With moveable rear wings, a new tyre supplier, the return
of KERS, a 107 percent qualifying rule and more, there are plenty of
regulation changes that will have a major impact on the Formula One
field in 2011…
Adjustable rear wings
Under new moveable
bodywork regulations, drivers of suitably equipped cars can adjust the
rear wing from the cockpit, altering its angle of incidence through a
set range. (The moveable front wing, used in 2010, has been dropped.)
The system’s availability is electronically governed - it can be used at
any time in practice and qualifying, but during the race can only be
activated when a driver is less than one second behind another car at
pre-determined points on the track. The system is then deactivated once
the driver brakes. In combination with KERS, it is designed to boost
overtaking. Also like KERS, it isn’t compulsory.
No F-ducts or double diffusers
system, device or procedure which uses driver movement as a means of
altering the aerodynamic characteristics of the car is prohibited from
2011 - that means no F-ducts. Tightening of the regulations on stepped
floors means double diffusers in their original sense are also banned.
badge of honour for some, a bugbear for others on its debut in 2009,
KERS - or Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems - have been reintroduced in
2011 after the teams mutually agreed to suspend their use in 2010. KERS
take the waste energy generated under braking and turns it into
additional power. This is then made available to the driver in fixed
quantities per lap via a steering wheel-mounted ‘boost button’. The
systems are essentially the same as those seen in ’09, with no increase
in the maximum permitted power (though that could change in subsequent
seasons). The challenge for the engineers this time round is packaging.
Last time KERS was run, refuelling was legal. Now, with it banned, fuel
tanks are larger and finding room to accommodate battery packs etc is
not as easy. Hence don’t be surprised if bodywork has grown in places,
relative to 2010. On the plus side, minimum car weight has been upped by
20kg to 640kg, meaning larger drivers don’t pay the weight-distribution
penalty they once did in a KERS-equipped car.
response to several stray wheels over the course of the 2010 season,
teams must now place a second tether on every wheel to improve safety.
The two tethers must be contained in separate suspension members.
Bridgestone’s decision to withdraw at the end of 2010 after 13 years in
Formula One, Pirelli take over as the sport’s sole tyre supplier. The
Italian company, last part of F1 in 1991, will provide all teams with
rubber for the next three years.
Tyre allocation has been reduced
for 2011, with 11 rather than 14 sets of dry-weather tyres available to
each driver per race weekend. Drivers will receive three sets (two
prime, one option) to use in P1 and P2 and must return one set after
each session. A further eight sets will then be at their disposal for
the rest of the weekend, although one set of each specification must be
handed back before qualifying.
If a driver fails to use both
specifications of dry-weather tyres during a (dry) race, they will be
excluded from the results. If a (dry) race is suspended and can’t be
restarted, and a driver has failed to use both specifications, 30
seconds will be added to the driver’s race time.
part of the sport’s cost-saving and environmental initiatives,
gearboxes now need to last for five race weekends, instead of the
107% qualifying rule
During the first
phase of qualifying, any driver who fails to set a lap within 107
percent of the fastest Q1 time will not be allowed to start the race.
However, in exceptional circumstances, which could include a driver
setting a suitable time during practice, the stewards may permit the car
A clampdown on long working
hours has been introduced, with a curfew on team personnel connected
with the operation of the cars. They will not be allowed into the
circuit between midnight and 6am when practice is scheduled to start at
10am the following day, or between 1am and 7am when practice starts at
11am. Each team is permitted four individual exceptions to this rule
during the season.
Stewards now have the
power to impose a wider range of penalties for driving and other rule
transgressions. Added to their armory are time penalties, the right to
exclude drivers from race results, or suspend them from subsequent
The clause in the sporting regulations banning team orders has been removed.