Cost cap, double points for Abu Dhabi part of new FIA regulation changes

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A meeting of the F1 Strategy Group and Formula One Commission today in Paris has yielded approval of several new regulation changes, most of which will take effect in 2014.

But perhaps the biggest change of all won’t come until 2015, when a budget cap will be instituted. A working group made up of representatives from the FIA, the commercial rights holder and F1 teams, will be created to finalize regulations on the cap by the end of next June.

Former FIA president Max Mosley attempted to put in a cap several years ago, but the plan was dropped amid opposition from the teams.

In regards to the short term, approval has been given for double points for drivers and constructors at the final round of the F1 season from 2014 onwards.

Per the FIA’s release on the regulations, this is being carried out to “maximize focus on the Championship until the end of the campaign.” As a result, the winner of the season-ending Grand Prix will receive a total of 50 points, second place receiving 36 points, third place receiving 30 points, and so on across the remainder of the Top 10.

Also among the changes are the institution of permanent numbers for drivers, who will be asked to choose between No. 2 and No. 99 for their F1 careers.

The No. 1 will continue to be reserved for the World Champion if he decides to use it, and should two drivers choose the same number, priority will be given to the driver that did best in the prior year’s championship.

Tire manufacturer Pirelli has been allowed to stage a three-day test session for all F1 squads on Dec. 17-19 in Bahrain. The Commission agreed to change the sporting regulations on safety grounds in order to set up the session. Six teams have already RSVP’d: Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari, Force India, McLaren and Toro Rosso.

Finally, a five-second penalty for “minor infringements” was agreed upon, although the exact form of the penalty still needs to be discussed with F1 teams so a new regulation can be introduced in time for 2014.

MRTI: Juncos signs Carlos Cunha for Pro Mazda campaign

Photo: Juncos Racing
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Juncos Racing continued to bolster its entries in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires by signing Carlos Cunha to pilot a third Juncos Pro Mazda entry for 2018. Cunha, who finished third in the 2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda season on the back of seven podium finishes, joins Rinus VeeKay and Robert Megennis in Juncos’ Pro Mazda lineup for 2018.

Cunha previously tested with the team at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in October and joined Juncos for the Chris Griffis Memorial test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in November, testing cars for both the Pro Mazda and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires teams.

“It’s great to become a part of Juncos Racing,” said the 18-year-old Cunha. “I am really excited to start the 2018 season with Juncos Racing. This fall we did some testing together and from there I was able to see how focused everyone on the team is and I even felt like I became a part of their family in no time. I am confident we will get great results together next year and I look forward to learning and growing more with the team. It will be a huge pleasure and also a great responsibility to carry the number one on my car, thanks to (2017 Pro Mazda champion Victor Franzoni) and I hope to deliver it back to the team at the end of the year!”

Team owner Ricardo Juncos added, “We are excited to add Carlos to our Pro Mazda lineup. From the moment we started testing with him in early October, we knew he would be a great fit for our team. Carlos has been very quick in testing and even had an impressive showing in the Indy Lights car at the Chris Griffis test back in October. He had a great run this past season in the Pro Mazda series and we are confident he will carry that momentum into the 2018 season.”

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