Virtual Safety Car board, Circuit of the Americas, 2014

The new F1 rules for 2015 at a glance

2015 F1 season preview

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F1 stewards have a new weapon in their arsenal, races can now feature a Virtual Safety Car, and drivers better get used to having one helmet design per year.

Here’s a quick guide to what’s new in the F1 rulebook for 2015.

New ten-second time penalty

Pastor Maldonado, Lotus, Sochi Autodrom, 2014Following the successful introduction of the five-second time penalty last year, which became the stewards’ favourite sanction, a new ten-second time penalty has been introduced.

This will work in the same way as the five-second penalty, where the penalty is applied during a driver’s routine pit stop, and if that is not possible it is added to their time after the race.

Note that the stewards can still apply a ten-second stop-go penalty, where the driver must come into the pits, stop for ten seconds and then leave without any work being performed on their car. See below for more.

Qualifying

The rules now specify how many cars will be eliminated in Q1 and Q2 depending on how many entrants there are. With 20 cars expected for the first race of the season, five cars will be eliminated in each phase. If that falls to 18 cars, four will be knocked out in each round.

Engines: Four per season, new penalty rules

Renault Energy F1 2015 power unitEach driver is only allowed to use four power units for the whole 20-race calendar, meaning each will have to cover five race distances on average, which is one more than last year.

As last year each power unit is broken down into different components, and drivers will receive grid drop penalties once they start to use more than four of each. A driver who changes their complete power unit will no longer have to start the race from the pits.

The way these grid penalties work has also changed. Last year if a driver received a grid penalty but could not serve all of it at a race because they did not qualify high enough, the penalty carried over for one event. This will not happen any more.

From this year, drivers who cannot serve their grid drop in full will be given a penalty for the race as follows:

Remainder of grid penaltyRace penalty
1-5 placesFive-second time penalty
6-10 placesTen-second time penalty
11-20 placesDrive-through penalty
20 or more placesTen second stop-go penalty

Note that this only applies to grid penalties for engine component changes, and not to grid penalties incurred for other infringements, such as impeding another driver in qualifying.

The FIA has also issued a clarification permitting teams to conduct some engine development during the season. See here for a detailed explanation:

Car design

Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Circuit de Catalunya, 2015Following the huge changes to the cars last year the alterations to the rules for this season are relatively minor.

The FIA has made yet another attempt at confining F1 car designs to even tighter rules regarding the shape of the front noses. This is part of an effort which has been going on since 2012 to reduce the height of the nose as a safety precaution while also trying to prevent unusual and unsightly designs.

The low height of the noses has been retained, however the shape of the tip is subject to new restrictions: the tip must be no greater than 9,000 square millimetres at its cross-section, and a fix size of 20,000 square millimetres is imposed 100mm behind the tip. On top of that, the nose must pass a more stringent crash test.

The restrictions introduced last year to prevent teams using front-rear inter-connected suspension systems have been retained.

Around the cockpit, the FIA has expanded the use of anti-intrusion panels to safeguard the driver in the event of a side impact.

The minimum weight of the cars has also been increased from 691kg last year to 702kg. This is the first time the minimum weight for an F1 car has exceeded 700kg.

It follows concerns last year that because teams were struggling to produce light enough cars some drivers were risking their health by eating too little. Adrian Sutil admitted he had gone two days without eating at one point.

Testing

Pascal Wehrlein, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2015There will be two, two-day in-season tests this year instead of the four which were held last year. Teams will have to run junior drivers on at least two of the four days of testing.

The tests will take place on the Tuesday and Wednesday after the Spanish and Austrian Grands Prix at their respective venues.

Altering cars

During a race weekend, if a team wishes to change a part of their car after the parc ferme restrictions are in place, the replacement part must now be “similar in design, mass, inertia and function to the original” according to a new rule.

The restrictions on the hours mechanics may work on the cars have been tightened. The Friday night curfew has been increased from six hours to seven. Teams may only have two exceptions to Thursday and Friday night restrictions during the season, down from six last year, and cannot use both on the same race weekend.

Starting the race

Drivers who are due to start the race from the pit lane are now allowed to perform reconnaissance laps, as other drivers do when they head from their garage to the starting grid.

Any drivers who granted permission to start the race despite having failed to pass the 107% rule must now start at the back of the grid, behind any drivers who have had penalties applied. If this applies to more than one driver, their times from final practice will be used to determine a starting order.

