The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Sanctioning Body News - FIA Ratifies 2012 F1 Rule Changes

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

New Dehli, Dec. 10, 2011: The World Motor Sport Council has confirmed a number of Formula One rule changes for the 2012 season, most of which were already public knowledge.

The FIA is clamping down on engine mapping and exhaust positioning to effectively outlaw blown diffusers. There will be tougher side impact testing and new cars must now pass all crash tests prior to on-track testing.

During races, lapped drivers will be allowed to unlap themselves during a safety-car period, meaning no backmarkers will hinder the leaders at the restart. If in defending his position a driver leaves the racing line, he will not be allowed to retake it, and drivers will not be able to leave the track without good reason, thus banning such strategic moves as cutting chicanes during in-laps to save time and/or fuel.

In a change to the tyre rules, drivers will now be able to use all tyres allocated to them for the Grand Prix weekend on the Friday. They were previously limited to just three sets on the opening day. And on the testing front, there will now be one three-day in-season test in addition to the usual pre-season tests.

The full FIA statement:


Changes to the 2012 Technical Regulations

- All engine standard ECU set up and control parameters, which were formerly contained only within a Technical Directive, are now contained within the relevant parts of the Technical Regulations. - The exhaust tailpipes are now strictly regulated in order to ensure that the aerodynamic effect exhaust gases have on the car is kept to an absolute minimum. - Better marking of in-car emergency switches operated by marshals are now stipulated. - The side impact structures will now have to be subjected to a further (upward) push-off test.

Changes to the 2012 Sporting Regulations

- Cars may no longer take part in pre-season testing without having passed all crash tests. - There will now be a maximum race time of four hours to ensure that a lengthy suspension of a race does not result in a race that could run up to eight hours if left unregulated. - Before the safety car returns to the pits all lapped cars will be allowed to unlap themselves and then join the back of the pack, ensuring a clean re-start without slower cars impeding those racing for the leading positions. - Cars which were in the pit lane when a race is suspended will now be allowed to re-join the cars on the grid in the position they were in when the race was suspended. - Drivers may no longer leave the track without a justifiable reason, i.e. cutting a chicane on reconnaissance laps or ‘in’ laps to save time and fuel. - Drivers may no longer move back onto the racing line having moved off it to defend a position. - One three-day test will be carried out during the season, formerly there were none. - All stewards’ decisions which are not subject to appeal are now in one place instead of being in various places within the regulations. - All tyres allocated to a driver may now be used on the first day of practice; formerly only three sets were permitted.

The 2012 FIA Formula One World Championship calendar was confirmed as previously published.