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Notes from the World Motor Sport Council in Geneva - Five second penalties, increased weight limits and curfew extensions

Published by Christine

The FIA's World Motor Sport Council got together to make some last minute decisions about the coming Formula One season, particularly confirming exactly how the proposed five second penalty will work. Meeting in Geneva, there were also regulation tweaks regarding the slowing down lap, after we saw a lot of drivers stopping on their in-lap to save fuel.

The specific clarifications are as follows.

  • The Stewards may now impose a five second time penalty which can be taken before work is carried out on the car in a pit stop
  • Team personnel must also wear helmets during qualifying, as well as the race
  • Drivers may not stop on the slowing down lap to save fuel for sampling and subsequent analysis; this will not be considered justifiable reason for stopping
  • For 2014 only, each team will be allowed six curfew ‘jokers’, previously there were two permitted. This is to allow more flexibility for working on the new engines and cars
  • The weight of the car, without fuel, must not be less than 691kg at all times during the Event. The weight limit has increased by 1kg to take into account the difference in weight between the tyres in 2013 and 2014

The five second penalty still raises more questions than it answers - what if a driver doesn't have another pit stop to take, and how exactly are they going to measure it? I'm also surprised to see the flexibility increased on curfews, particularly as the season hasn't gotten any smaller, and the exhaustion factor is still going to be present.

The WMSC also looked further ahead into the future, tweaking the definition of a constructor in 2015, and also attempting another ban on tyre warmers. The minimum car weight is set for another increase that year, up to 701kg. The full report from the meeting of the WMSC in Geneva is available from the FIA.