Cars on the grid may no longer have fuel removed. Previously the rules only forbade teams from adding fuel to their cars.

If a driver’s mechanics do not leave the grid before the 15-second warning, the driver will be given a ten-second stop-go penalty.

Once the formation lap has begun, any driver who falls out of their running order must regain it before they pass the first Safety Car Line (usually shortly before the grid). If they fail to do so they must start the race from the pits, and they will receive a ten-second stop-go penalty if they fail to.

Virtual Safety Car

Virtual Safety Car board, Circuit of the Americas, 2014In a major change for 2015, in a response to Jules Bianchi’s terrible crash in last year’s Japanese Grand Prix, a Virtual Safety Car will be used “when double waved yellow flags are needed on any section of track and competitors or officials may be in danger, but the circumstances are not such as to warrant use of the safety car itself”.

During a VSC period, each driver will be given a target minimum lap time on their dashboard which they must stay above. Drivers may only enter the pits to change tyres during this time.

See here for the full detail of the new Virtual Safety Car rules:

Actual Safety Car

At the end of a Safety Car period, if lapped cars are being allowed to unlap themselves, the Safety Car will no longer wait for them to catch up before releasing the pack.

Drivers who fail to stay above the minimum Safety Car time will be given one of four penalties ranging in severity from a five-second time penalty to a ten-second stop-go penalty.

Suspending a race

If a race is suspended drivers no longer line up on the grid in some circumstances, they will now always come to a stop in the pits.

Stopping a race

Safety Car, Suzuka, 2014The race stewards can now order a race to be stopped “if competitors or officials are placed in immediate physical danger by cars running on the track”.

If the two-hour time limit is reached, the rules now specify the chequered flag will be shown on the end of the lap after the clock runs out, not on the same lap as before.

Leaving the pits

The FIA continues to take a tough stance on teams allowing their cars to leave the pit box in an unsafe fashion. An automatic ten-second stop-go penalty will be applied to any driver who is deemed to have done so.

Furthermore, if a driver continues to drive a car which has been released in an unsafe condition, they will be given a further penalty.

Demonstrations

Teams may now use their current chassis for demonstration events, but only if they take place after the end of the season.

No changing helmet designs

Marcus Ericsson helmet, Caterham, Monaco, 2014The newest and surely the silliest rules change for 2015 requires drivers to use “substantially the same livery” on their helmets at every race. It remains to be seen how the FIA might punish a driver who breaks this rule.

Every round pays the same amount of points

The double points season finale is, thankfully, a thing of the past.

Cancelled rules changes

Some mooted rules changes for 2015 have been abandoned. Among the scrapped rules changes is the plan to have standing restarts after Safety Car periods, which was criticised by drivers and didn’t seem to be popular with fans either.

Another plan which was originally on the cards for 2015 was a ban on the use of tyre warmers. However the FIA’s latest attempt to wean drivers off having pre-warmed tyres, which is not widely seen in single-seater racing outside F1, has also been abandoned.

Note there has also been no expansion of the limits on the use of radio communication to drivers which were in place at the end of last season.

Forthcoming rules changes

From 2016 new restrictions will govern how drivers are granted superlicences to participate in F1 races. Drivers who have not raced in F1 before must have earned at least 40 ‘superlicence points’ based on their performance in junior categories:

Over to you

Which rules are changes for the better? And which would F1 be better without?

Have your say in the comments.

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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85 comments on “The new F1 rules for 2015 at a glance”

  1. Once the formation lap has begun, any driver who falls out of their running order must regain it before they pass the first Safety Car Line (usually shortly before the grid). If they fail to do so they must start the race from the pits, and they will receive a ten-second stop-go penalty if they fail to.

    So, how is this meant to work? Isn’t the first SC line a bit too close to pit entry for this to be practical?

    During a VSC period, each driver will be given a target minimum lap time on their dashboard which they must stay above.

    Needlessly complicated. If only there was an FIA-sactioned series that used a simpler system… oh wait, there is!

    1. Target lap time is what it is already being used during SC so the drivers are familiar with it and it works.

    2. Regarding the formation lap, I thought the same. The only situation where I can see this applying is if the driver is too far behind and knows they won’t regain the position in time, but drivers usually tend to only fall out of running order at the start of the lap.

