Details of Formula 1's new grand prix start rules revealed

The FIA has issued a new technical directive to Formula 1 teams clarifying how it will ensure drivers are "solely responsible" for grand prix starts, AUTOSPORT has learned

Details of Formula 1's new grand prix start rules revealed

After last week's Strategy Group meeting, the FIA said it would implement stricter limitations on driver aids and coaching with "a particular emphasis on race starts", coming into effect from the Belgian Grand Prix.

Team were given the directive, a copy of which has been seen by AUTOSPORT, on Thursday.

It reveals how communication and settings changes will be limited between cars heading for the grid and the start of the race to ensure drivers are not excessively assisted with finding the correct clutch set-up.

From Spa, the clutch bite point may not be changed from the moment the car leaves the garage for the first time after the pitlane has open until after the race has started.

A manual bite point offset switch can be used after the race has started.

The FIA informed teams the bite point finder activation by the driver should be inhibited by disabling any driver button or switch association with that function.

The governing body has also outlined its clampdown on radio communications with the driver during reconnaissance or formation laps.

Communication will be limited to that on safety grounds such as a "critical" problem with the car, including a puncture warning or damage, or a warning of a problem with a competitor's car.

A driver may also be told to pit in order to retire the car or fix damage sustained.

Teams can inform drivers of marshal warnings, such as yellow or red flags, or information from race control such as if a race start has been aborted.

Passing on information regarding a wet track, oil or debris in certain corners or instructions to swap position with other drivers is also permitted.

Should teams disobey any of the above, it would be considered a breach of article 20.1 of the sporting regulations and would result in a penalty.

At present, teams are able to instruct drivers throughout the start build-up process, including offering feedback on potential changes between practice starts on the formation lap and the actual grand prix start.

Reigning F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton recently dismissed suggestions that drivers get too much help in the car, saying it would not affect the way he drives if communication was reduced.

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