In-race power unit penalties scrapped from F1; super licence rules altered; GP2 bids to become new F2

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The FIA has confirmed that in-race penalties incurred by power unit changes have been scrapped from Formula 1 with immediate effect.

In recent races, a number of drivers have been forced to serve an in-race penalty after failing to serve all of their grid drop due to changes made to their power units.

At the Austrian Grand Prix in June, McLaren was hit with a 25 place grid drop on both of its cars despite qualifying far down the order, prompting many within the paddock to call for a rethink on the ruling.

Following the meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Mexico City this week, the FIA has confirmed that drivers will now face a maximum penalty of starting from the back of the grid.

Furthermore, the plan to give new engine suppliers an extra power unit for their debut season has also been given the green light, increasing Honda’s allocation in 2015.

As per the FIA’s statement:

“The WMSC has approved the rule adjustments proposed by the F1 Strategy Group and approved by the F1 Commission. These are:

  • The simplification of the power unit penalties, ensuring that the most a driver can be penalised is to be demoted to the rear of the grid – this will eliminate penalties during the race for these infractions.
  • New power unit manufacturers to F1 will receive an extra power unit for each driver to use throughout Grands Prix for the season, bringing the total to five – one more than the existing power unit suppliers. This will be applied retrospectively to Honda.

“These changes to the sporting regulations will come into force with immediate effect.”

It has also been confirmed that some changes have been made to the super licence points system that is due to come into force for the 2016 season.

It was announced last year that a new points system would reward drivers for success in other championship, ensuring that they had achieved enough to warrant a place on the F1 grid.

However, championships such as DTM and Formula E were omitted, whilst series such as Formula Renault 3.5 appeared to be undervalued.

Now though, the WMSC has relaxed some of the regulations and will make alterations to the points system:

“The WMSC approved the update of the Super Licence regulations with a view to:

  • Increasing flexibility for drivers having qualified for a Super Licence, but do not have the opportunity to race in Formula One. These drivers will now keep this possibility for three years (eg. typical F1 test driver situation)
  • Enlarging the list of Series included in the Super Licence point system following numerous requests from series for inclusion
  • Adjusting of points given to some series already included to better reflect the strength of series.
  • Granting the champion of the FIA Formula E Championship with a Super Licence, although the Championship is not part of the points system.”

The ‘future F2’ and GP2 (which could be the same series, see below) have both been devalued, whilst Formula Renault 3.5 and Super Formula have increased by five points.

DTM, WTCC and even Indy Lights have now joined the points system as well, which you can see in full here.

Finally, it has been confirmed that GP2 is bidding to promote the new FIA F2 championship, and is now in discussions with the FIA over the tender.

“The WMSC acknowledged an update in the call for expression of interest related to the creation of the new F2 Championship; the intended final step in the FIA single-seater ladder to Formula One,” the statement reads.

“The FIA has received an offer from GP2 Series Limited to be appointed as the promoter of the championship, and discussions are ongoing with the aim being to secure the best possible FIA F2 Championship.”

Supercross 2023: Results and points after Houston

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Eli Tomac led all 23 laps of the Monster Energy Supercross race at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas and the results show he now has three wins in the season and is one shy of tying Ricky Carmichael’s 48 for third on the all-time list. With this win, he takes a seven point lead in the standings with 12 rounds remaining.

For Tomac at Houston, it was literally a tale of two races. Both his heat and the main started the same with Tomac grabbing the holeshot, but he was passed quickly by Chase Sexton in the heat. Tomac faded quickly after getting passed and was trailing by almost eight seconds at the checkered flag, which caused him to retreat to the hauler and reassess his lines. Without making any adjustments to the bike, Tomac entered the Main with a new attitude, and simply rode better.

