FILE PHOTO: Reporters are silhouetted by a screen showing a F1 logo during a news conference to announce a Formula One race in Mexico City July 23, 2014. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril
April 17, 2018
By Alan Baldwin
(Reuters) – Formula One drivers will be allowed more fuel next season to race at full speed from start to finish rather than having to worry about keeping enough in the tank to get to the checkered flag.
The governing FIA said the rise from 105kg to 110kg was among a number of issues agreed by the Strategy Group, which includes the top teams, and Formula One Commission in Paris on Tuesday.
The fuel increase, it said in a statement, would be sufficient to allow drivers “to use the engine at full power at all times.”
Under current regulations, with the cars heavier and thirstier due to aerodynamic changes and the addition of the ‘halo’ head protection system, some fuel saving is necessary to the frustration of fans and drivers.
Engines, however, are also limited at present to three per driver per season, with teams also concerned about putting too much stress on them.
Other measures for 2019 were for the weight of the car to be separated from that of the driver in future and for all drivers to wear biometric gloves to increase safety and facilitate medical rescue.
The gloves contain sensors to gather personal data, such as heart rate, to help assess a driver’s condition in the event of a crash.
The minimum weight of drivers is expected to be set at 80kg, with ballast required for anyone weighing less. At present taller drivers are at a weight disadvantage.
The FIA said discussions would continue about aerodynamics, with the aim of taking a decision by the end of April once research carried out by the governing body with help from the teams had been concluded.
Formula One’s commercial rights holders Liberty Media want to see increased overtaking with more teams having a chance of winning races.
The FIA also presented its proposed engine regulations for 2021, with current deals expiring at the end of 2020, and beyond.
They were for a 1.6 liter V6 turbo hybrid engine, as is currently used, but without the MGU-H exhaust energy recovery system.
The governing body said it would meet current and potential power unit manufacturers to discuss the proposals in more detail and hoped to reach an agreement by the end of May.
Formula One currently has four engine providers — champions Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda — but others such as Aston Martin have expressed an interest in coming in if the rules are right for them.
Ferrari have warned, however, that they could walk away if they don’t like what is on offer.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris)