F1 teams have approved a change to the tyre rules for the 2010 season, which will force the top ten qualifiers to start the race on the same tyres they used to set their quickest qualifying times.
The proposal was agreed during the latest meeting of the F1 commission on Monday, with the decisions announced by the FIA set to add a new strategic element to qualifying during the year ahead.
It will lead to teams needing to evaluate how to approach qualifying, with the possibility that teams will sacrifice going for a quick time by using a tyre that will be better suited to the race. Alternatively, teams could use a tyre that will allow them to secure a better grid position but then face the prospect of being disadvantaged when race day arrives.
The teams have also agreed to reduce the number of sets of dry tyres available from 14 to eleven per team, with further changes to encourage cars to take part in Friday practice. Under the new rules, one set of tyres must be returned before the start of second practice, and two sets before the start of third practice.
A revised version of the new points system was also approved during the meeting, which gives a greater advantage to a driver winning a race.
Under the agreed plans, the winner of the race will secure 25 points with the runner-up taking 18 – a difference of seven points as opposed to the five initially suggested.
The points system for 2010 will reward the top ten drivers and run 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1.
Further measures for 2010 are to be examined.
Further down the line, teams have agreed to effectively ban the controversial double diffuser from 2011.
The aerodynamic device proved to be a bone of contention during the 2009 season as a number of teams – including title winners Brawn GP
– were able to exploit the rules to run the device from the start of the campaign, leading to a number of protests from other teams before the device was declared legal.
Under the new regulations, the permitted height of the main diffuser will be reduced from 175mm to 125mm.