Five-race gearboxes among other rules changes

10 December 2010 by Keith Collantine
Nico Hülkenberg, Williams, Abu Dhabi, 2010

Gearboxes will last five races in 2011

The FIA’s World Motor Sport Council has agreed other changes to the F1 rules for 2011 and 2012.

Among the changes for next year is the requirement for gearboxes to last five races rather than four, With 20 races on the calendar next year that means a teams could complete a season using four gearboxes.

As announced in June, driver-adjustable rear wings will be introduced next year.

Tests for bodywork deflection – an area of much dispute in 2010 – will be revised and cockpits will be strengthened to reduce the chance of components puncturing them and injuring the driver.

The FIA has also promised changes to the rules on “driving and driver conduct”. There will be revisions to the list of penalties available to stewards including penalties for drivers who do not use both types of tyre compound during the race.

The race director will be able to close the pit lane “for safety reasons” and the width of the fast lane in the pits will be limited. The FIA will clarify when cars may overtake the safety car, following the contentious circumstances in this year’s European Grand Prix.

Shallow-groove wet weather tyres will be officially referred to as “intermediate” tyres in the rules.

For 2012 the FIA say that “team communications will be made available to broadcasters”.

Biomass will be introduced into fuel compounds and a new limit on suspension compounds will be added.

2011 F1 rules

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Read more: 2011 F1 rules | 2011 f1 season | 2012 F1 rules | 2012 f1 season

32 responses to Five-race gearboxes among other rules changes

  1. ed24f1 says:

    I’m disappointed they didn’t decide to close the pitlane during safety cars.

    Not only is it unfair and makes it a lottery (see Valencia), it is unsafe, as it gives an incentive for cars to go as fast as possible when the safety car comes out.

    Now that there’s no chance that the cars can run out of fuel, there is no reason the rule couldn’t be re-introduced.

    • Alex says:

      Sure there is – tyres. The cars still have a consumable, even though it’s not fuel. Closing the pitlane is unfair because it screws strategy. Leaving it open is a lottery, and probably worse overall, but it’s still lose/lose really.

      • Fixy says:

        I think a driver can manage to save his tyres for the 5 laps the SC is in and pit immediately after. Without the SC he would have pitted earlier bu the SC is like a pause in the race, when drivers shouldn’t take advantages.

    • SoerenKaae says:

      I think it is fine that the pitlane is open when the safety car is in, considering that the speed limit and all. Just give bigger penalties to teams who dont hold their drivers back, or screw a wheel on wrong. There is still the minimum lap time under safety car to take in to consideration, and this means that the they wont go as fast as possible.

    • LuvinF1 says:

      Another alternative is closing the pitlane until the safety car has passed the pit entrance for the first time. Though I can still see a bit of chaos on the release back to the track.

  2. wasiF1 says:

    They should have a rule of keeping the pit lane closed when the safety car is out on track & only cars will be allowed to enter the pit lane but they won’t be able to change tyre but top repair damage.

  3. PJ says:

    With broadcasters geining access to the team radios, does that mean we could have live feeds like we do for other motorsports?

  4. Bien says:

    So Intermediates were not officially “Intermediates” in the rules last year?

  5. John H says:

    Movable rear wings only deployed when within 1 second of the car in front.

    What an absolute joke. Manufacturing overtaking. Nothing is real in this cruddy world anymore.

    I’m ranting again, apologies.

    • DeadManWoking says:

      Couldn’t agree more John, while everyone is in a furor over the removal of the Team Orders ban, this is the rule change that will turn F1 into “Pro Wrestling” fake show. An adjustable rear wing that can only be used by the attacking driver and not by the defender is a joke. Welcome to Mario Karts!

      • OEL says:

        Well done FIA, just replace Formula 1 with Formula Joke and everything will be fine. Just give the driver who isn’t good enough to be ahead an advantage so it’s better to be 2nd 1sec behind on the final lap than leading, we won’t care the slightest, we don’t want to see F1 as a sport anymore where it’s better to be best than second best, do we???????????

      • DaveW says:

        People who remember the hateful Hanford Device in CART, a giant wedge stuck on the rear wing designed to create frenzied passing on ovals, know how lame “more passing” became when it was clear how artificial and competitively meaningless it was. CART got rid of it that terrible thing, and the very dangerous arcade game style racing it fostered, within 3 years. I hope this inanity goes away even faster.

