The FIA has today confirmed the changes that will be made to the sporting and technical regulations for next season as part of its constant improvement of the sport.
One of the biggest rule changes is that from next season there will be a penalty points system where drivers will receive points on their license for any infringements. These will range from one to three (depending on the action in question), and they remain on a license for 12 months. Should a driver pick up twelve points, they will be subject to an immediate one-race ban.
In the wake of tiregate, changes have also been made to the testing procedure. There will be four two-day test events across the course of the season, held on the Tuesday and Wednesday following a European grand prix in order to minimize the cost of moving from place to place. Also, testing is now permitted in January in order to allow teams to work with the new V6 engines, suggesting that there will indeed be four tests in the 2014 pre-season.
Drivers will also be given an extra set of tires to use during the first 30 minutes of Free Practice 1, encouraging teams to send their drivers out early on and increasing the on-track action for the fans. Gearboxes will be required to last six races next season, up from five in 2013.
Click here for a complete list of the changes to the regulations.
Lewis Hamilton believes that this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be remembered as the last race with good-looking Formula 1 cars ahead of the introduction of the ‘Halo’ cockpit protection for next year.
Officials from the FIA and F1 Strategy Group confirmed earlier this year that the Halo would be fitted to all cars from the 2018 season in a bid to improve safety standards, with the deaths of Justin Wilson and Jules Bianchi putting head protection high on the agenda for the series’ chiefs.
Hamilton has long made his opposition to the Halo clear, believing it will ruin the look of F1 cars, and echoed his thoughts ahead of the final Halo-less race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.
“It’s the last year of looking good I think in the cars. It’s the last race where the cars will look good,” Hamilton said.
“I think next year, it’s all downhill from there in terms of how they look.
“But safety will go up at least, and maybe it could be successful in some way.”
Hamilton’s F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel was less bothered about the change, believing the field will adjust and move on.
“The cars will look different next year. Everything I’ve seen so far looks different, but on the other hand it is something we all get used to,” Vettel said.
“But no doubt the cars look better now, but we’ll get used to it, and we’ll work on the aesthetics so it can be better. It is less of a big deal.”
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo shared Vettel’s view, saying: “I don’t think it’s gonna be as dramatic as most people make it out to be.”