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FIA set to introduce permanent F1 driver numbers - 5 second penalties, double points in Abu Dhabi and a 2015 cost cap too

Published by Christine

Vettel is F1's number one
Credit: Thompson/Getty

The FIA have today revealed some of the changes set to occur within Formula One over the next few seasons, with one of the more popular suggestions the implementation of permanent driver numbers. Whilst there have been some infamous driver/number pairings in F1 (Red 5 comes to mind), it is something that has been shown off to great effect in NASCAR.

Drivers will be allowed to choose their numbers, barring the #1 spot - that is reserved for the champion, who may or may not want to run with it. The remaining drivers will place their selections for the 2014 season, and if any two want the same number, preference will go to the driver who finished ahead in the standings this year.

What's the point?

The other headline-grabbing item agreed by the Strategy Group, the F1 Commission and the governing body, is the introduction of double points at the final race of the year. In 2014, that will be Abu Dhabi, and the intent is to keep championship hopes alive for longer, and presumably to extend interest in the season as well.

A win at the last event will be worth 50 points, meaning the final race of the year becomes a hugely important part of the season - although technically it wouldn't have made any difference to this year's results.

The only other explicit announcements were an official tyre test for Pirelli, set to take place in Bahrain next week, with Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren, Force India and Toro Rosso all ready to strap on the tyres and work through some of the safety issues we have seen over the past season.

A costly business

A plan for a cost cap has been bouncing around for several years, but the principle has been agreed to come into effect from January 2015. There are no specific details about amounts or how this will be regulated, and a working group will be set up to make those decisions. Final approval needs to be in place by the end of June next year.

And lastly, the FIA intend to introduce a new five-second penalty for smaller infringements, but they have not yet decided how that will be applied, or what form it will take.

In summary, a number of exciting announcements, seemingly with a keen effort to enact change, despite the controversy these plans will cause. The anticipated mandatory pit stop regulation that caused a minor uproar amongst fans last month was not mentioned today.

We await more details about the ideas raised by the FIA today with interest.