The Formula 1 Commission has approved a series of rules changes for the 2023 season.
Among the items on the agenda was rewriting a rule introduced last year to award fewer points for shortened races. This caused confusion over the championship-deciding Japanese Grand Prix, where full points were unexpectedly awarded for a race which covered little more than half distance.
The new wording will “ensure that shorter races have reduced points even if they don’t finish with a suspended race”, F1 and the FIA noted in a joint statement. All rules changes agreed by the commission require the final approval of the FIA World Motor Sports Council before being added to the regulations in time for the start of the new season next week.
The commission has also agreed to “relax the regulation of radio messages to and from the drivers at all times during a competition”. Teams have previously been forbidden from communicating to their drivers during formation laps, a rule which was introduced to make it harder for drivers to perfect their starting procedures.
A new wet weather tyre construction has been approved for use from the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix in May. The new tyre is said to be “much more” capable than the previous version and “does not require the use of tyre blankets”.
“The FIA is grateful for the offers of support made by the teams for the wet weather package project, as presented in the last F1 Commission meeting,” the statement added. “A technical directive is being prepared to allow teams to do such work outside the Aerodynamic Testing Restriction (ATR) limits and outside the cost cap. Track testing will be planned for the second or third quarter of 2023.”
Revisions to the sprint race regulations have been agreed which will give teams greater freedom to alter their cars between sessions. This will reduce “the current excessive workload on FIA technical staff and scrutineers during events that include a sprint session,” which was the governing body’s reason for initially objecting to an increase from three to six sprint races this year.
“The commission approved a revised parc fermé request acceptance policy, in which Sprint weekend parc fermé allows a greater scope to change components that are prone to getting damaged, and greater use of self-declared parc fermé forms,” the statement explained. “This will apply for the whole parc fermé period from when the car leaves for qualifying on Friday to when the car starts the [Sunday] race. This will be implemented via a technical directive.”
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