F1 testing changes get rubber-stamped

The FIA World Council, motorsport's decision-making body, has rubber-stamped measures to cut Formula 1 testing and encourage more Friday running at GP meetings

F1 testing changes get rubber-stamped

As expected, no testing will be permitted at Silverstone, Magny-Cours, Monza and Barcelona - the four active GP circuits where testing is allowed - for a 28-day period prior to each circuit's respective event.

After several events in which few cars have ventured onto the track for Friday's pair of free sessions, short-changing spectators at the circuits, the move is an attempt to force teams to carry out more set-up work at the Grands Prix themselves. To back-up the changes, the FIA has increased the number of sets of tyres allocated to each car from eight to 10 - with three sets having to be returned to the scrutineers at the end of Friday's second and final free practice session.

The FIA has also confirmed a three-week Formula 1 'summer holiday' in August. Testing will be banned after the German GP on July 27, with F1 engines not being fired-up again in anger until August 16, the Friday of the Hungarian GP. The break is designed to reduce stress on the F1 teams' increasingly over-worked mechanics.

Additionally, no testing will be allowed on the Monday following a race on any circuit where an event has been held.

In a surprise move, but one which completely standardises race-day timetables, the extra 15-minute practice session which currently takes place if raceday weather is significantly different to conditions in practice and qualifying has been abandoned.

F1 technical changes specified by the World Council for 2001 include more stringent impact tests for the rear roll structure and a side intrusion test for monocoques. The side intrusion test comes in the wake of a series of accidents where suspension components have punctured the monocoque. Further increases to key structural tests will also be introduced in 2002.

Rear wings are now limited to three aerodynamic sections, effectively outlawing the multi-plane devices often seen at high-downforce circuits, while wet weather tyre diameter has been increased by 10mm in an effort to reduce aquaplaning in heavy rain.



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