FIA ban tyre warmers and increase minimum weight for 2015
Tyre warmers will be banned and the minimum weight of cars changed to suit heavier drivers in 2015, after the FIA announced a series of changes to the technical regulations.
The changes were decided upon by the F1 strategy group and FIA World Motor Sport Council and still have to be signed off by the F1 Commission, but should see tyre warmers outlawed - a move that has been suggested before to save costs but not adopted amid the safety concerns of driving on cold tyres. The ban will require all-new compounds from Pirelli, but the Italian manufacturer has been open to the idea in the past.
The increase in the minimum weight is designed to level the playing field for heavier drivers, who are at an innate disadvantage this year due to the heavier powertrains in the cars. The minimum weight for car and driver is being upped by 1kg this year to 691kg to account for heavier tyres, but will raise by 10kg to 701kg next season.
In a further push to save costs there are also changes to the 2015 sporting regulations. As of next season a team will not have to design and manufacture its own suspension components and brake ducts to be considered a constructor. Sharing parts such as suspension components has been on the cost cutting agenda for some time and is favoured by many teams as it stops short of full-blown customer cars.
There are also some minor changes to this year's regulations, including a new five second driver penalty that can be added to pit stops by the stewards. If they deem fit, the stewards can enforce a five-second period of inactivity when the car enters its pit box before the mechanics start working on it.
Cars will also be banned from stopping on the slowing-down lap in order to save fuel for post-race checks. In recent years drivers have nearly run their cars dry and then stopped after crossing the line to leave enough fuel in the tank for a sample. That will be banned under the new proposal that requires all cars to return to parc ferme, making life tougher for the teams as they contend with 100kg fuel limits this season.
However, engineers and mechanics have been given a concession with a slight change to the paddock "curfew" for team members. Previously each team was given two "jokers" per season to allow them to work after the curfew and that has now been upped to six because of the more complicated power units this year.