The FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile) has approved a number of changes to the 2016 Formula One's Technical and Sporting regulations. This was confirmed through FIA's World Motor Sport Council meeting in Paris.
In terms of the 'Technical' changes, the FIA said that the number of power unit tokens allowed for the in-season development will be allocated as follows over the coming seasons:
2016 – 32
2017 – 25
2018 – 20
2019 – 15
The FIA added that any new 'Power Unit' manufacturer will be allocated 15 tokens in their first year and 31 in their second.
Other than the revised power unit tokens, the FIA stated that the padded areas around the driver's head have been increased in thickness for improved safety.
On the other hand, FIA has also released a number of 'Sporting' changes starting with the tire selection. For 2016, the tire supplier will provide three, instead of two, dry-weather compounds at each round. Of the 13 set of tires allocated to each F1 driver, tire suppliers Pirelli will select three sets, while drivers will have the freedom to choose their remaining ten sets from the three available compunds.
The FIA goes on by saying that “unless intermediate or wet-weather tires have been used, a driver must use at least two different specifications of dry-weather tires – at least one of these must be the one chosen by the tire supplier.
The Virtual Safety Car (VSC) may now be used in practice sessions in order to reduce stoppage times. In addition, DRS will now be re-enabled immediately after a VSC period.
The governing body also stated that Power Units (PU) homologated in previous seasons may now be re-homologated. Previously, no manufacturer could supply more than one specification of PU.
The World Motor Sport Council was also advised that the FIA had agreed for Ferrari to supply a fourth customer team with a 2015-specification PU in 2016.
Furthermore, the Council approved a mandate for FIA President Jean Todt and F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone to make recommendations and decisions regarding a number of pressing issues in F1 such as governance, PU and cost reduction.
As an update, the 2016 F1 calendar has been adjusted during the FIA's council meeting. In this regard, the Mexican Gran Prix has been moved from November 6 to October 30.