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.”