Over the winter, new rule changes were introduced to reduce costs and equalise the teams' pace. The engine specifications were already frozen and no teams were allowed to alter internal parts of the engine without special permission.
The FIA introduced a single engine electronic control system. This ECU also controlled the gearbox and prevented the cars using traction control (TC) and other electronic driver aids. As well as the new electronics, the gearboxes themselves now had to last four races without being changed.
Bridgestone had started to supply the same tyres to all teams in 2007. This did not change for 2008 and the stability allowed teams to optimise their new cars to suit the tyres. Unusually, there were no aerodynamic rule changes for 2008. This allowed the teams to work on the details of the wings and fins around the car. This meant the smaller teams were able to catch up to the bigger teams, as aerodynamic performance advantages became harder to find.