FIA Adjust 2010 Decisions: Technical Regulations

FIA Adjust 2010 Decisions: Technical Regulations

The final post in the now BlogF1 tradition of posting about the FIA the threes, is centred around the technical regulations. This one was saved for last because it is the one that actually makes me the the most pleased. Ladies and gentlemen, refuelling during the race has been officially banned for the 2010 season onwards. So while it hasn’t be specifically confirmed, one can only presume that qualifying race-fuel-loads is now irrelevant as there will be no first pitstop for fuel, only tyres.

I cannot begin to tell you how happy this makes me, and I am sitting here at my desk hoping that there is no hair-brained scheme to adjust qualifying to bring silly little influences into it that ultimately lead to a race not of the fastest car and driver, but of the best strategy. Qualifying is about finding out who is fastest, not which team has the most intelligent tactician.

So… when the drivers make a pitstop in 2010, the only thing they will be collecting is a new set of tyres and maybe a wipe of the visor and a quick clear-out of the sidepods. Also, as I’m talking about tyres, the blankets used to pre-heat them will be banned. This usually leads to considerable debate as the tyre warmers, I feel, are fairly important to the operation of a Formula One car.

For their cost, which is surely not that great amount of money, they warm the tyres prior to the driver leaving the pitlane or startline, enabling more immediate grip and preventing the need to work hard at warming them up.

The side of the argument that is for the banning of these devices say that a driver should be able to warm their tyres quickly and that is a fundamental part of his/her skill and why they are a Formula One driver.

The flipside is that the tyre warmers add an extra layer of safety. For a driver to leave the pitlane on a cold set of slicks and join the circuit where other competitors are touring on warmed slicks, the difference in speed can be quite large and may lead to accidents. The collision between Sebastian Vettel and Robert Kubica towards the end of this year’s Australian Grand Prix was at one point, suggested to have been because one car’s tyres were colder than the other car’s set. Of course, driver ambition versus skill played a large part, but maybe the beginning of the coming together was prompted by the difference in tyre temperature.

Ultimately, my own perspective is that given their cost (the reason given for their banning) it really cannot be that much. The cost/benefit analysis surely works in the tyre warmers favour. I will however, leave it up to you to debate in the comments.

Also being changed from 2010 is the minimum weight of the cars. This season has seen the optional integration of KERS, but taller and therefore heavier drivers have been placed at a disadvantage. Robert Kubica, one of Formula One’s tallest competitors, has only ran KERS once on his BMW during a race so far, yet his team mate, one of the sport’s shortest drivers, has been utilising the system since the start. This has lead to many drivers shedding weight, which I previously mentioned was perhaps not the best image to be broadcasting.

The new minimum weight for car and driver will be 620kg, an increase of 15kg over the current limit.

So, will the new minimum weight really help drivers like Kubica, or is simply not enough considering some suggestions that KERS weighs almost 60kg? Also, what happens if FOTA get their way and KERS is banned from 2010 onwards? Will the minimum weight get reduced back down to 605kg? What do you think of the ban on refuelling, and yes, what side of the fence do you fall on with regards to tyre warmers…?

Download Original Wallpaper

7 comments

  • Somehow the sport was more interesting when qualifying engines lasted a few minutes and tires were worn out after 3 miles and the drivers were paid only a couple of million dollars.

    Somethings should be just left alone.

    Can somebody help me understand what the point of KERS is and what possible benefit it might have to everyday drivers ??? Isn’t F1 technology supposed to somehow make the leap forward to todays modern street cars. If so, what is the point of KERS ???

  • Hi Ollie

    Many of us, I believe are more than happy with the changes, so you see the FIA is not all evil 😉

    A couple of comments though:

    – Strictly speaking this is no change in the technical regulations as it appears in the Sporting Regulation and not in the Technical regulations.

    – The Q3 will be made with empty tanks like in the good old times because the rule about fuel in Q3 has also disappeared. (not sure you made that point…)

    I am more than happy with all the changes including the fact that those who will accept the FIA budget cap will be more free in terms of technical choices. I think it is good that the teams decide to spend their money the way they want (more engines or more tests, or… etc…)

    I am also quite happy with “The winner takes all” rule written in art.6 although I am a bit worried because most of the people I know and read are saying it’s a bad thing. I was always convinced the one with most victories should be the WC… especially these days with all the reliability I am pretty sure it is not going to be a dramatic change from the points system… I hope I am right!