      • d-d says:

        nightmare and amateurish attempt to improve the show broken primarily by wrong design of Tilke tracks.
        Did someone make real life testing or is it directly from someone’s imagination?

        It’s too much distracting from driving, drivers will hate it. And there are safety issues too.
        This is going to be a huge fail. I hope.

    • Icthyes says:

      This will really hurt the guys who are good overtakers, like Kobayashi and Hamilton. Whereas before they had a little extra skill in getting by a guy a lap or two earlier (or even at all), now every driver will be able to sail past any roadblock. I bet Vettel will be pleased, Alonso too, now he doesn’t have to be stuck behind Petrov for 30 laps per race, as in Turkey and Abu Dhabi.

  6. James says:

    5-race gearboxes? Can they take that strain? It’ll be interesting, but I hope that relability does not decide the title.

  7. Spud says:

    Shallow-groove wet weather tyres will be officially referred to as “intermediate” tyres in the rules.

    Maybe I’m a little slow here but haven’t intermediate tyres always been referred to as, eh, intermediates..??

    • kjr says:

      I think they were referred to as wets and extreme wets, rather than inters and extreme wets.

    • DeadManWoking says:

      They have already been referred to as intermediates in the 2010 regs:

      From the F1 Sporting Regulations 23 June 2010

      25.1 Supply of tyres :
      A single tyre manufacturer has been chosen by the FIA for the 2008, 2009 and 2010 seasons following an invitation for tenders to supply tyres to all the cars entered in Championship Events for the duration of these seasons. A single tyre manufacturer will be chosen by the FIA for subsequent seasons following an invitation for tenders to supply tyres to all the cars entered in Championship Events for the duration of such
      subsequent seasons.
      The appointed tyre supplier must undertake to provide :
      - two specifications of dry-weather tyre at each Event, each of which must be of one homogenous compound and visibly distinguishable from one another when a car is on the track ;
      - one specification of intermediate tyre at each Event which must be of one homogenous compound ;
      - one specification of wet-weather tyre at each Event which must be of one homogenous compound.

    • Spud says:

      I thought it was a bit of a strange one really. It’s only small news anyway. 1.6L 4 cylinder engines? 4 per season!

      F1 could end up being about reliability rather than out and out speed. We shall see. It might be brilliant!

  8. William Wilgus says:

    Movable wings are a joke. Al we will be seeing is a game of ‘leapfrog’: you pass me this lap and I’ll pass you back next lap. If they really wanted to make it possible to pass, they’d do away with wings completely.

  9. MinusTwo says:

    While I dont particularly enjoy the moveable rear wind idea either, I disagree that getting rid of wings altogether is the solution.

    I listened to an interview with James Allison at Renault, who explain that when the Overtaking Working Group studied the wake behind F1 cars, they found that downforce generated by the bodywork and diffuser had a negative effect on the driver behind, but downforce generated by wings generally did not.

    Further, it is important for an F1 car to be the fastest thing around any given track – its part of what makes F1 special. Clawing back too much downforce could leave F1 cars slower than other classes of racing.

    Personally, I wish there could be more technical freedom in F1 in general. Let the engineers really dream and see what they come up with.

    • Icthyes says:

      I’ve heard differently, that if rear wings were removed and rear downforce came solely from the diffuser, the wake situation would be improved.

      What actually needs to be done is to severely simplify and restrict the development of front wings. Today’s front wings are responsible for 75% of the cars’ aerodynamic performance (in terms of how much it produces plus how much the other components depend on it to work at maximum efficiency). With simple front wings we could even have the old low rear wings back and the cars can go back to looking like the things of beauty they did in the later 80′s and early 90′s.

  10. Alex Bkk says:

    Biomass will be introduced into fuel compounds

    Sounds a bit disgusting in my opinion.

  11. US Williams Fan says:

    The movable rear wing could also have a positive impact….. on drivers who very skilled “defensively” – could it not?

    Perhaps we will be watching a race less for daring passes by Kobayashi, Hamilton, and Kubica and more for a driver being skilled a holding off an opponent trying to pass.

    I still think that the movable rear wing adds an artificial element to racing that Formula One does not need – but it could make for some interesting battles on the track…….

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