FIA tidies up F1 regulations for 2016 and beyond

In addition to ratifying the 2016 calendar the World Motor Sport Council has agreed on several other “housekeeping” measures.

Among them is an attempt to address the issue of engine noise.

The governing body summarises them as follows: “Cars must now comply with all cockpit and safety equipment requirements during testing; such as the position of the driver’s head, all headrest padding, cockpit padding and ease of driver egress.

Sporting Regulations regarding track limits have been clarified and specify that drivers “must make every reasonable effort to use the track at all times and may not deliberately leave the track without a justifiable reason”. Penalties will still be allocated based on whether a driver is judged to have gained an advantage.

The WMSC approved the proposal of the F1 Commission regarding regulations for power unit and gearbox changes. Such penalties prior to qualifying will be applied based on the time of use. For changes made after qualifying, preference will be given to the driver whose team first informed the technical delegate that a change will occur.

Any driver who causes a start to be aborted, even if he is then able to start the extra formation lap, will be required to start the race from the pit lane. The same process will be applied to a re-start from a race suspension where drivers have been brought to the pit lane.

The WMSC confirmed a number of clarifications were made to aerodynamic testing restrictions for wind tunnel use and CFD, specifically focusing on reporting and inspection processes for these development tools.

For 2016, all cars must have a separate exhaust wastegate tailpipe through which all and only wastegate exhaust gases must pass. This measure has been undertaken to increase the noise of the cars and will not have any significant effect on power or emissions.

For 2017, on board cameras on stalks on the nose of cars will be prohibited.”


Filed under F1, F1 News, Grand Prix News

6 responses to “FIA tidies up F1 regulations for 2016 and beyond

  1. Mick

    Can someone explain the exhaust rule change – how is it different to now, how does that increase noise?

    • andresomers

      Why is it even required to up the noise level?

    • Brian

      Turbochargers are are driven by engine exhaust gas pressure. At some point all that pressure has to be relieved – the gasses used to spin the turbo have to be released. Normally, that’s done through a “popoff valve”, “blowoff valve”, or “pressure release valve.” (all the same thing – just different names.) When that valve opens (on most cars this is triggered by lifting off of, or closing, the throttle) those gasses are released to the atmosphere. They can either go into the downstream (from the turbo) exhaust stream or out via their own outlet. This second option seems to be what they are now going to mandate and, while might make the cars a bit louder it could certainly make them more interesting to listen to.

      Here’s a YouTube video where you can hear what street car blowoff valves CAN sound like. The sound can be anywhere from almost silent to shockingly loud but it’s still no replacement for a 12,000 RPM V10 😦


      • petes

        Well that didn’t do a lot for me Brian.
        And the thought of F1 cars sounding more like boy racers seen on streets everywhere, is actually quite depressing.

      • Brian

        Mick asked, I answered.

        The example was just to show the basic premise of what they are fiddling with. It’s standard turbo motor equipment. The ones in the video are just aftermarket versions that replace the factory unit. But with the PSI values that the F1 units are using, the audio potential should be both large and tunable. And I doubt very much that it will be in the “boy racer” range of noises 🙂

        Btw, another word for them is “waste gate.”

        As for “depressing” – I understand. But we’re now years down the road with the DRS system so why stop there? Sigh.


      • Mick

        Thanks Brian. As an armchair rather than trackside F1 fan, I actually like the sounds of the new power units. I can hear a lot more of what is going on in the car – wheel spin, tiny lifts off throttle etc.

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