Following a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Beijing this weekend, the FIA has confirmed the calendar for next season, packing a record-matching 20 grands prix. The season is set to kick off as usual in Australia next March before heading to Malaysia, Bahrain and China followed by the first European rounds in Spain and Monaco. Canada follows in June before the circus returns to Europe for the races in Austria, Great Britain, Germany and Hungary, with a month-long break before Belgium and Italy, then heading back overseas to Singapore, Japan, Russia, these here United States, Mexico, Brazil and the season finale in Abu Dhabi.
The Mexican Grand Prix is the only new addition for next season, sandwiched between the races in Austin and São Paulo.
WORLD MOTOR SPORT COUNCIL
FIA President Jean Todt welcomed members of the World Motor Sport Council ahead of the first race of the new FIA Formula E Championship, to be held in Beijing on Saturday 13 September, a historic moment as the world's first fully-electric racing championship is launched.
The following decisions were taken:
FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
The 2015 FIA Formula One World Championship calendar is confirmed as follows:
|Grand Prix of Australia|
|Grand Prix of Malaysia|
|Grand Prix of Bahrain|
|Grand Prix of China|
|Grand Prix of Spain|
|Grand Prix of Monaco|
|Grand Prix of Canada|
|Grand Prix of Austria|
|Grand Prix of Great Britain|
|Grand Prix of Germany|
|Grand Prix of Hungary|
|23 August||Grand Prix of Belgium|
|06 September||Grand Prix of Italy|
|Grand Prix of Singapore|
|Grand Prix of Japan|
|Grand Prix of Russia (Sochi)|
|Grand Prix of USA (Austin)|
|Grand Prix of Mexico|
|Grand Prix of Brazil|
|Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi|
FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
The following amendments have been made to the Sporting Regulations, applicable from January 2015:
- In order to give more of an advantage to crews contesting all the stages, a seven-minute penalty, instead of five minutes, will be applied for a missed stage. The 10-minute penalty for missing the last stage of a day remains applicable.
- A WRC Team will be permitted a one-day test for each competition it nominates.
- Current Group N4 cars will be renamed as R4, in order to integrate them into the rally pyramid. This applies to all cars in the category worldwide.
The calendar for the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship is confirmed as follows:
|Rallye Monte Carlo *|
|23 August||Rallye Germany *|
|13 September||Rally Australia|
|Rally France *|
|Rally Great Britain|
FIA EUROPEAN RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
To increase the value of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) and create an identity for each category of car, the organisation of the Championship has been amended from 2015.
- The overall ERC will be reserved for R5 and S2000 rally cars, the ERC 2 Championship has been created for drivers of Group N cars (current N4 cars), and the ERC 3 Championship will be for cars in Groups R3, R2 and R1.
- Titles for teams, drivers and co-drivers will be awarded, the total number of championship competitions will be reduced from 12 to 10 and the best seven (ERC and ERC 2) and six (ERC 3) results will count towards the titles.
- Additionally, the maximum age limit for ERC Junior drivers has been increased to 27 to attract more competitors and correspond with the limitation imposed for national junior championships.
- Only drivers registered in the ERC categories will receive Priority status, adding value and an advantage to registration, and only FIA and ERC Priority drivers will take part in Free Practice and Qualifying. The total distance of special stages is set at between 200 and 230 kilometres to provide consistency throughout the Championship.
- To further decrease costs, tyre quantities will be reduced. For four-wheel drive cars a maximum of 18 tyres per competition is permitted, and 14 for two-wheel drive cars.
- Testing has also been reduced to one day for each rally a driver is contesting.
FIA WORLD CUP FOR CROSS COUNTRY RALLIES
- In order to reduce costs for competitors, a number of new regulations have been implemented from January 2015. FIA Priority drivers competing in Bajas will be allowed to use only eight tyres per competition. If a tyre is damaged during the running of the competition, it may be replaced with the agreement of the FIA Technical Delegate. However such a change will incur a 90 second time penalty for each tyre changed. In timed service areas on Bajas, only two mechanics and one engineer may work on a competing vehicle, and competitors may only refuel at commercial fuel stations using fuel on sale to the public.
- In order to adjust the balance of performance, restrictor diameters will be amended in 2015 depending on the average altitude of the competition. As such, the average altitude of the total distance of selective sections must be published in the Supplementary Regulations.
- The definition of a marathon cross country rally has been amended to be a competition with at least 5000 kilometres of selective sections, previously 3000 kilometres.
- To be included in the final classification a competitor must have checked in at the first time control of each leg and have checked in at the final time control of the competition.
- To be classified a competitor must not have received a fixed penalty on more than 50% of the legs of a rally. A fixed penalty will not be applied on the final day of a competition.
