Formula 1’s governing body the FIA has announced a series of tweaks will be made to the grid penalty system for next season, following complaints from fans that is was too confusing.
Drivers are forced to take grid drops when they exceed the limit of engine components over the course of the year, taking a five-place grid penalty for each component.
However, the system has been criticised due to grids, on occasion, being confirmed just a few hours before a race, which was the case at this year’s Italian Grand Prix.
With teams set to be limited to just three engines in 2018, there are concerns grid penalties will only increase.
The issue was brought up on Wednesday at the World Motor Sport Council, the change will consist of drivers who drop 15 places or more will start at the back of the grid.
The FIA released a statement explaining the changes, they said: “The change to the power unit penalty system was also approved, whereby if a driver incurs a penalty exceeding 15 grid places he will be required to start the race from the back of the starting grid.
“If more than one driver receives such a penalty they will be arranged at the back of the grid in the order in which the offences were committed.”
Other changes that will be added into the regulations for next season were also included as follows:
- Regulations relating to procedures for starting or resuming a race behind the safety car.
- Changing the event timetable to increase flexibility.
- Ensuring that testing of previous cars may only take place on tracks currently holding an FIA Grade 1 or 1T licence.
- Provision for demonstration events in previous cars which does not constitute testing. No such demonstrations may exceed 50km in length and only tyres manufactured specifically for this purpose by the appointed supplier may be used.
- Changes to ensure that oil cannot be used as fuel.
- Introduction of a detailed specification for oil.
- A minimum weight and volume for energy storage (batteries).
- Changes to position of cameras and wing mirrors to accommodate the Halo.