13 December 2013
Driver penalty points confirmed in new F1 2014 rules
In a minor change to the wording regarding 'in-race' transgressions, the number of laps from the end of a race in which drive-thru' and 'stop-go' penalties will no longer be applied has been reduced from five to three, with a 20-second time penalty being applied in place of a drive-thru' and 30secs in place of a 'stop-go'.
Reprimands will be handed down to any driver who fails to stop when signalled to do so at the weighbridge, provided the car is then brought back to the FIA garage without delay and can satisfy the FIA technical delegate that it remains in exactly the same condition it was in when it was driven into the pits. Any driver who fails to stop and then fails to bring the car back to the FIA, or has work carried out on the car before it is returned, will be required to start the race from the pit-lane.
As expected, and in spite of an all-new powertrain being introduced to F1 from 2014, drivers will be allowed to use no more than five power units during a championship season, down from eight in 2013.
The power unit will be deemed to comprise six separate elements - the engine, kinetic motor generator unit, heat-based motor generator unit, energy store, turbocharger and control electronics. Each driver will be permitted to use a maximum five of each component during a season, although any combination of them may be fitted to a car at any one time. Should more than five of any one elements be used, a grid place penalty will be imposed.
Replacement of a complete power unit will result in the driver concerned starting the race from the pit-lane, while the use of additional individual elements over and above the maximum five will attract their own scale of punishment. The first time a sixth element is required, the driver will take a ten-place grid drop, although subsequent sixth elements will thereafter carry only a five-place penalty. The same structure follows for the use of further elements. Drivers at the back of the grid unable to accept the full punishment, will now have to carry over 'unused' positions to the following race. Any remaining positions after that will be discarded.
Gearbox usage also comes under the microscope, with each unit now being expected to last for six events, with an 'event' deemed to comprise Saturday practice, qualifying and the race.
Using a replacement gearbox within that time will incur a drop of five places on the grid at the event in question, with an additional five places each time a further gearbox is used. Any replacement gearbox, however, will only be required to complete the remainder of the event in question.
While changing gears and dog rings on evidence of physical damage had previously been allowed under supervision, and only for replacements of identical specification, the 2014 regulations make provision for five occasions per driver where a team 'need not provide evidence of physical damage in order to carry out these changes'.
The revised regulations also confirm that, from next year, no car will be permitted to consume more than 100kg of fuel from the time at which the signal to start the race is given to the time when it crosses the line at the chequered flag. Other than in cases of force majeure, any driver exceeding this limit will be excluded from the race results.
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