their cars.

In a new version of the regulations published on its website today, the definition of the Young Drivers Test in article 22.4 (h) (i) has been revised as follows (amendments in italics):

One three or four day young driver training test carried out on a date and site approved by the FIA following consultation with all teams. Any driver who has competed in more than two F1 world championship races may take part in this test provided that the purpose of him doing so is to test tyres for the appointed tyre supplier and all drivers must be in possession of an International A Licence.

No further exceptions to the ban on testing between the first race of the season and the end of the year have been added.

Ferrari has already confirmed its race drivers will participate in the Young Drivers Test which is to be held at Silverstone from July 17th to 19th.

The FIA has also given itself the power to change the specification of the tyres during the season immediately on safety grounds. The following sentence has been added to article 12.6.3 of the Technical Regulations (amendment in italics):

Tyre specifications will be determined by the FIA no later than 1 September of the previous season. Once determined in this way, the specification of the tyres will not be changed during the Championship season without the agreement of all competing teams.

Notwithstanding the above, the FIA may decide to change the specification during the Championship season for safety reasons without notice or delay.

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32 comments on FIA changes rules to allow race drivers to test

  1. Mallesh Magdum (@malleshmagdum) said on 4th July 2013, 11:48

    Is changing the rule a necessity? The FIA could have treated the upcoming YDT as a one-off. Allow regular drivers to drive in this YDT and go back to old ways next yr. Why go ahead and change the rule? Its not that such tyre failures will happen every year.

  2. hzh (@hzh00) said on 4th July 2013, 11:53

    I wonder if some teams will “secretly” test some car components not related to tire evaluation with their current race drivers for the sake of development.

    • Nick (@npf1) said on 4th July 2013, 11:58

      The FIA have said that they will send observers to Silverstone to make sure that doesn’t happen. link

      I wonder how much it’s going to cost Ferrari, with teams like Red Bull, McLaren and Lotus having rookies who are closely involved with the team and development work.

      • hzh (@hzh00) said on 4th July 2013, 12:19

        I know, I have read earlier about FIA’s observers who will be sent to the test; yet,in my opinion, I still think some teams may find a way to do some development work with their race drivers. How will they do it? Who knows… That is why I said “secretly”.

        • Nick (@npf1) said on 4th July 2013, 12:53

          I’d say the teams would bring out the fences, the kind they had in the garages in the early 2000s, but the FIA observers probably would have all access. Anything directly visible would be hard to test, but even most things around the engine and suspensions would be noticeable by FIA observers, if not by guys like Scarbs.

          They will probably find a way, but hidden in so much, we shouldn’t be able to spot it as well.

  3. Traverse (@) said on 4th July 2013, 11:57

    shock-horror! Drivers are allowed to test the cars that they race! Whodathunkit?

  4. stert said on 4th July 2013, 12:26

    I presume that merc will be included, drivers an all?

    • HiPn0tIc (@hipn0tic) said on 4th July 2013, 12:41

      MERC won’t be testing…i guess they already did

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 4th July 2013, 13:45

      The FIA said on Monday Mercedes will not be at the test despite the change to allow race drivers to participate.

    • Jason (@jason12) said on 4th July 2013, 16:47

      Toto must be just plain incompetent.
      Mer’c punishment was missing the ‘Young Drivers Test’ which is no more.

      It’s been replaced with a new initiative to improve tyre safety, and Toto is not even contemplating legally fighting to take part in all the 4 days.
      Pure incompetence….

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 4th July 2013, 16:54

        Hang on now @jason12 From what I can gather Mercedes were trying to be compliant all along with their penalty of not participating in the YDT, and the spirit of the rule change is that primary drivers can drive in the YDT after all, but only to test the new tires. ie. my take on it is that it is still for the most part a YDT, with an extraordinary exception due to the tire crises. So imho Merc should be fighting to test for one (only) of the 4 days with their primary drivers, to compile data on the new tires which they never had a chance to do at the Pirelli test in May.

        • Jason (@jason12) said on 4th July 2013, 18:13

          @robbie
          You cheating by calling (the now allowed) in-season testing YDT… :D
          How can it be YDT when even the elderly like Mike Webber are allowed to test?

          I’ll be fair and say both your argument and mine have some merit. Which is why Toto should be realising that there’s a small opportunity here to legally get all 4 days of tyre testing.

  5. Bleeps_and_Tweaks (@bleeps_and_tweaks) said on 4th July 2013, 12:31

    Is there any word from the teams about who they will be using yet..? I’m trying to decide whether or not to pop down to Silverstone for the day!!

    I’m guessing most will use their race drivers for most of the test, as it’s too big an opportunity to get them out and learn about the car and tyres. Or maybe one race driver will get one day each, and then a young driver on the third day?

  6. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 4th July 2013, 12:46

    Autosport reports that it will likely be three days, and that of those three days, at least two must be reserved for young drivers, so Ferrari have to field young drivers anyway:

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/108525

  7. wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 4th July 2013, 13:31

    Poor Raffaele Marciello..has to wait another year..

  8. sumedhvidwans (@sumedhvidwans) said on 4th July 2013, 13:36

    So, do we expect Mercedes to lose their recently gained competitive edge?

    • HiPn0tIc (@hipn0tic) said on 4th July 2013, 14:07

      I don’t think so. This test is a lot different from the one with MERC.

      • Jason (@jason12) said on 4th July 2013, 16:18

        Please explain how, I’m very interested.

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 4th July 2013, 16:43

          Yes if Mercedes are not allowed to test on the fourth day, then they will be very disadvantaged. No data was shared by Pirelli when Mercedes tried to help them sort out their tire woes but now the teams will be able to compile data on the revised tires, which Merc never had a chance to do.

          FIA/Pirelli have really bungled this. The Tribunal as it turns out was not necessary, the tires should have been deemed a safety concern from the getgo and the rules simply changed as they have been now, and so Mercedes should not be punished further.

  9. venom (@venom) said on 4th July 2013, 15:27

    pirelli should change tyres at the middle of each year just to spice things up.

  10. OnTheOtherHand (@robcacox) said on 4th July 2013, 15:54

    Mercedes have stated they will not be attending the test.
    The teams can test new parts with young drivers.
    Current drivers can only participate in controlled tyre test, with no team developments.

    This is what Mercedes said they did during their Pirelli test. Tyres only, no team developments.

    There is no proof to the contrary.

    Hopefully the modifications this week will enable a more balanced race.

  11. caci_99 said on 4th July 2013, 17:32

    The FIA has confirmed changes to the F1 rules to allow race drivers to participate in the Young Drivers’ Test …

    Are they gonna change the IDs of the drivers, or change the date of the test? :)

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