Did you watch the video we posted yesterday and figure you've finally got a handle on the changes taking place in Formula One for next season? Well hold on, because there's more.

The Formula One Commission and F1 Strategy Group concluded their meetings in Paris yesterday and instituted a series of new regulations. The most controversial among them revolves around the final grand prix of the season, for which the series will now award double points. The idea is to incentivize drivers and teams to continue pushing until the end of the season rather than calculate their position in the year-end standings and call it a season.

The move is not unprecedented among top-tier racing series. The FIA World Endurance Championship, for example, awards double points for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. But rather than award extra points for the highest-profile races – say, at the Monaco Grand Prix, for example – F1 has opted to pile them on the last race of the season, which typically takes place in either Brazil or Abu Dhabi.

While the double-points decision will undoubtedly prove the most controversial, it's not the only change that F1 has instituted. For another, the system of assigning race numbers according to how a driver or team finished in the previous year's standings is being eliminated, replaced by numbers which the drivers will choose for the duration of their career. The reigning World Champion, however, will still have the option of racing under number 1, leaving the rest to choose from between 2 and 99.

There will also be a new, as-yet undetermined cost cap to be applied starting in 2015, a group tire test to be held a week from now in Abu Dhabi and a clause in the regulations for a new type of five-second penalty. The new measures will not need to be ratified by the FIA World Motor Sport Council, which has mandated its newly re-elected president Jean Todt has the power to approve these changes on his own. Read the full announcement from the FIA below.
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Formula One Regulation Changes
FIA Formula One World Championship

Paris – 9 December 2013

Following a meeting of the F1 Strategy Group and the Formula One Commission in Paris today, the following items have been unanimously approved:

• Cost cap

The principle of a global cost cap has been adopted. The limit will be applied from January 2015.

A working group will be established within the coming days comprising the FIA, representatives of the Commercial Rights Holder and Team representatives.

The objective of the working group will be to have regulations approved by the end of June 2014.

• Pirelli Tyre test – Bahrain, 17-19 December, 2013

The F1 Commission agreed to a change to the 2013 Sporting Regulations, on safety grounds, allowing the Formula One tyre supplier to carry out a three-day test in Bahrain from 17-19 December, 2013. All Formula One teams have been invited to take part in the test and six have accepted: Red Bull Racing, Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren, Force India and Toro Rosso.

• Driver numbers

Drivers will be asked to choose their race number, between 2 and 99, for the duration of their career in the FIA Formula One World Championship. Number 1 will be reserved for the current World Champion, should he choose to use it.

If more than one driver choses the same number, priority will be given to the driver who finished highest in the previous year's championship.

• New penalties

The principle of a five-second penalty for minor infringements was agreed. In what form such a penalty will be applied will be discussed with Formula One's teams in order that a new regulation be introduced for 2014 season.

• Points for the last race

Double drivers' and constructors' points will be awarded at the final race of the Formula One season in order to maximise focus on the Championship until the end of the campaign.

These changes are immediately applicable, given the mandate assigned to the FIA President at the last World Motor Sport Council meeting, held on 4 December in Paris.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      ChrisJC
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is just so stupid. Tom Winch nailed it below.
      davido
      • 1 Year Ago
      The elephant in the room is aerodynamics. This new formula was supposed to reduce drag (downforce) in the interest of making the cars more efficient in line with the new "green" direction. I don't think being green matters in F1 but this might have also had the effect of making it easier for cars to follow each other through high speed corners, something that's been difficult for a very long time now (I wonder how F1 cars would fare entering turn one at Indy running nose to tale and three wide at 225mph). It might have also made the cars harder to drive and shown up the differences in driver talent. The top teams nixed all that because they edge they have in spending translates into big spending on aero since the ban on engine development capped costs during this last version of the formula. Now power train costs of gone up again while aero costs have stayed up but the big teams don't want a low drag formula so we won't have one. What we'll have instead is an ever increasing number of gimmicks to make a series that went down a technological blind alley long ago look interesting enough for people to watch. We'll have that and a field where half the cars have no chance to ever make the podium, much less win a race (there will be no more Senna's discovered driving a Toleman). This sport was a lot more interesting when what the driver did with the car on the track was more important than what the engineers did with it in the wind tunnel.
      Dan Murphy
      • 1 Year Ago
      What a stupid idea… more rules means less interest in the sport.
      timber
      • 1 Year Ago
      The idea is ridiculous because each circuit typically type favors a certain type of car (well nowadays RB rules them all...) On a competitive season this rule basically chooses which team has the better chance of winning.
      JIM J
      • 1 Year Ago
      With 10s of millions of dollars on the line for the constructors championship, it is possible "accidents" could become more frequent during that last race. Proving intent might be difficult. It has happened before. And like was said, some tracks tend to favor specific teams/drivers giving an unfair advantage. There are many unknowns and unintended consequences. This just seems like a lot of not good.
      mikael
      • 1 Year Ago
      Formula 1 is (and always has been) in a tough spot. They have to leave room for drivers/teams/engineers to constantly improve and go faster, while at the same time trying prevent any driver/team/engineer from going too fast. So every few years they have to shuffle the regulations around to try to stifle an overly dominant performance or to even the playing field. Sadly, for 2014 too many silly rules are adding up to potentially ruin the top tier of motor sport. To Bernie and Charlie: ease up and tread VERY carefully or else this will not end well...
      Agilis
      • 1 Year Ago
      Do. Not. Like.
      Tom Winch
      • 1 Year Ago
      Having drivers keep the same number for the duration of their F1 career, OK. Budget cap? Good luck keeping Ferrai, Red Bull, McLaren, & Mercedes within it, but OK. Double points for the last race? They must be F-ING JOKING! This is unbelievable. They conjured up DRS and rapidly degrading tires to make for a "better show", now they've come up with a totally artificial way to keep interest up until the end of the season. It's ridiculous. You could be leading the WDC by 49 points going into the race, get punted by a backmarker (or your closest rival's teammate) and have to retire, and lose the championship that you rightly deserve. If this system would have been in place for the last 10 years, Raikonnen would have won the 2003 WDC over Schumacher, Massa would have beat Hamilton in 2008, and Alonso would have beat Vettel in 2012. With over three months until the season starts, let's hope common sense prevails and this new rule is rescinded.
      Johan
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think the points should increase slightly every race so races toward the end of the season are weighted more heavily. At least I think that makes more sense than just having the last race worth double points.
        MotionDesigner
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Johan
        I don't agree. That would mean the races toward the beginning of the season are not as worth as much as the races toward the end. That's stupid because teams wouldn't take the first several races seriously. Not only does it not make sense but it robs the fans that want to see the race in person at the start of the season.
      ELG
      • 1 Year Ago
      Formula Nascar. Im ok with that.
      petrol42
      • 1 Year Ago
      At least give the new points system a chance before you guys start dissing on it.
      Rotation
      • 1 Year Ago
      Stupid stunt. Typical for F1.
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