Getty Images

FIA simplifies Formula 1 engine penalty system for 2018

Leave a comment

The FIA has confirmed plans to simplify the way Formula 1 engine penalties are applied for the 2018 season following concerns about their complexity.

The limit of four usages of each component throughout the F1 season has led to a number of grid penalties being racked up by drivers in recent years, particularly towards the end of the season.

Toro Rosso driver Brendon Hartley was hit with penalties for all four of his grand prix starts towards the end of 2017, while numerous drivers received grid drops they could not serve in full, leading to confusion over how the field would start at times.

In a bid to make things more straightforward, the FIA confirmed following the World Motor Sport Council meeting in Paris on Wednesday that from 2018, drivers amassing more than 15 places worth of engine penalties will immediately be sent to the back of the grid.

“A change to the power unit penalty system was also approved, whereby if a driver incurs a penalty exceeding 15 grid places he will be required to start the race from the back of the starting grid,” the WMSC statement reads.

“If more than one driver receives such a penalty they will be arranged at the back of the grid in the order in which the offenses were committed.”

The WMSC also confirmed a number of other tweaks to F1’s sporting and technical regulations for the 2018 season:

  • Regulations relating to procedures for starting or resuming a race behind the safety car
  • Changing the event timetable to increase flexibility
  • Ensuring that testing of previous cars may only take place on tracks currently holding an FIA Grade 1 or 1T licence
  • Provision for demonstration events in previous cars which does not constitute testing. No such demonstrations may exceed 50km in length and only tires manufactured specifically for this purpose by the appointed supplier may be used
  • Changes to ensure that oil cannot be used as fuel
  • Introduction of a detailed specification for oil
  • A minimum weight and volume for energy storage (batteries)
  • Changes to position of cameras and wing mirrors to accommodate the Halo

BREAKING: John Force taken to hospital after Phoenix eliminations crash

Photo courtesy NHRA
Leave a comment

16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force has been taken to a local hospital for evaluation and examination following a wicked crash with fellow Funny Car driver Johnnie Lindberg.

The crash occurred during the quarterfinals of Sunday’s final eliminations in the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix.

Force was headed for a win when the engine on his Peak Chevrolet Camaro blew up just as it crossed the finish line, destroying the body. Lindberg, meanwhile, lost traction about one-third of the way down-track, but then got back into the gas to try and catch Force.

Force appeared to lose control of the body-less car and went across from the left lane he was in to the right-hand lane, where he hit the retaining wall in front of Lindberg.

Lindberg tried to avoid Force, but couldn’t. To make matters worse, the body on Lindberg’s car then came off and Force’s and Lindberg’s cars got tangled up in Lindberg’s parachute, sending both chassis’ into the left retaining wall.

Lindberg emerged from his Funny Car under his own power and was checked at the medical center before heading back to his pit.

Force, meanwhile, was helped out of his mangled wreck by the NHRA Safety Safari and was transported by ambulance to the hospital due to the severity of the impact.

Even though Force will be credited with the round win, he obviously will not be able to continue for the remainder of the eliminations.

To add insult to injury, NHRA officials charged Force with oiling down the racetrack, his third of the season in just the first two races. That will cost him 15 points in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series standings and a fine of $4,000.

Here are several posts from social media, including video of the incident from NHRA:

This is the second time Force has had an engine explode and the body blew off in the last two weeks. He also wrecked during the qualifying Feb. 9 for the season-opening Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California. Here’s the video of that wreck:

MORE: John Force taken to hospital as a precaution after Funny Car motor explodes.

We’ll update Force’s condition when it becomes available.

Follow @JerryBonkowski