F1 qualifying engine mode ban postponed to Italian GP

The FIA clampdown on Formula 1 teams usage of qualifying engine modes has been postponed until the Italian Grand Prix, instead of next weekend's Belgian GP as originally intended

F1 qualifying engine mode ban postponed to Italian GP

The concession has been made to allow engine manufacturers more time to conduct dyno testing before they head into a race weekend committed to the new restrictions.

The move to a single mode for qualifying and the race was first outlined in a letter sent to the teams by the FIA's secretary general for motor sport Peter Bayer ahead of last week's Spanish GP.

Under the heading "power unit ICE modes - reduction of the scope of adjustability between qualifying and the race" Bayer explained that the FIA would restrict modes via a technical directive that would be issued prior to the Belgian GP.

Justification for the change was given with reference to two separate regulations.

The first was Article 2.7 of the 2020 technical regulations, headed "Duty of Competitor," and which says: "It is the duty of each competitor to satisfy the FIA technical delegate and the stewards that his automobile complies with these regulations in their entirety at all times during an Event.

"The design of the car, its components and systems shall, with the exception of safety features, demonstrate their compliance with these regulations by means of physical inspection of hardware or materials.

"No mechanical design may rely upon software inspection as a means of ensuring its compliance.

"Due to their nature, the compliance of electronic systems may be assessed by means of inspection of hardware, software and data."

Bayer wrote in his letter that the "multitude and complexity of modes being used make it extremely difficult for the FIA to monitor compliance with all the PU-related regulations and provisions in selected critical moments of the event."

The second rule listed was Article 27.1 of the sporting regulations, a reference to drivers being required to drive the car "alone and unaided."

PLUS: Why the end of "party mode" won't crash Mercedes' festivities

Bayer noted that "the changes to ICE modes that are currently in force could potentially mean that the driver does not drive the car alone and unaided."

He concluded that "in order to address the above concerns in the future, we will be requiring that during the qualifying session and the race, the PU should operate in a single mode."

A draft technical directive on the matter was duly sent to teams this week, but it raised some questions, and after some debate a version sent late on Thursday officially shifted the starting date to Monza, leaving the teams more time to gather information.

One F1 team boss told Autosport: "It is not a straightforward TD to get properly done. We need to get it right."

F1 race director Michael Masi said at Barcelona last weekend that he was confident that the FIA would be able to police the new rules.

"I think we're very confident of that, otherwise we wouldn't have gone down the road that we have," he said.

"I know that the technical team in particular has done a huge amount of work on this, and has also consulted with the four power unit manufacturers to get their input into this.

"We're as confident as we possibly can be at the moment, otherwise we wouldn't be going down that road."

shares
comments
Why Williams' sale marks the end of an era for Formula 1
Previous article

Why Williams' sale marks the end of an era for Formula 1

Next article

Nine races in 11 weeks is the limit for F1 teams, warns Verstappen

Nine races in 11 weeks is the limit for F1 teams, warns Verstappen
Load comments
The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move Plus

The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move

OPINION: Uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton's future has persisted since the race direction call that denied him an eighth world title in Abu Dhabi last month. But while walking away would be understandable, Hamilton has time and again responded well in the face of adversity and possesses all the tools needed to bounce back stronger than ever

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2022
What the FIA must do to restore F1’s credibility Plus

What the FIA must do to restore F1’s credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2022
The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins Plus

The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, Autosport picks out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1 Plus

Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Autosport on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup Plus

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. Autosport breaks down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022