Rule Changes for the 2015 F1 Season

fia-and-f1-flagsPart of improving F1 is introducing new rules and scrapping some old regulations in order to make racing safer and better. The FIA (Formula 1’s governing body) has approved with finality some new regulations that will take into effect this year. Although many F1 experts and fans think these changes aren’t as big as the ones introduced before, many still agree that they’ll still have an effect on the teams’ overall performance this season. Here are some of these changes.

Technical Aspects

Manufacturers can now perform in season engine development – Some experts say this new rule will be a big game changer for the 2015 season. With the relaxation of the rules regarding engine development while the season is in progress, Renault and Ferrari hope to catch-up on Mercedes who dominated the constructors’ championship last year.

Power unit limit down from five to four – While the rules on in-season engine development was relaxed for this year, the maximum number of power units a driver can use for the whole season is reduced from five to four. Like before, a grid penalty will be imposed to a driver who violates this rule.

Nose design will now be stricter – The FIA hopes to make the cars this season safer for drivers by making the nose designs more uniform and banning some particular designs used by some teams like the anteater and twin tusk. This change had mixed reactions from car designers of different teams. Some of them welcome this rule change because they know how important a car’s nose is for safety. However, some designers think that this new rule will also have an adverse effect when it comes to the development of the aerodynamic design of a car.

Minimum weight up to 702 kilograms – The minimum weight of a car for this year without fuel is increased to 702 kilograms, up from 692 kilograms last season.

Racing Aspects

No double points on the final stage – Last year, the FIA introduced the double points system for the season’s final race in the hope of keeping the fans interest on the sport until the final leg. But with the backlash it received from fans and F1 pundits alike especially before the final race in Abu Dhabi, Ecclestone and company have realized to scrap this rule for good. This year, drivers will receive the same number of points in all races, with 25 points for the winner, 18 points for the runner-up and so on.

Introduction of the virtual safety car – In the event of double waved yellow flags, there will be no need for a real safety car to be introduced in the track anymore. The “virtual safety car” program will now force drivers to reduce their speed to a particular rate if there’s an accident during the race. This system was tested successfully during the practice runs in the United States and Brazilian GPs last season and will now be officially implemented during a race.