F1 Team Orders Ban Is Lifted

The adoption of small capacity turbocharged 'green' engines in F1 for 2013 and a lifting of the Article 39.1 team orders ban were the main developments from the final 2010 meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Monaco today.

The team orders ban was introduced in the aftermath of the 2002 Austrian GP controversy when Rubens Barrichello was ordered to move over and allow Ferrari team mate Michael Schumacher to win the race. There were ructions about the early point of the season at which this was done and the fact that it was done so blatantly, bringing the sport into disrepute in the eyes of many.

Despite the regulation, team orders continued to be applied in a more clandestine fashion, however, in particular at the Brazilian GP of 2007 when Felipe Massa ceded a potential race win at the pit stops in order to allow Ferrari team mate Kimi Raikkonen to claim the world title.

The matter raised its head again at Hockenheim this year when Felipe Massa was blatantly ordered to give way to Ferrari team mate Felipe Massa. The way the season developed proved that Ferrari was entirely right to favour Alonso in the circumstances and although Ferrari has been involved in three of the most high profile incidents involving team orders, the Scuderia is far from the only team to apply them. With the majority of the paddock firm in the belief that effective policing of a team orders ban is very difficult, the decision has been taken to allow them. Teams have been reminded, however, that any act believed to have brought the sport into disrepute, such as aggressive driving or blatant blocking of rival teams, can still be dealt with under Article 151c of the International Sporting Code.

On engines, the FIA has underlined its commitment to improving sustainability and addressing the needs of the automotive industry. Following dialogue with engine manufacturers and experts F1 power units will be four cylinder, 1.6-litre with high pressure gasoline injection up to 500 bar with a maximum of 12,000 rpm.

The engines will deliver a 35% reduction in fuel consumption and feature extensive energy management and energy recovery systems, while maintaining current levels of performance. In 2013, five engines will be permitted per driver, but each year after that the limit will be four.

There will be changes to the F1 sporting and technical regulations are as follows: Amendments to the list of penalties Stewards are permitted to apply; revisions to driving and driver conduct; a limit on the width of the fast lane in the pits; the introduction of a regulation permitting the Race Director to close the pit lane during a race for safety reasons; the re-introduction of intermediate tyres for 2011; penalties to be applied to any driver who fails to use both specification of dry weather tyre during the race; an amendment requiring gearboxes to be used for five consecutive races, instead of four; clarification on when cars can overtake the safety car; a refinement to the principles of the regulations already agreed concerning moveable rear wings; a better definition of the reference plane, and reinforcement of bodywork deflection tests, especially at the front of the reference plane; an allowance for anti-intrusion panels to protect drivers' legs.

Changes to the 2012 technical regulations were also made in the following areas: team communications will be made available to broadcasters; the inclusion of fuel compounds produced from biomass; a limitation on suspension uprights.

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