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In season testing, penalty points and fuel restrictions

NEWS STORY
28/06/2013

Mat Coch writes:

In-season testing is set to return next season under a revised set of regulations ratified by the World Motor Sport Council today.

While many of the new regulations are expected, such as engines having to last five Grands Prix instead of the current four, some are entirely new.

<b>Points penalties for drivers</b>

Following much the same lines as road drivers, F1 drivers will receive points on their license for driving offences.

It's a system the FIA has been silently running throughout the 2013 season as it looks for a more structured and consistent method of penalising drivers.

For 2014 if drivers accumulate twelve points in a twelve month period he will be forced to sit out a grand prix. A one-point penalty will be handed out for less serious offences, increasing to three points for the most serious.

<b>In-season testing</b>

Teams are currently prohibited from testing during the season though they can perform filming and promotional work up to eight times a year.

From next season these will be scrapped and teams will be allowed to test on the Tuesday and Wednesday following four European Grands Prix.

The announcement also sees the scrapping of the three-day Young Driver Test, which this year is held at Silverstone though it has previously been held in Abu Dhabi at the end of the year.

An extension to the in-season testing, and a nod to the sweeping technical changes the sport is set to undergo in 2014, testing will be permitted in January to allow teams more time to come to grips with the new power units.

Wind tunnel and CFD testing has also been reduced in an attempt to reduce costs and encourage teams to share resources (such as wind tunnels).

<b>Engine change penalties</b>

The complex new engine regulations for 2014, which see the engine become known as a 'power unit', have mandated a revision to penalties of unscheduled changes.

If a complete power unit is changed beyond the five permitted during the year the driver will be forced to start the race from the pit lane.

However, if only part of the power unit is replaced ahead of time, such as the turbo or energy store (KERS) a driver will be handed a standard 10-place grid penalty.

Once an engine is homologated, changes will only be permitted in the interests of installation, reliability and cost savings. Manufacturers will also be permitted to supply four teams from next season.

Gearboxes will also be expected to last an extra race, pushing out to six consecutive events rather than the current five.

<b>Fuel restrictions</b>

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