    3. What about the FIA activating the pit stop speed limiter in all cars simultaneously thereby having each car maintain its relevant distance to other cars. Only a trip into pit lane would force a change in the relevant distance and safety car periods won’t therefore erode advantages won on track (necessarily) nor will cars exceed the 100kph limit complying with safety?

  2. FIA cameramen
    Remember people watching on TV want to see the cars racing rather than the architecture, superyachts or illuminated cityscapes.

    1. They’ve already lost out on valuable “Sutil’s Grilfriend” screen time this year. Best not to give them too many other restrictions!

      1. GB (@bgp001ruled)
        8th March 2015, 16:39

        but they still have the “bottas girlfriend screen time” which hasnt been used to a great degree (maybe she has a live of her own and cant be following his boyfriend all the time…)

        1. Too busy being an international athlete in her own right, I guess.

    2. Agreed, but I must admit enjoying the moment when people in the stands realise they are on tv and point and wave.

      1. That’s always a good bit, but best when there is genuinely not much happening, like in qualifying.

    3. @andrewp Eurosport’s five minute long tourism promo before every FR3.5 race is all the more reason to watch BT Sport complete with Collantine-commentary! Do you still have that gig this year @keithcollantine?

    4. I disagree.

      Generally I want Formula 1 to look like a movie. Something really awesome, and it doesn’t always have to be the cars. I doubt you didn’t enjoy the slow-mo replays of pigeons jumping out of the way of the cars at Piscine in Monaco, or the long opening shot through the trees at the old Monza circuit. Then there’s the reactions of Rowan Atkinson and Nicole Scherzinger when Lewis flicks his wing off another car, or the awesome street lighting in the urban jungle of Singapore. This is stuff that I proudly show my non-f1 friends.

      Camera direction has mostly been poor the last few seasons, and ‘glamour shots’ should not be prioritised when there is action on track. But watching the cars all the time not only ignores the cinematic landscapes, but is really boring. This is one of the reasons why the Valencia races were so dull.

      1. I agree with you there but key thing is that we can watch pigeons or Rowan Atkinson through replays when there isn’t something happening on track.

        I remember last year watching Rosberg dive up the inside of someone and the camera jumped to his wife to get her reaction? What was her reaction? “What the **** is going on on the track!? Why are they showing me instead!?” – just like every other F1 fan.

      2. F1 looking like a movie is good. However, good movies also have a plot, and if F1 is shown in such a way that the plot can’t be followed, it will end up looking like a bad movie and people will wonder why they paid their “admission fee”.

    5. @andrewp – Agreed but I’d expand on that. The number 1 thing that annoys me with F1 is when we get an exciting battle which carries right on to the final lap. We follow them into the start of the lap, see the one or two little darts to the inside but nothing yet. It’s all building up and we’re moving towards the best overtaking place on the track…. oh.. Nope. We’re going to watch one of the Mercedes who won the race about an hour ago drive slowly across the line, say thanks to Toto wave at the crowd a bit. In fact, lets follow them onboard for half a lap……

      And then we’ll just watch everyone else cross the line.

      If there is an exciting race on track, SHOW THAT!

  3. During a VSC period, each driver will be given a target minimum lap time on their dashboard which they must stay above.

    Does this mean drivers can have different target lap times? So cars behind close up faster?

  4. How long will it take SebVet to change his helmet design ,

    This is a rule for school kids and their uniforms , booooooooooo!

    How about making the numbers more visible ? Jean ?

  5. I just want to hibernate until Friday… I can’t wait any longer

    1. Hahahaha, yeap mate, me too!

  6. kenneth chapman
    8th March 2015, 12:35

    drivers must shave before entering the race track on the day of the race
    drivers may not wear sunglasses during interviews
    drivers are forbidden to use the phrase ‘for sure’ at any time during the race weekend
    drivers may not wear diamond ear studs during the race weekend as they detract from the image of manliness generic to F1 drivers. and anything else one can think of……

    1. Well said. *chuckles*

    2. “drivers must shave before entering the race track on the day of the race”
      This is the rule that drove Webber out of F1.

    3. Adrian Elward
      8th March 2015, 17:13

      They are the only rules we need for better racing,and serious competition,,Also all the women shown in the pit area ,,should be named aged and vitals put on screne ,,That will stop them grinning like cheshire cats..

