F1 drivers get permanent numbers, earn double points as part of new regulations

F1 drivers get permanent numbers, earn double points as part of new regulations image

Text: Eric Tipan / Photos: | posted December 11, 2013 11:47

Reigning world champion gets to use #1 if he so chooses

The Formula One Commission and F1 Strategy Group recently finished ironing out new regulations for the upcoming seasons of F1.  Issues on financial sustainability, safety, penalties and incentives were brought up and it resulted in some controversial new changes.

A cost cap has been agreed upon and will be implemented on January 2015.  Representatives from the FIA, Commercial Rights Holder the Team will get together to work on the guidelines of the cap for approval by June 2014.

Formula 1 has also allowed Pirelli to invite teams to participate in a three-day test of their tires in Bahrain on December 17-19, 2013 and so far 6 teams (Red Bull Racing, Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren, Force India and Toro Rosso) have accepted the invitation.

Drivers, starting next season, will also be asked to choose a number between 2 to 99 and use it for the duration of their career.  #1 is reserved for the current World Champion is he wishes to use it and in cases where drivers pick the same number,  the one who finished with more point from the season gets to keep the number.

A 5-second penalty for minor infringements has been agreed upon as well but a discussion with F1 teams is in order to finalize the guidelines for its implementation starting in the 2014 season.

A new and highly controversial ‘Double Points System’ has been put in place but only for the final race of the season.  This is to ensure that teams and drivers perform at an optimum level until the final lap of the season regardless of their ranking in the championship prior to the last race.

“These changes are immediately applicable, given the mandate assigned to the FIA President at the last World Motor Sport Council meeting, held on 4 December in Paris,” said the FIA in a statement.