Tag Archives: FIA

FIA confirms start clampdown with restrictions for Belgian GP

The FIA has tonight informed the F1 teams of new procedures with regard to starts from the Belgian GP onwards, as mandated by the recent Strategy Group meeting.

The basic idea is to stop drivers being fed information on clutch bite points in the build-up to the start.

The governing body has says it wants to ensure that Article 20.1 of the F1 Sporting Regulations, which says that “the driver must drive the car alone and unaided,” is respected. That rule will enforced more rigorously with “the aim of ensuring that drivers will be solely responsible for preparing for race starts.”

Technical directive TD/017-15, titled “Start Practice and Start Procedures,” reveals that the FIA will address the matter of the adjustment of bite points from both a technical perspective, and via the expected clampdown on radio traffic.

From now on the clutch bite point may not be changed from the time the car leaves the garage for the first time after the pit lane is open on the day of the race, until after the start lockout period after the race has started.

In addition bite point finder activation by the driver has to be inhibited by disabling any driver button or switch associated with that function. The FIA adds that the “bite point update from the bite point finder should be disabled by setting BBitePointFinderUsed to zero.”

The FIA says that all pit-to-car communications during any reconnaissance or formation laps will be limited to safety and sporting information, so in other words there can be no discussion of start procedures.

The only permissible radio conversations during those pre-race laps will involve indication of a critical problem with the car, such as puncture warning or damage, an indication of a problem with a competitor’s car, an instruction to enter the pit lane in order to fix or retire the car, marshalling information (for example yellow flag, red flag, race start aborted or other similar instructions), information regarding a wet track, oil or debris in certain corners, or finally instructions to swap position with other drivers, for example if someone is late off the dummy grid.

The FIA says that any other message at these times would be considered a breach of Article 20.1 of the Sporting Regulations.


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“Je regrette” says Streiff as he apologises to Todt

Philippe Streiff did not waste time in apologising

Philippe Streiff did not waste time in apologising

Philippe Steiff has acted quickly to fend off legal action from the FIA, Jean Todt and Gerard Saillant by apologising for comments he made about them in a web TV interview.

The former F1 driver had in essence questioned both the findings and composition of the FIA Accident Panel that investigated the Jules Bianchi accident.

After legal action was promised by the FIA yesterday he used Facebook to make an apology.

He said: “I let myself get carried away in front of the camera; the interview took a long time – too long – and I am aware that I made insulting and defamatory comments about Jean Todt, Gérard Saillant and the FIA, which I sincerely regret.

“I refute and take back these accusations, which are unfounded, and ask the press to remove them from their media.

“Lastly, I ask Jean Todt and Gérard Saillant, who are well aware of my health problems, to excuse me. I regret having said things about them that are totally out of line with the consideration that they both deserve.”


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How will the FIA spend its Concorde cash?

The FIA’s confirmation that the new Concorde Agreement will bring in extra funds has put a focus on how that money will be used by the governing body.

A statement today said: “This agreement provides the FIA with significantly improved financial means to pursue its regulatory missions and to reflect the enhanced role undertaken by the FIA in the Motor Sport [sic].”

Jean Todt’s plans for those funds are a subject of great debate within the FIA, not least because after six years the “McLaren money” – generated from the team’s infamous 2007 Spygate fine – will no longer be available for grass roots funding.

Todt is believed to be planning to split it between sport and mobility, with a further sum allocated to developing a new FIA HQ in Switzerland. That proposed division has apparently not gone down well with those who believe that the cash should be ploughed back into the sport.

In the World Motor Sport Council today a member brought the subject up, and Todt apparently promised to establish a commission to discuss the matter.

Meanwhile presidential candidate David Ward said today: “The question now is what will the new resources from Concorde be used for? The answer should be for investment in ‘grass roots’ development of motor sport.

“In my manifesto I have proposed to ‘use all the revenue in excess of regulatory costs of the F1 Championship for investment in motor sport safety, sustainability, solidarity funding of ASN development programmes, and for training of officials and volunteers.

“Jean Todt has yet to publish a manifesto or explain how he will use the new funds now available to the FIA. Sooner rather than later this should be made clear to the FIA membership.”

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Bernie Ecclestone: “FOM and Pirelli have a contract…”

Bernie Ecclestone has downplayed Michelin’s prospects of replacing Pirelli as F1’s sole tyre supplier, despite the French company formally confirming to the FIA that it is interested in the role.

Ecclestone has always been close to Pirelli, while FIA President Jean Todt is known to be sympathetic to Michelin.

One senior team figure told this blog at Spa that it would require a bold decision by Todt to open the door for Michelin at this late stage, and given that an FIA election is the way, such a controversial move seemed unlikely to happen.

When questioned by about Michelin’s chances Ecclestone said simply that “FOM and Pirelli have a contract.”

Asked why there was not yet a contract between the FIA and Pirelli – the one that Paul Hembery is awaiting – Bernie dismissed its relevance.

“We don’t need one, I don’t think,” he told this blog. “They are nothing to do with commercial. The FIA’s position is that they are regulators, they regulate all the regulations that have been agreed.”

He was keen to downplay any role for Todt in the process of selecting the tyre supplier.

“Jean is the president of the FIA. If it’s a matter of a vote in the World Council, he has one vote. As it’s not a matter for the World Council, it doesn’t make a lot of difference.”

Bernie also denied that there was any interest from the teams in joining forces with Michelin.

“None of the teams who have spoken to me have said that. All the teams who have spoken to me say they are very happy with Pirelli, and the problems they’ve had, they’re happy that they’ve dealt with them.”

Although the regulations currently ensure that F1 has a sole supplier, there does seem to be some logic in a potential move towards competition in the future, especially if both companies are willing to pump money into the sport.

Intriguingly Bernie indicated that he does not support the idea of Michelin competing with Pirelli: “Because they will want to pick the teams that they think will win, and they’ll pay them a lot more money to take them as opposed to somebody else. We have a deal with Pirelli, anyway.”

Exactly how the tyre saga will play out in the coming weeks remains to be seen, but the bottom line is that time is running out for all concerned.


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