Rule changes in F1

As suggested by Ashish, I have written this blog to mention few rule changes in F1 which I believe, will have impact at the end of the season. This would be my take on it and experts might have different opinions.

[The Formula One Drivers’ Trophy]

I have been watching Formula 1 for the past 13 years. I have come long way from blindly cheering for Ferrari and Michael Schumacher to changing my loyalty Fernando Alonso. It’s been a great pleasure watching F1. Now with Dr. Vijay Mallya having an F1 team Force India and soon to come F1 race in India it’s bound to get better.

Now lets take a look at the few changes in F1 which could have a impact.

1. Points System

2010 F1 points system

Position Points Percentage %
1 25 100
2 20 80
3 15 60
4 10 40
5 8 32
6 6 24
7 5 20
8 3 12
9 2 8
10 1 4

Previous points system

Position Points Percentage %
1 10 100
2 8 80
3 6 60
4 5 50
5 4 40
6 3 30
7 2 20
8 1 10

It appears to be another attempt to ensure championship is decided as late in the season as possible, as it will be harder for a driver to amass a 25-point lead over a rival when you get ten points just for finishing fourth.

The previous points system was introduced in 2003, the reason for that was the complete dominance of Ferrari and Micheal Schumacher. In 2002 Michael Schumacher set a new record for the earliest a world championship had ever been decided. He sealed the title in the French Grand Prix on July 21st, with six rounds to spare. It was believed that the 2003 point system would keep the F1 season alive for longer time. Despite that, two years later Schumacher was able to wrap up the title, four rounds before the end of the season. This point system was criticised for making second and third place finishes more valuable compared to winning.

The point system used before the 2003 changes. This was introduced in 1991.

Position Points
1 10
2 6
3 4
4 3
5 2
6 1

My opinion :New point system will all probability serve it’s purpose.

2. Refuelling
Refuelling was brought back into F1 at the beginning of 1994 as the sports’ governing body scrambled frantically to find a way of spicing up ‘the show’. The 1992 season and much of the early part of 1993 saw some decidedly unimpressive racing.

The reason for this was simple: Williams had created a car that was whole seconds faster than the opposition at most circuits. At one race in 1992 the closest car in qualifying to Nigel Mansell’s FW14B was a staggering 2.7s slower. Williams enjoyed a comparable margin of superiority in 1993, though as the season went on McLaren and Benetton began to narrow the performance gap.

This did not make for entertaining racing, and the FIA began pushing for the reintroduction of refuelling in the hope it would cause more changes in the running order.

Bringing back refuelling in 1994 was a knee-jerk reaction to their superiority. As it happened, come the start of the 1994 season Williams’ performance advantage had been completely eroded anyway.

Come 2010 Refuelling will be banned. It has it’s advantages and disadvantages. I for one always enjoyed Refuelling because it had the potential to change the race results. But looking at the advantages and disadvantages I would support this move. But I would definitely miss it.

Advantages of Refuelling ban.

i. The death of strategy?
We could well see some drivers nursing their tyres throughout the race on a one-stop strategy, while others make two or three changes of tyres. Alternatively, drivers could adjust their strategy on-the-fly, abandoning plans to make extra pit stops in a bid to keep track position.

ii. The flying pit stop returns

With drivers no longer taking fuel on board during pit stops we will see the return of ultra-quick tyre changes.

iii. Winning on the track
Above all else, banning refuelling places a much greater onus on drivers to overtake their rivals on the track.

They will no longer have the option to delay trying to overtake a rival on the assumption that they can pass them by making a later pit stop for fuel.

iv. No more drivers getting penalties for making fuel stops during ‘pit lane closures’.

v. No more dangerous refuelling fires.

The only disadvantage I could see, is the fact that it would remove a little uncertainties related to pit stops.

my opinion : It’s for good.

3. Tyre warmers
This one is a little complex, since it deals with driver safety. I will quote Toyota star Jarno Trulli here to explain how important Tyre warmers are“On stone cold tyres, the car would be very difficult to drive. If you went at anything like close to racing speed, you’d be straight off the circuit.”

The tyre warmers cost approximately £2200 per set, and with the teams needing between 36 and 40 sets each, they are a costly – but vital – feature of the F1 pit lane.

I understand the argument against the ban on grounds of safety. And I do feel the concerns of drivers should be listened to because they are the only ones who really know what they are talking about.

However there are a few things we should consider. Tyre warmers are banned in other top single seater categories such as Indy racing, and the drivers cope just fine.

Bridgestone brought new compounds and the teams found they were better – although some drivers felt more could be done. As far as Bridgestone are concerned, the tyres are fine as long as the teams don’t try to get an advantage by fiddling with their pressures.

We should remember that when tyre warmers were first used in F1 in the mid-1980s it wasn’t for safety reasons, it was to give drivers a performance advantage by reducing how long it took their tyres to heat up.

By removing them it will put more emphasis on the driver’s skill rather than the speed of their car. As far as I’m concerned that’s a good thing.

My opinion : As far as I’m concerned banning tyre warmers is definitely a good thing because it makes life more difficult for the driver – and I think Formula 1 should be the most challenging form of motor sport there is.



4 thoughts on “Rule changes in F1

  1. A good blog dude although no mention of the 2nd Indian on the grid Karun Chandhok, but never the less I liked reading this one. Keep it up

  2. Good post, But I don’t quite agree with Refueling ban. The Bahrain GP was a boring. Refueling would have given so something to look forward to.

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