Standing restarts confirmed for 2015

Standing restarts confirmed for 2015

26 June 2014 – From the 2015 season, Safety Car periods will be followed by standing restarts. The new rule is one of a number of changes outlined by the FIA after a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council on Thursday.

The idea of standing restarts, which will not be carried out if the Safety Car is used within two laps of the start – or restart – or if there are less than five laps to run, was first mooted ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix as teams looked at ways of improving the show, and it has now been rubber-stamped at the latest conference in Munich.

Also confirmed is the expected change to pre-season testing, with a trio of four-day tests, all on European soil, taking place in 2015. For 2016, the amount of tests permitted will be reduced to two, four-day gatherings.

In-season testing will remain in place next season, but it will be cut in half to a pair of two-day tests, again in Europe. Teams must give 'young drivers' a full day at the wheel on at least two of the four allocated days.

There are also cuts to wind tunnel testing, with teams only allowed to use one tunnel per year and runs reducing from 80 to 65 hours per week. This will be backed up by restrictions to wind-on hours and CFD usage.

In another anticipated alteration, the ban on tyre blankets has been rescinded. The FIA has confirmed, however, that the matter will be re-evaluated "if and when the wheel and tyre diameter increases in the future".

On the engine front, the number of power units permitted per driver, per season will be cut to four, but it has been clarified that this allocation will return to five if there are more than 20 races in any given season.

Meanwhile, the penalty for a total power unit change will be starting from the back of the grid, not the pit lane.

Parc Ferme is another area to be tweaked, with conditions applying from FP3, as opposed to qualifying, while the Friday night curfew will be extended from six to seven hours in 2015 before increasing to eight hours in 2016.

A number of technical changes have also been ratified; the current controversial nose designs will be pushed aside in a bid to improve safety and aesthetics, while sparking titanium skidblocks – trialled by Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg and Ferrari's Kimi Räikkönen during practice at the Red Bull Ring – are due to be introduced.

It has also been stated that the last date at which modifications to the sporting and technical regulations can be made without unanimous agreement will now be March 1, as opposed to June 30, starting from 2015.

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