A number of tweaks to F1's 2015 Sporting Regulations have been approved by the World Motor Sport Council [WMSC], including changes to power unit penalties.
This season, the replacement of a full power unit carries the penalty of a pit lane start while there are also penalties for the replacement of each power unit component. From next season, the penalty for a complete change of power unit has been dropped, with the cumulative penalty of each replacement component being applied instead.
With large grid penalties possible, drivers will no longer be forced to carry over any unused penalty to the next race in the form of another grid drop. From 2015, any unused grid penalty will be converted in to an in-race penalty in the following way:
- 1 to 5 grid places untaken: A five second time penalty.
- 6 to 10 grid places untaken: A drive-through penalty.
- 11 to 20 grid places untaken: A ten second time penalty.
- More than 20 grid places untaken: A further time penalty.
The ten second time penalty is also a new addition for 2015, which can be taken in the same way as the five second penalty. Drivers must take the penalty at their next pit stop and work on the car cannot commence until the penalty has been served.
Further penalty clarifications refer to team personnel or team equipment remaining on the grid after the 15 second signal, which will result in a driver having to start the race from the pit lane. Any driver failing to do so will receive a ten second stop-and-go penalty, which is also the penalty for a car deeming to have been released in an unsafe condition.
In the event of a red flag suspending a race, cars will now have to enter the pit lane rather than lining up on the starting grid, with the field lining up behind the lead car at the pit exit.