  7. i hope Vettel changes his helmet every race, gets a slap on the hand with a fine – like he did with burnouts in 2013 after races, and then they get rid of the ridiculous rule.

  8. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
    8th March 2015, 12:53

    So regarding the helmet rule, FIA doesn’t mention the punishment?
    That’s even more ridiculous.

    1. Simon (@weeniebeenie)
      8th March 2015, 13:00

      Bernie will come out with his felt tip pens and re-do it into the original design.

    2. Is the driver called into the pits to change his helmet?

    3. I wonder what would happen if a driver change his helmet design only a bit (so not substantially) race by race, and by the end of the season he has a completely different design.

  9. Thank you! Look how long the Cancelled Rule Changes section is – I’d lost track of which rule changes have actually been introduced, or changed then changed back, or just threatened…

    I’ve got high hopes for the Virtual Safety Car – it could really cut down on race interruptions if it’s used wisely and given a chance.

    Wonder who Toro Rosso’s junior driver will be, in place of Max Verstappen?

  10. At the end of a Safety Car period, if lapped cars are being allowed to unlap themselves, the Safety Car will no longer wait for them to catch up before releasing the pack.

    Among other positive changes, THIS ONE takes the cake. Finally !

  11. Double points is officially a thing of the past, horray! Actually shows how fans can make a difference if we all speak in unison. Perhaps (we can but dream) public polls like those on F1F and similar websites around the world can actually make a difference from time to time.

  12. In many ways a logical progression of the 2014 rules. In others ways it is petty, autocratic and highly unnecessary…

    The superlicense system ranks oval racing competence and the ability to dodge around GTE traffic above the proven skills that FR3.5 and GP3 provide.

    The superlicence system appears to be of the opinion that the FR3.5 champion is not good enough for F1 for no other reason than the fact that FR3.5 will provide a cheaper alternative to the future F2 series – it is equally ironic that the series that boasts the finest grid outside of F1, DTM, is ignored completely.

    The superlicense system ruins the prospects of talented yet underfunded drivers like Rowland and Ellinas by prioritizing only the most expensive series.

    The helmet ban prevents drivers from recognizing special races/events. Are #ForzaJules stickers permitted?

    The helmet ban amounts to Nero playing the fiddle whilst Rome burnt, since we will arrive at Melbourne with one fewer team than twelve months ago and with the entire bottom end of the grid supported by the very pay-drivers that would have been banned under the superlicense system.

    There we have it, the offerings of the FIA, the Federation Insufferable de l’Autocrats, for 2015. CountryGent out.

    1. @countrygent, I don’t see why it is an issue that drivers from DTM are ineligible for a superlicence under the new regulations – the old regulations also blocked DTM drivers from getting a superlicence, and yet nobody complained then.

      Besides, it is not exactly as if DTM acted as a major feeder series for F1 drivers – in fact, I can only think of two drivers who have come from DTM into F1 since the year 2000 (when the current DTM series was founded), which would be Albers and di Resta, and both of them qualified for a superlicence because they were testing F1 cars, not because of their abilities in DTM.

      There have been just as many drivers coming through IndyCar as from DTM in that same timeframe, so I don’t see why you felt it necessary to take a jab at the former and yet praise the latter.

      1. I am not talking about the history of drivers coming from IndyCar versus DTM, but rather the current status quo. The DTM is not the WTCC, i.e. for handy touring car drivers and overconfident GT drivers. Many highly talented single seater drivers have started using the DTM as a career stop-gap in recent years, and by extension, following di Resta’s promotion in 2011, Mercedes have started to use its DTM squad as a pool of young talent to fuel its F1 test and reserve squads.

        So whilst an IndyCar driver has not driven during a grand prix weekend for many years, 2014 saw a DTM race driver, Daniel Juncadella, and a DTM reserve driver, Roberto Merhi, take part in FP1 sessions, and another DTM race driver, Pascal Wehlrein, has tested extensively since the close of the season. Juncadella, Merhi and Wehrlein are all F3 superstars, superstars that are denied access to F1 through this absurd system. Force India were set to be handed either Juncadella or Wehrlein for the 2016 season by Mercedes, but instead their F1 prospects are essentially over (unless one of them appear at Manor that is or if Mercedes is willing to write a MAHAHAOOOSIVE cheque for one of the few remaining GP2 seats).

