• 2010 Season

Rule changes close to final approval

ESPNF1 Staff
February 3, 2010 « Ferrari dominates in Spain | »
The new points system should encourage drivers to push for a win © Sutton Images

A whole raft of regulation changes have been agreed upon by the F1 teams and sent to the FIA's World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) for final approval.

Tweaks to the points system and tyre regulations next year, as well as a ban on double diffusers from 2011, were all given the go-ahead by the F1 Commission - a body made up of the F1 teams and the sport's major stakeholders.

The points system will offer a greater reward to race winners, with 25 points for first, 18 for second, 15 for third, and the rest of the positions down to tenth earning 12-10-8-6-4-2-1 respectively. The idea is to encourage drivers to battle for victory rather than settle for second or third.

The tyre regulation changes will see the top ten drivers on the grid being forced to use the same tyres at the start of the race as they did in the last session of qualifying. The F1 Commission is hoping this will maintain a strategic element to the racing in the wake of the ban on refuelling. Teams will also be restricted to using just 11 sets of tyres per car over the course of a grand prix weekend, rather than 14 under the 2009 rules. To ensure drivers still head out on track during Friday practice, they will have to hand back one set of tyres after the first Friday session and two after the second.

Double diffusers, which caused controversy last year and that have formed the basis of the designs for all of the 2010 F1 cars, will be banned for the start of the 2011 season. By outlawing the double-decker design and restricting the height of the diffuser from 175mm to 125mm, the F1 Commission is hoping to contain the increase in aerodynamic grip the cars have experienced since the major overhaul in the technical regulations at the start of 2009.

The changes are expected to be approved by the WMSC in the next 48 hours.