- The results of all Cross-Country rallies and the best five Bajas will be taken into account for the final classification, ensuring that with one additional competition in the calendar, teams can continue to operate at current budget levels.
The calendar for the 2015 FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies is confirmed as follows:
|Baja Russia - Northern Forest|
|Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge|
|Sealine Cross Country Rally|
|13-16 August||Hungarian Baja|
|27-30 August||Baja Poland|
|Rallye du Maroc|
Tunisia Rally will run as a candidate event from 28 May to 2 June for possible inclusion in the 2016 calendar.
FIA FORMULA E CHAMPIONSHIP
After the pre-season test campaign and the first race simulation, a number of adjustments to the sporting regulations of the 2014 Formula E championship have been agreed. The full regulations are available on the FIA website.
FIA WORLD ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP
Introduction of cost management measures have been agreed as from 1 January 2015 including limitations of testing and tyre limitations per category. Further details will be included in the 2015 Sporting and Technical Regulations.
A unified system of categorisation for GT3 drivers, centralised by the fIA, has been agreed. The use of the Driver Categorisation system for FIA championships and series is aimed at encouraging better sporting management.
A proposal to hold a 'World Cup' for GT3 cars, organised on the basis of a single competition, has been agreed. A call for expressions of interest will be opened with the aim of appointing a promoter.
HISTORIC MOTOR SPORT COMMISSION
Those cars homologated in Period J2 (1986-1990) will now be eligible to compete in the FIA Historic Sporting Rally Championship.
The minimum weight of a Super Car in Rallycross will be set at 1,300kg, as of 1 January 2016 (no matter the cylinder capacity of the engine). A number of clarifications and changes to the Technical Regulations for Rallycross cars have been decided for 2015 or 2016. Further details are available on the FIA website.
The current FIA Cup for JuniorBuggy (for drivers aged 13 to 21) will be classified as the FIA European Autocross Championship for JuniorBuggy in 2015.
The 2015 FIA European Autocross Championship will adopt a Semi/Final format (as used in Rallycross since 2013). This replace the current Finals C, B, A format.
TRUCK RACING COMMISSION
As of 1 January 2015, in each race, points for all titles will now be awarded to each driver and team at each Competition according to the following scale: 1st: 20 points, 2nd: 15 points, 3rd: 12 points, 4th: 10 points, 5th: 8 points, 6th: 6 points, 7th: 4 points, 8th: 3 points, 9th: 2 points, 10th: 1 point.
As of 1 January 2015, the minimum allowed weight for Race Trucks is defined as follows: 5400 kg (down from 5500 kg), of which 3200 kg (down from 3300 kg) measured at the front wheels.
A 2015 FIA Formula 3 Middle East Cup is planned for January 2015. Details will be confirmed in October 2014.
Formula 4 Championships for 2015, certified by the FIA, have been confirmed in Australia, China, Germany, and Japan, the UK and Northern Europe.
It was agreed to offer an 'FIA F4 Best Driver' award for each Formula 4 Championship certified by the FIA.
The CIK Commission has been mandated to carry out an analysis with regard to the proposal to introduce a new category below the KF-Junior category.
A "CIK-FIA South American Karting Academy Trophy" is to be introduced. The first round of the new series is to take place in early 2015.
MOTOR SPORT DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME
After two years of work collecting the sport clubs' data and information regarding their needs and priorities, the World Council adopted the FIA Sport Club Development plan. This a roadmap to support the development of its 138 sport clubs worldwide through the drawing up of dedicated strategies with the goal of strengthening the growth and sustainability of motor sport in each country.
This will allow the Federation to buildup a strong "Global Training Programme" for all of its sport clubs in conjunction with the FIA Sport- Grant programme launched in August and which will close on 30th September 2014.
The FIA is now better positioned to strengthen its sport clubs, grow motor sport worldwide, including vital grassroots motor sport and encouraging young people into our sport.
FIA ACTION FOR THE ENVIRONMENT TASKFORCE
An update was given on the work of the Action for Environment Taskforce. It was established to follow up on the FIA Environmental Sustainability Strategy endorsed by the WMSC in June 2013 which has the goal of ensuring motor sport is recognised as an exemplar of best practice in environmental sustainability and will be a leader in environmental innovation, creating a positive impact on both the track and road. World Council members Garry Connelly (Australia) and General Kiryanov (Russia) were appointed as delegates of the WMSC for environmental issues.
A mandate has been given to the FIA Administration to review the qualification and conditions for the issuing of a super licence, in consultation with all parties concerned. A proposal will be put forward for WMSC approval in December for implementation in 2016.
The next meeting of the WMSC will take place in Doha, Qatar, on Wednesday 3 December 2014.