        Not only is the F1 career of Pascal Wehrlein, a driver who impressed Force India with his preseason outings, dead before it began, so is Mercedes’ plan of creating a junior programme by linking the Mercedes-powered F3 teams to its DTM programme, who are in turn linked to its F1 programme.

        1. I wonder if that’s precisely the reason. To screw Mercedes over…

    2. “Are #ForzaJules stickers permitted?”
      Yes but only if the wearer turns up for FP1 in Melbourne with the sticker attached ;)
      Agreed, another dumb azz rule created for no real reason. I think the new licensing structure will soon bite them on the butt. Teams will be literally forced to choose their new drivers from a very small pool of candidates. Most of whom probably wont have any money.

      1. @glennb – Exactly, it leaves a tiny pool of drivers, none of whom may bring sponsorship, and none of whom would be a landmark talent like Max Verstappen could up being. Sauber and Lotus’ futures essentially now rely on Marcus Ericsson, Felipe Nasr and Pastor Maldonado not fancying a change of team!

      2. Except that the demand to get into F1 will raise prices in GP2 to the point where only the most moneyed drivers are going to be able to go there. So probably half the eligible drivers will also be the most moneyed drivers. Of the other half, I imagine most of the WEC-eligible ones won’t want to trade their positions for the typical F1 vacancy (though if a F1 and WEC team are aligned, it may be another matter) and the ones who are there through single championships won’t be able to outbid the GP2 brigade. Teams are not going to have a problem finding mega-pay drivers. it’s the not-quite-mega-pay drivers who get squeezed out here (the low-moneyed talented brigade were sequeezed out gradually over the last ten years).

  13. “The minimum weight of the cars has also been increased from 691kg last year to 702kg. This is the first time the minimum weight for an F1 car has exceeded 700kg.”

    I am always banging on about how much I hate the fact that the cars are getting heavier. Why raise the minimum weight when some teams (Williams if Pat Symonds is to be believed) where running “substantial” amounts of ballast last season. The easiest way to speed the cars up is to put them on a diet…

    1. @geemac they have always used massive amounts of ballast I think. They never designed the cars for 600 kgs, they were massively lighter, but they then put ballast in different parts of the car to adjust it as needed.

      It sucks that cars are getting heavier, but if that lets drivers have a normal, healthy diet, I’m fine with it.

      1. GB (@bgp001ruled)
        8th March 2015, 16:49

        exactly my thoughts!!!

        1. Driver weight has nothing to do with it. Just put a 100kg minimum weight for the driver + his drinking fluid and then you check your drivers weight before the race and add ballast in a predefinded place in the seat until 100kg is reached. The cars you can make as light and nimble as you want.

          1. Small drivers still have an advantage in where you pace that ballast.

            I don’t understand rather than lowering the noses they didn’t mandate raising the drivers to a minimum head height. Let’s get them sat up again as once all teams went slumbered the advantages were neutralised.

          2. @philipgb … normal ballast, yes. But Gabbe is suggesting a driver-specific ballast to bring the driver up to 100kg, presumably placed near the average driver’s CoG. This will be more effective than a generic increase in the minimum weight.

    2. @fer-no65 I know they always ran with ballast,what I meant was that the minimum weight was increased because the teams said the new power units were too heavy and they would all be way over the minimum weight. But the top teams were already under last season, so why lift the minimum weight?

    3. @geemac That’s because Felipe Massa is a midget and only weighs 25kgs.

  14. Isn’t this the same as it’s always been. Knock out how many cars needed so there are 10 left in q3

  15. I’m still waiting for DRS to be banned…. Just ruins the whole racing in F1.

    1. i believe there are other more important things f1 needs to sort out first. i’ve gotten used to drs now.

    2. @deongunner I’m with you. And we’ve got in GP2 now as well. IndyCar aside, it’s hard to think of a single-seater series which needed it less…

      1. Well, IndyCar doesn’t really need it since they’ve already got a push-to-pass button for an extra 100 HP, which is restricted to 10 uses per non-oval race– the duration is variable depending on the actual track.

        Unless we’re going back to the burrito cars with no wings, it’s a reasonable compromise to improve passing during a race– But most of the interesting passes from the last couple of years haven’t involved DRS for anything but closing the gap for a pass. For example, Hamilton v Rosberg at Bahrain wouldn’t have been as interesting without DRS, because Rosberg couldn’t have closed the gap Hamilton opened up in sector 2.

