Formula 1’s grid penalty system has been modified for next season in an attempt to reduce confusion for fans.
A swathe of grid penalties in 2017 has led to widespread dissatisfaction with the system, and F1’s motorsport director Ross Brawn recently claimed that they were making a “farce” of the championship.
The spotlight has increased further given that each entry will be allowed only three engines next season.
Following discussion at the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council on Wednesday (local time), a new structure was announced that the governing body hopes will make determining a final starting grid easier when grid penalties have been issued.
Under the new system, any driver that earns a 15-position grid penalty, which is the equivalent of taking two extra new elements for the first time, will have to start from the back of the grid.
A statement issued by the FIA said, “The change to the power unit penalty system was also approved, whereby if a driver incurs a penalty exceeding 15 grid places he will be required to start the race from the back of the starting grid.
“If more than one driver receives such a penalty they will be arranged at the back of the grid in the order in which the offences were committed.”
The FIA also briefly outlined other changes being put into the regulations for 2018.
- Regulations relating to procedures for starting or resuming a race behind the safety car
- Changing the event timetable to increase flexibility
- Ensuring that testing of previous cars may only take place on tracks currently holding an FIA Grade 1 or 1T licence
- Provision for demonstration events in previous cars which does not constitute testing. No such demonstrations may exceed 50km in length and only tyres manufactured specifically for this purpose by the appointed supplier may be used
- Changes to ensure that oil cannot be used as fuel
- Introduction of a detailed specification for oil
- A minimum weight and volume for energy storage (batteries)
- Changes to position of cameras and wing mirrors to accommodate the halo