Supercross Results Houston
Chase Sexton played it safe in the sand, but he was aggressive in every other turn. – Feld Motor Sports

Sexton had so great a lead in his heat that one could not even use the cliche that he left Tomac in his dust. By the time the rider with the No. 1 plate crossed the same real estate as the No. 23, the dust was well settled. Sexton had a modest start on the initial gate drop and ended Lap 1 in fourth. He worked his way past Aaron Plessinger on Lap 3 and got around Jason Anderson three laps later. Sexton was able to catch Tomac and pressure him, but he picked a safe, i.e. slow line through the sand section and could never get alongside his rival.

RESULTS: Click here for 450 Results; Click here for full 250 East Main Results

After starting the season with back-to-back seventh-place finishes, Anderson now has a pair of podiums. He won his heat and was easily one of the top three riders in the field, ultimately finishing behind the riders who finished 1-2 in the other preliminary. Anderson was subdued on the podium – happy he was there, but disappointed he has not yet found a way around the riders he is chasing in the points.

In the early stages of the race, Plessinger appeared to have a bike capable of winning. He pressured Tomac on the first two laps and was setting up the pass just as a red flag waved for an injury to Dylan Ferrandis that brought out a red flag. He lost second to Anderson on the restart and eventually slipped to fourth to score his first top-five of the season.

Click here for 450 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier

Cooper Webb rounded out the top five. Along with Sexton, he is now one of just two riders with a sweep of that mark in 2023, but with Tomac’s three wins, he is beginning to slip in the points. Webb sits third in the standings, 12 points behind the leader.

Ken Roczen entered the race as the third rider with a sweep of the top five and progressively better results in the first three races of 2023. Had the pattern held, he would have finished at least second, but he struggled for most of the night, finishing fifth in his heat and eighth in the Main. There may have been extenuating circumstances, however. Ferrandis’ injury was suffered when he landed on the back of Roczen’s bike and potentially damaged the No. 94 Suzuki.

Click here for 450 Main results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points | Lap Chart


The 250 East division made their 2023 debut in Houston, but the name atop the board was familiar. Hunter Lawrence joined his brother Jett Lawrence as the early points’ leader in their respective divisions, but it didn’t come without a little anxiety.

Riding behind Supercross newbie Tom Vialle on the second lap, Lawrence was forced to take evasive action when the leader pitched his bike sideways to scrub speed over a jump. Lawrence veered left and landed off course, but he cleared the Tuff Blox and kept his bike straight. Lawrence made the pass for the lead on Lap 18 and never relinquished it.

Click here for 250 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier

In his first attempt on a 250, Max Anstie ascended to the podium. – Feld Motor Sports

England’s Max Anstie made the move from 450s to 250s this year after scoring a best result of 11th on the big bike at Anaheim 2 last year. It didn’t take anytime at all to find the front for Anstie, who finished second in both his heat and main.

It has been a while since Jordon Smith stood on the podium: February 23, 2019 to be exact when he finished that well in Detroit. A series of injuries kept him off the bike for much of 2020 and 2021, but he’s proving to be a factor when he’s healthy.

Click here for 250 Main results | 250 East Rider Points | Combined Rider Points | Lap Chart

There was a lot of hype surrounding the debut of Haiden Deegan in the 250 class and he proved it was merited. He finished fourth in his heat and main. He was as far down as ninth at one point in the feature before slowly picking off riders on his way to the front.

Jeremy Martin finished fifth and now has a streak of three consecutive top-fives to his credit stretching back to last year. Unfortunately, his pair of strong runs in 2022 were interrupted by injury.

Making impressive debuts in the 250 division, Vialle recovered from a fall to finish seventh, Chance Hymas finished eighth, and Talon Hawkins just missed the top 10 with an 11th.

2023 Results

Race 3: Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen win
Race 2: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Round 1: Tomac, Lawrence win

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings

Week 3: Ken Roczen takes the top spot
Week 2: Roczen moves up; Chase Sexton falls
Week 1: Eli Tomac tops 450s; Jett Lawrence 250s