Safety car standing starts confirmed in 2015 F1 rule changes

The FIA World Motor Sport Council has passed a package of changes for 2015. The most controversial is the move to standing starts after safety car periods, although these will not take place close to the start or finish of the race.

The ban on tyre warmers scheduled for 2015 has been abandoned, while there is a cut back on in-season testing, as teams found that the four sessions planned for this year were too expensive and logistically challenging. There will now be two sessions. The full list of changes is as follows:

The last date at which the sporting and technical regulations can be changed without unanimous agreement has been changed from 30 June to 1 March each year, starting from 2015.

Changes to 2015 Sporting Regulations

Power units

The number of engines permitted by each driver in a season will be four. However, if there are more than 20 races in a season, the number will increase to five.

The penalty for a complete change of Power Unit will be starting from the back of the grid, not the pit lane.

Aerodynamic testing

The number of wind tunnel runs will be reduced from 80 hours per week to 65 hours per week.

Wind-on hours are to be reduced from 30 hours per week to 25 hours.

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) usage is to be reduced from 30 Teraflops to 25 Teraflops.

Two periods of tunnel occupancy will be allowed in one day (rather than only one).

Teams will only be able to nominate one wind tunnel in one year.


There will be three pre-season tests of four days each in Europe in 2015 (currently teams are able to test outside Europe). This will be reduced to two tests of four days in 2016.

There will be two in-season tests of two days each in Europe (instead of the current four). Two of these four days must be reserved for young drivers.

Car specification at an Event

The current restrictions to the parc fermé will now apply from the start of P3 instead of the start of qualifying.

Wheels and tyres

The ban on tyre blankets will be rescinded for 2015. This will be re-discussed if and when the wheel and tyre diameter increases in the future. 

Personnel Curfew

The Friday night curfew will be extended from six to seven hours in 2015 and will increase to eight hours in 2016.

Safety Car restarts

Safety Car restarts will now be a standing start from the grid. Standing starts will not be carried out if the Safety Car is used within two laps of the start (or restart) of a race or if there are less than five laps of the race remaining.

Changes to 2015 Technical Regulations

A number of changes have been made, including:

A number of new regulations for the noses to ensure improved safety and to provide more aesthetically pleasing structures.

A number of new regulations concerning skid blocks to ensure that they are made from a lighter material (titanium) and are better contained.

New regulations to ensure that the brake discs rotate at the same speed as the wheels.

A two-stage wheel fastener retaining system is now compulsory.


Filed under F1 News, Grand Prix News

12 responses to “Safety car standing starts confirmed in 2015 F1 rule changes

  1. The mind boggles.

    I’ve nothing against standing restarts, per se, but then they should just get rid of the SC and its complications altogether and have a stoppage.

    I don’t understand the logic of reducing the in-season testing. They’re optional tests. If you can’t afford to be there, then don’t go. Sure, you’ll miss some opportunities to learn. But if you’re a have-not team, you’re missing opportunities anyway, even if everyone is at the factories because if inferior simulation/simulators.

    And then to go on to say that you now can’t make any changes between P3 and Qualifying, further tiling the balance towards those teams wealthy enough to invest heavily in simulation and arrive at the track already knowing the set ups.

    It’s just silly.

    • Why introduce standing starts after the safety car? I mean… It just wastes laps of the race. Just red flag it instead.

      • sperry

        I have to assume that pulling a field of hot cars off-track into the garages where they’re cooled down and reset for a new standing start will likely take longer than the time it takes to clean up the track in most cases. Allowing the cars to circuit behind the safety car allows them to stay cool enough to re-grid for a standing restart.

        Might as well just require the cars to have starters and onboard cooling fans so they can just head straight to the grid behind the SC, and wait there to restart.

        That said, the whole idea seems a little silly in general… it’s just going to allow SC periods to breed DNFs as drivers make stupid decisions in T1 at each restart, which I assume is why the rule switches back to flying restarts for 2 laps after a standing restart.

  2. Glen

    Re: Standing restarts. How do they intend to prevent a situation the same as Singapore 2008? The lead driver pits, nobody ahead of them has, and the second driver brings out the yellow flags. The lead driver has not only a performance advantage over everyone ahead from a standing start but a pit-stop time advantage too. This can happen to a lesser degree with rolling starts, but not to the scale the standing starts will. I’m sure Alonso is all for it.

  3. Oh my! It’s even worse than I thought. No changes from the *start* of P3! Good lord.

    Adam, an honest question. Do the powers that be know how deeply unpopular some of the things they push through are?

    I don’t mean things like the engine regs, or re-fuelling where there is a legitimate range of opinions among fans. But things like Double Points and, by the looks of it, this standing restarts thing where it is pretty clear that the fan-base is strongly united. For those two in particular it was clear from long before the formal vote that the fans objected strenuously.


  4. h.nelson

    Complete rubbish . no meaning full cost reduction . no thought of how to restart . Once again fans at event short changed . how can a sport such as f1 allow it to once again be hijacked by an out of touch 80 year old.
    how about only 4 mechanics allowed to change tyres at any given time . more entertaining and definitely reduces cost.

  5. Peterg

    I have an open mind, but, the standing restarts would seem fraught with potential problems.

    The ban on tyre warmers should have been kept. One of the things that appealed most, in CART’s glory days, was a driver leaving the pits on cold tyres and then managing the car for the lap or two it took as they came up to temperature. If F1 wants to spice up the show, and create some passing opportunities, this would have been a good place to start.

  6. gj

    Ive been a big fan of f1 since the time of hakkinen-schumi era. Rules has changed the race and its been less and less exciting for us viewers every year. Now i only watch when i have time not unlike before that i make time for it. The biggest loss was the battle of the pits wherin the drivers load up gas and change tires. This is where the excitement begins..tactics, risks and drama unfolds once we have these things back in f1.. and of course, bring those noisy engines back.

    • Peterg

      gj, I too enjoyed the Schui-Hakkinen era, but the ban on refuelling was one of the positive changes IMHO.

      All races were two stoppers, the cars were balanced with a weight/fuel load for 3 stints. Now they start heavy and finish light, the car can never be set up perfectly and a driver has to adjust to the car changing as the load comes down. Those glory days of the 70’s and 80’s did not have refuelling and are remembered as the good old days.

      If I recall, refuelling was introduced in 94, not just to spice up the action……. but because Ferrari was running a thirsty V12.

  7. Brian

    So, which is now easier to explain to a novice – Formula One rules or String Theory?

    They want to “improve the show” but every one of the recent “improvemnts” has been a bull**** gimmick that has zero bearing on improving the *racing*.

    How come no one inside the hall of the FIA ever signs his name to any of these idiotic “improvements”? And is there no one at the table who can/will point of the lunacy of this stuff and just how much it is damaging F1?

    Just how much time will one of these restarts take? Ten minutes? Twenty? Thirty? Can they change tires? Work on the cars? Can the drivers get out and have a pee and a pastry? How many races will now hit the two-hour time limit?

    Just amazing.


  8. Steve W

    I like this one:

    “New regulations to ensure that the brake discs rotate at the same speed as the wheels.”

    I know about this “brake-by-wire”, but what are the teams doing here?

  9. This is a good move to bring more excitement to the sport, as race starts are one of the best things of the race. From this post I also get to know that they are pulling their decision of banning tyre warmer, which is also good for the sport. But I don’t understand why FIA didn’t allow the smaller teams to use more fuel and different tyres choices to become more competitive and that ultimately bring more excitement to the sport, like Motogp do.

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