        It’s certainly preferable to sorting the cars out by speed, then giving them aerodynamics that only allow closing on the straights and wondering why they can’t pass.

        I admit, movable wings are a better solution (although DRS is exactly that– a movable wing), but I suspect the fact that it’s “invisible” technology (the fans can’t tell when or how it’s being used) is part of the reason it’s gone away.

        1. As I explained in that link, I don’t have a problem with a ‘push-to-pass’ system whether it’s being done via engine power or moveable wings. It’s the proximity element of F1 and GP2-style DRS which makes it too much of a gimmick for me.

          1. I agree that the DRS rules are artificial (like the 10-use count on push-to-pass), but the alternative is that driver B opens DRS to catch driver A, so driver A opens his DRS. Net result, zero. KERS only worked when a few cars had it. Once all the cars had it, it was an unnecessary complication that’s now handled by the engine map.

            I started following F1 closely in 2009 (and went back to watch 2008). DRS was added in 2011 (after McLaren’s F-duct paved the way in 2010), and in my opinion, it’s made racing closer– it hasn’t, contrary to many opinions (yours included), made passing “too easy”– it does however make passing more likely. I’d like to see more analysis of of DRS to non-DRS passes, but the most recent one I can find is from 2012 (on formula1.com), and it suggested that in 2011, the ratio was about 50/50, and in 2012, it was pushing 60/40 in favor of non-DRS.

            I’ve been rewatching all of 2014– most of the DRS influenced passes were made, not on the DRS straight itself, but at the corner at the end of the straight. At least 5 of your top 10 passes wouldn’t have happened without DRS– Alonso / Vettel wouldn’t have had their epic fight at Silverstone, because the lead car would have pulled away, and the following car wouldn’t have caught up.

            Here’s a chart (found it on Reddit) that kind of says it all (to me): http://i.imgur.com/cSbJdVd.png

            If you really want to go back to races where there were fewer than 20 overtakes in a race, that’s fine, but personally– that’s why I wasn’t watching F1.

            I’m sure you’ll point to the dip for 2014 as proof of DRS’s artificiality, but really, it’s the result of massive rule changes. I’m sure it’ll go up again as the current ruleset converges, but even if we drop to where we were in the mid 80’s, it’s still a huge improvement over the previous 15 years.

          2. If you’d read the link I posted in the first place you’d see I addressed both the questions of what actually caused the post-2010 increase in overtaking (which that data may or may not accurately represent, I don’t know what the original source is) and whether an increase in the quantity of overtaking is the same thing as an improvement in the quality of racing.

      2. If the FIA were in charge, they would have probably already implemented DRS on the Indianapolis 500.

  16. Furthermore, if a driver continues to drive a car which has been released in an unsafe condition, they will be given a further penalty.

    What does that mean?

    1. Maybe it means a driver must stop if a wheel becomes unattached. We’re all sick of watching drivers continue on lap after lap with only 3 wheels. This must stop now.

    2. @ironcito i guess it means that if something goes wrong, and they continue through the pitlane (like Albers in France 2006 or Massa in Singapore 2008) they get another penalty. Or if they get released into the path of someone and keep going alongside another car, instead of stopping and letting the guy through…

      That’s what I understand from that…

    3. Ah, right. A car released in an unsafe “condition”, not in an unsafe “manner”. When there’s something wrong with the car itself. Thanks :)

  17. Didn’t they also talk about changing the parc ferme rules? Somehow I seem to remember that the car can no longer be changed after FP3.

    1. 34.2 Each car will be deemed to be in parc fermé from the time at which it leaves the pit lane for the first time during qualifying practice until the start of the race. Any car which fails to leave the pit lane during qualifying practice will be deemed to be in parc fermé at the end of Q1.

    2. @tmf At first they did but after some time they taken it out and we have the original Parc – ferme rule of Q1 first run is the point of Parc-ferme setup

  18. With so few car on the grid for qualifying shouldn’t they go back to a 60 minute hotlap session?

    I’d say everybody must do no fewer than 4 laps and that’s it.

    1. Those were boring as hell. Just like FP3…

  19. Rick Hendrikse
    8th March 2015, 17:25

    Possible loophole?

