After years of speculation, Formula One has shaken things up by announcing that the current high-revving V8s will be replaced by 2013 with turbocharged four-cylinder engines. Along with it, the FIA imposed new limits on the number of engines that can be used over the course of a season, but that's not the end of the modifications to the sporting code approved by the international motorsport sanctioning body.
One controversial decision made by the FIA's World Motor Sport Council is to allow team orders starting with the new season. The controversy reared its ugly head again at this past season's German Grand Prix, where Ferrari allegedly instructed Felipe Massa to let his team-mate Fernando Alonso pass in order to help him win the race. Fans and rival teams alike cried bloody murder, prompting the FIA to fine Ferrari $100,000 in penalties, while vowing to re-examine the issue. Having done so, the organization has eliminated the section of the regulations banning teams from undertaking such moves, though approving measures that would allow for the penalization of teams seen to be taking advantage of the newly-created loophole.
Other changes include new flexible rear wings that promise to help overtaking (and thus improve the spectacle) but will require teams to perfect their new designs for the upcoming season in order to remain competitive. More stringent regulations will in turn be placed on the flexibility of the front wings (which must remain rigid), while gearboxes will now be required to last five races instead of four as in seasons past.
[Source: Autosport (1) (2) | Image: Mark Thompson/Getty]