The full rule change, which will be implemented for the 2015 F1 season reads:
According to F1 bosses, this is being done to increase excitement. It'll be exciting alright, interrupting the flow of the race by bringing the cars to a halt instead of just letting them get on with the business of racing.
"Safety Car restarts will now be a standing start from the grid. Standing starts will not be carried out if the Safety Car is used within two laps of the start (or restart) of a race or if there are less than five laps of the race remaining."
More troubling, though, is that this new move seems to fly in the face of common sense in regards to safety. The first corner of a track following the start is the single most dangerous part of a race, as nearly two dozen fragile, bumper-less, 750-horsepower racecars jockey for position. So now, when there's a wreck that's bad enough to bring out the safety car, we're going to immediately follow that with a situation that can lead to more carnage...
The opinions of the drivers, meanwhile, remain mixed. Some, like Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, are impartial to the move, while Mercedes-AMG's Nico Rosberg wasn't in favor of the implementation. Daniel Riccardo, at Red Bull, offered perhaps the most balanced opinion, calling standing starts more exciting but less fair.
What are your thoughts on this latest rule change from the FIA? Do you support it, or should the safety car just get out of the way and let the race get going again? Have your say in Comments. You can also scroll down for the full announcement regarding changes for 2015, from the FIA.
Changes to the F1 Regulations for 2015 have been agreed by the WMSC.
The last date at which the sporting and technical regulations can be changed without unanimous agreement has been changed from 30 June to 1 March each year, starting from 2015.
Changes to 2015 Sporting Regulations
- The number of engines permitted by each driver in a season will be four. However, if there are more than 20 races in a season, the number will increase to five.
- The penalty for a complete change of Power Unit will be starting from the back of the grid, not the pit lane.
- The number of wind tunnel runs will be reduced from 80 hours per week to 65 hours per week.
- Wind-on hours are to be reduced from 30 hours per week to 25 hours.
- Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) usage is to be reduced from 30 Teraflops to 25 Teraflops.
- Two periods of tunnel occupancy will be allowed in one day (rather than only one).
- Teams will only be able to nominate one wind tunnel in one year.
- There will be three pre-season tests of four days each in Europe in 2015 (currently teams are able to test outside Europe). This will be reduced to two tests of four days in 2016.
- There will be two in-season tests of two days each in Europe (instead of the current four). Two of these four days must be reserved for young drivers.
Car specification at an Event
The current restrictions to the parc ferme will now apply from the start of P3 instead of the start of qualifying.
Wheels and tyres
The [proposed] ban on tyre blankets will be rescinded for 2015. This will be re-discussed if and when the wheel and tyre diameter increases in the future.
The Friday night curfew will be extended from six to seven hours in 2015 and will increase to eight hours in 2016.
Safety Car restarts
Safety Car restarts will now be a standing start from the grid. Standing starts will not be carried out if the Safety Car is used within two laps of the start (or restart) of a race or if there are less than five laps of the race remaining.
Changes to 2015 Technical Regulations
A number of changes have been made, including:
- A number of new regulations for the noses to ensure improved safety and to provide more aesthetically pleasing structures.
- A number of new regulations concerning skid blocks to ensure that they are made from a lighter material (titanium) and are better contained.
- New regulations to ensure that the brake discs rotate at the same speed as the wheels.
- A two-stage wheel fastener retaining system is now compulsory.