  • Can somebody help me understand what the point of KERS is and what possible benefit it might have to everyday drivers ???

    I presume it would make road cars more efficient. I’m sure I won’t be getting a ‘push to pass’ button in any future car I drive, but it would likely store and then use the energy recovered while braking as a temporary replacement for the usual energy from the engine, like when I pull away from the lights or from a junction. Of course, I am presuming this – I ain’t no expert. But I do know that other energy-efficient technologies are being developed and used, like BMWs that sort of cut the engine when it isn’t being used, and engines these days don’t use their full capacities unless desired by the driver who initiates all cylinders by planting the right foot. This has been in some road cars for a few years now.

    Strictly speaking this is no change in the technical regulations as it appears in the Sporting Regulation and not in the Technical regulations.

    It’s actually bit of both I think. The car weight comes under the technical regulations, does it not? (I could be wrong on that though, I don’t have the regs in front of me at the moment.) I see your point though, well made. 🙂

    The Q3 will be made with empty tanks like in the good old times because the rule about fuel in Q3 has also disappeared. (not sure you made that point…)

    I sort of half did. I’m very reluctant to specifically say that qualifying will be conducted on low fuel for the whole of the three sessions as it hasn’t actually been said that this will happen. We’re just presuming that because there is now no first stop for fuel, therefore Q3 will be run on fumes.

    Ladies and gentlemen, refuelling during the race has been officially banned for the 2010 season onwards. So while it hasn’t be specifically confirmed, one can only presume that qualifying race-fuel-loads is now irrelevant as there will be no first pitstop for fuel, only tyres.

    I cannot begin to tell you how happy this makes me, and I am sitting here at my desk hoping that there is no hair-brained scheme to adjust qualifying to bring silly little influences into it that ultimately lead to a race not of the fastest car and driver, but of the best strategy. Qualifying is about finding out who is fastest, not which team has the most intelligent tactician. From the post.

    As I say, I’m sitting here hoping.

  • “We’re just presuming that because there is now no first stop for fuel, therefore Q3 will be run on fumes”

    Not sure I understand that (“no first stop for fuel” I mean…)

    I am -almost- sure they will run the qualification on empty tank as the 21.9.b(*) has been removed, and 34.1(**) permits refueling in parc ferme.

    Why then would any team take the risk of missing the pole because of a fuel load? The pole is always the best place to start a race isn’t it?

    (*) 29.1.b “Fuel may not be added to nor removed from any car eligible to take part in Q3 between the start of Q3 and the start of the race, unless any eligible car was unable to take part in which case c) below will apply”)

    (**) 34.1 – fuel may be added or removed and a fuel breather fitted ;

    I have also spotted something else very strange in the technical regulations… something that might change a very fundamental thing in F1. Have you?

  • It’s actually bit of both I think. The car weight comes under the technical regulations, does it not? {Oliver White – 2 comments ago}

    It’s Article 4.1 of the Technical Regulations.

  • I have also spotted something else very strange in the technical regulations… something that might change a very fundamental thing in F1. Have you? {Ago – previous comment}

    Which one?

    Increased complication permitted in bodywork not presenting a forward, top or side edge at the front of the car (Article 3.4)?

    Article 3.10.8’s requirement that the minimum 330000mm squared behind the rear wheel centre line must further be outside the central area of the car (which seems to encourage split wings a la 2006’s proposed CDG wing will happen)?

    3/4 wheel drive permitted (for cost-capped teams), possibly with KERS power going to whichever wheels the engine doesn’t reach?

    There’s quite a lot of change in the document – could you please be more specific?

  • Well I just wanted to do a little bit of teasing here… Something REALLY surprised me and I am more than amazed by the fact that I have not seen anybody thinking it was worth mentioning….Neither in the UK nor in France.

    Yes Alianora it is the bit about the transmission not limited to 2 wheels ONLY (9.1) for the teams that will comply with budget cap. That linked with the bit about the KERS not restricted to rear drivetrain (9.9.1) AND the power out and energy released per lap being multiplied by 2 (5.2.3)…

    I am not an engineer but this seems to be a big change. The F1 could be some sort of a 4 wheels drive!

    Looks to me a very important item in the list of changes!

Follow BlogF1