    Once the formation lap has begun, any driver who falls out of their running order must regain it before they pass the first Safety Car Line (usually shortly before the grid). If they fail to do so they must start the race from the pits, and they will receive a ten-second stop-go penalty if they fail to.

    Let all the cars pass, make a fast drive to heat up the tires nicely and make sure you’re just in time to take your original place on the grid, with good heated tires that is…

  20. Naturally anyone would say the HELMET rule is beyond ridiculous but I have long thought the elimination of the tire/tyre warmers would be a very good idea for several reasons. One it would certainly reduce the STUFF hauled around the planet and it would make the race more interesting when cold tires are used in the middle of the race. Thanks, Norris

  21. “Teams may longer communicate with drivers during the race except on the grounds of safety.”
    This way we would have no more of this, “save your tires. save your engine. hold the gap,” entertainment killing strategy.
    They should discuss their strategy before the race, but during the race it should be the driver who has to adapt with his own thinking ability. Let him decide when it is time to change tires or when its time to overtake, or push or hold the gap.

  22. What is the grid penalty for a component change? 5, 10, 20 places? In the article there’s only mention of the degree of penalty assigned to those who can’t serve the component change penalty.

    1. That’s unchanged from previous years – 5 for a gearbox, 10 for an engine component.

  23. On the VSC:

    Drivers may only enter the pits to change tyres during this time.

    Why else would they come in? I can only think you would come into the pits to retire? And they are not allowed to do so? Strange rule. Or does it mean that they can’t take a drive-through or stop-and-go penalty?

    1. Hmm, so apparently you have to drive around with a broken front wing.

    2. Surprised to see this come up so late in the comments as @mike-dee says “What else”, so no popping in for a nice cuppa and bicky, or as @david-a points out, if a car was damaged by whatever caused the VSC it must stay out until normal service resumes, a double penalty for the innocent bystander.

    3. No stopping to change wing settings, get a nice clear bit of track, replace non-broken components with less-worn versions on a “precautionary basis”, or executing team orders, or repairing non-essential damage, or add fuel when you hope no-one is looking, or serve penalties, or give the paper sailboats you send down the flooded pitlane a jump-start, or argue with the stewards about why your black flag should be rescinded…

  24. Thank you for the this article, this is very useful.

  25. Very disappointed to see they kept the completely unecessary and unfair ‘lapped cars to unlap themselves’ – rule.

  26. turbonium959
    8th March 2015, 23:56

    Finally, I am glad FIA came around to clarify the rules about “Demonstrating.” I am so sick of all these F1 teams demonstrating during the season!

    1. The point was that before, no current-car demonstrations were allowed at all. Now they’re permitted under very limited circumstances. So this is extra freedom being allowed under the rules…

  27. I still think the idea of handing out race penalties prior to the race is a little bit daft. Surely a more elegant solution would be to have the offending car start in the pits and, once the pit exit is open, be held for 5/10/15 seconds before joining the race. It just seems silly making them start the race only for them to immediately come in for a drive-through.

  28. I really don’t understand the Pit crew curfews, The guys are there to work on the cars as needed, let them do it. If a team can’t make a session or the race because of a accident or a large fault, its crap artificially limiting the field like that.

    I dislike any of the Parc Ferme rules really, I can understand rules like that for a spec or stock series but these are prototypes on the bleeding edge of technology, team shouldn’t be expected to have them behave like a normal predictable road car in terms of servicing requirements.

    1. It’s to make sure the mechanics go to bed and get decent nights’ sleep, and also because the FIA is gradually trying to reduce the amount of tinkering being done on the card during a weekend.

  29. ColdFly F1 (@)
    9th March 2015, 1:22

    I do not see the need for the 10sec penalty.
    The drive through serves that purpose (close enough).

  30. Will my comment, affect the rules to change?

  31. imagine being a lapped car, unlapping itself… and then the whole pack of front runners is unleashed and you are the only car in the way of all that. Pretty intense day at the office for a backmarker.

  32. Will there still be D.R.S. which I think is daft. Which other sport gives an advantage to a competitor struggling to overtake? I can’t think of one. If your’e behind in any other sport you stay there, because the guy in front is there because he or she is quicker. Imagine a horse race, where the horse in second place is given an advantage to overtake then wins the race, there would be riots from the punters.

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