FIA approves revised F1 event timetable

Major changes to the F1 event timetable for 2004 were approved by the FIA World Motor Sport Council yesterday in Paris, France. The new-for-2003 Friday qualifying session has been dropped in favour of two one-hour practice sessions, in which all the teams that finished fifth or lower in the 2003 Constructors championship may run a third car. The Saturday schedule will comprise two 45-minute practice sessions followed by a two-part, 90-minute qualifying session

FIA approves revised F1 event timetable

In the first part of the qualifying session, the starting order will be determined by the finishing order in the previous race, with each driver getting one timed lap. In the second part, they will get another timed lap, running in the reverse order of the lap-times they set in the first part. A car failing to complete the first part of qualifying will not be allowed to participate in the second. It must remain in parc fermé until the end of the session.

On the Friday, the driver of the third car may not be one of the team's nominated drivers for that event, must be in possession of a 'superlicence', and may not have taken part in more than six grands prix in the previous two seasons. Each team will now be allowed to use four drivers during each season, not including any third driver running in the Friday sessions.

The requirements of Art.60 concerning car livery will not apply to the third chassis, allowing the teams to secure separate sponsorship during these two sessions. The livery regulation will apply should this car be used as the team's spare car during the remainder of the event.

Other minor revisions to the Sporting Regulations for 2004 will include an increase in the pit-lane speed limit to 100kph at most circuits.

The number of dry-weather tyres available to each driver during each event will remain the same at 40 (20 front and 20 rear). Each driver will be allocated three sets of dry-weather tyres for use on Friday, and these may not be used at any other time during the event. No tyres from the remaining seven sets may be used on Friday.

Either of two specifications of dry-weather tyre may be used for the Saturday free practice sessions. The choice of tyre for qualifying and the race must be made by 09.00 on the Saturday. However, if both Friday sessions are declared wet, this choice may be postponed until 13.00 on Saturday.

The number of wet-weather tyres available to each driver during the event will remain the same at 28.

The parc fermé procedures will remain the same as in 2003, although the practice of fuel circulation for the purposes of cooling will now be prohibited.

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