FIA to keep fuel weights secret in 2010
|By Jonathan Noble
||Friday, February 12th 2010, 09:29 GMT
The FIA has confirmed there are no plans to publish the starting weights of cars this year, meaning fans will not get an instant glimpse as to which engines are the most fuel-efficient.
Last year, the FIA revealed the weights of cars after qualifying - which showed the different fuel strategies that drivers would be running in the grands prix.
Although there is a ban on refuelling this year, there were some suggestions over the winter that the publication of fuel weights would remain anyway. Had that been the case, then it would have delivered an automatic reference point as to which cars were the most fuel-efficient - as they would carry less fuel than their rivals.
However, in the final version of the 2010 Formula 1 sporting regulations, the FIA has removed the rule that meant the fuel weights were published.
The ban on refuelling will put a greater emphasis on tyre change times this year, and the FIA has moved to stamp out teams using exotic pit machinery to help improve times.
Regulation 23.1 c) states: "Powered devices which assist in lifting any part of a car are forbidden in the pit lane during a race."
The FIA regulations also approve the new points structure (25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1), and the fact that those drivers who make it through to Q3 will have to start the race on the same tyres they used to set their best qualifying lap.
There have also been clarifications about the rules relating to the extra test day that teams can have access to in the event of needing a replacement driver in the middle of the season.
The test will only be allowed if the substitute driver has not raced in F1 in the previous two calendar years - and can only take place on a circuit not hosting an F1 race. The test must take place within a period 14 days before and 14 days after the substitution.
Also, if the test takes place and the replacement driver is not needed then the team will have a day of pre-season testing docked from the following year.
There has also been a further tweak of the engine change regulations, relating to what happens if a driver exceeds the maximum eight engines allowed during the season.
The revised 28.4 a) regulation stats: "Should a driver use more than eight engines he will drop ten places on the starting grid at the first Event during which each additional engine is used. If two such additional engines are used during a single Event the driver concerned will drop ten places on the starting grid at that Event and at the following Event."
A new rule has also been imposed stating that if a driver is slow away on the formation lap and loses places, unless he gets back into his original start position by the first safety car line, he will have to start from the pitlane.
In addition, the FIA has confirmed the parts that must be homologated before the start of the 2010 season, and cannot be replaced unless there are proper reliability or safety reasons. They are the survival cell, the principal and second roll structures, front, rear and side impact structures, the front wheel, and the rear wheel.