Few days to go before the 2009 F1 action starts, time to summarize the most important F1 rules changes:
The most obvious changes in regulations are those visible on the cars – low and wide front wing, tall and narrow rear wing. All the small winglets and appendages are now banned. Perhaps not so obvious are the movable flaps on the front wing adjustable by driver from the cockpit.
Slick tyres will return for the first time since 1997 season replacing the grooved ones. Bridgestone will supply four different compounds – super sof, soft, medium and hard. For the past two seasons, Bridgestone has brought two consecutive compounds from its range of four to each event. In 2009 however, non-consecutive allocations will be made for most races. The white painted grove will be replaced by green line around the sidewall. The tyres formerly known as wet will now be called intermediate, the former extreme wets are now wet.
Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) will be allowed (not compulsory) and can provide the driver with extra around 80bhp for period 6.6s a lap. Most of the teams developed their own devices, some may be getting them from their engine suppliers. However only Renault and Ferrari so far confirmed they will use the (heavy) device in Melbourne.
As one of the cost saving measures the engine revs will be limited to 18,000 rpm (from 19,000 rpm last year). Each driver will only be allowed to use 8 engines per season (P3, qualifying and race are covered by this limit). That means some of the engines will have to last 3 races. The 10 places grid penalty will be applied when extra engine is used (only one penalty for each new engine, so if driver uses 9th engine for 2 races he will only be penalized once).
Pit lane will no longer be closed when safety car is deployed. The drivers will no longer be penalized by unlucky safety car timing but the sporting regulations do leave some room for controversial steward decisions …
… any car being driven unnecessarily slowly, erratically or which is deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers at any time whilst the safety car is deployed will be reported to the stewards. This will apply whether any such car is being driven on the track, the pit entry or the pit lane.
The testing is limited to no more than 15,000km of track testing during a calendar year but no track testing may take place between the start of the week preceding the first Event of the Championship and 31 December of the same year. In other words, no testing between now and January 1, 2010 (except few exemptions listed in F1 sporting regulations 22.1).
The pit lane speed limit during qualifying and race has been increased to 100km/h.
This is the summary of the most important changes. You can download the complete 2009 F1 sporting and technical regulations here:
The sporting regulations are already amended and do not include the winner takes all rule, the rule that FIA backtracked on, see paragraph 6. of the 2009 F1 Sporting Regulations.
6) WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
6.1 The Formula One World Championship driver’s title will be awarded to the driver who has scored the highest number of points, taking into consideration all the results obtained during the Events which have actually taken place.