The new world of Formula 1
Honda F1 website
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DECEMBER 12, 2008

The new world of Formula 1

The FIA World Council met in Monaco today and voted through the following changes. These proposed changes have the unanimous agreement of the Formula 1 teams, who have played a major role in their development.

In 2009 engine life is to be doubled. Each driver will use a maximum of eight engines for the season plus four for testing (thus 20 per team). They will be limited to 18,000 rpm. There will be no internal re-tuning with adjustment to trumpets and injectors only. The three-race rule voted on November 5 will remain in force. The cost of engines to independent teams will be approximately 50% of 2008 prices. Unanimous agreement was reached on a list of proposed changes to the Renault engine for 2009; all other engines will remain unchanged. Comparative testing will not be necessary.

There will be no in-season testing except during race weekends. There will be no wind tunnel exceeding 60% scale and 50 metres/sec after January 1 2009. A formula to balance wind tunnel-based research against CFD research, if agreed between the teams, will be proposed to the FIA. There will be factory closures for six weeks per year, depending on local laws.

Manpower at races will be reduced by means of a number of measures, including sharing information on tyres and fuel to eliminate the need for "spotters".

Market research will be conducted to gauge the public reaction to a number of new ideas, including possible changes to qualifying and a proposal for the substitution of medals for points for the drivers. Proposals will be submitted to the FIA when the results of the market research are known. It is estimated that these changes will save the manufacturer teams approximately 30% of their budgets compared to 2008, while the savings for independent teams will be even greater.

For 2010 engines will be available to the independent teams for less than 5 million Euros per team per season. These will either come from an independent supplier or be supplied by the manufacturer teams backed by guarantees of continuity. If an independent supplier, the deal will be signed no later than December 20 2008. This same engine will continue to be used in 2011 and 2012 (thus no new engine for 2011). Subject to confirmation of practicability, the same transmission will be used by all teams.

A list of all elements of the chassis will be prepared and a decision taken in respect of each element as to whether or not it will remain a performance differentiator (competitive element). Some elements which remain performance differentiators will be homologated for the season. Some elements will remain performance differentiators, but use inexpensive materials. Elements which are not performance differentiators will be prescriptive and be obtained or manufactured in the most economical possible way.

At races there will be standardised radio and telemetry systems. Tyre warmers will be banned. No-one will be allowed to mechanically purge the tyres. Refuelling will be banned. The race distance may also be reduced depending on the results of market research.

There will be further restrictions on aerodynamic research, a ban on tyre force rigs and a full analysis will be made of factory facilities with a view to proposing further restrictions on facilities.

In the longer term FIA and FOTA will study the possibility of an entirely new power train for 2013 based on energy efficiency (obtaining more work from less energy consumed). Rules to be framed so as to ensure that research and development of such a power train would make a real contribution to energy-efficient road transport. An enhanced Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) system is likely to be a very significant element of an energy-efficient power train in the future. In the short term, KERS is part of the 2009 regulations, but is not compulsory. For 2010 FOTA is considering proposals for a standard KERS system. The FIA awaits these proposals.

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