Exhaust restrictions among 2012 rule tweaks

7 December, 2011

FIA Logo.

Dec.7 (PVM) The FIA announced several rule tweaks at the end of the final 2011 World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) meeting in New Delhi, India on Wednesday (7 December) – including severe restrictions of how exhaust gases are used for aerodynamic benefit, which many believe was a major factor in the dominance of the double championship winning Red Bull RB7.

Below are the changes to the 2012 Technical Regulations:

• All engine standard ECU set up and control parameters, which were formerly contained only within a Technical Directive, are now contained within the relevant parts of the Technical Regulations.
• The exhaust tailpipes are now strictly regulated in order to ensure that the aerodynamic effect exhaust gases have on the car is kept to an absolute minimum.
• Better marking of in-car emergency switches operated by marshals are now stipulated.
• The side impact structures will now have to be subjected to a further (upward) push-off test.

Changes to the 2012 Sporting Regulations:

• Cars may no longer take part in pre-season testing without having passed all crash tests.
• There will now be a maximum race time of four hours to ensure that a lengthy suspension of a race does not result in a race that could run up to eight hours if left unregulated.
• Before the safety car returns to the pits all lapped cars will be allowed to unlap themselves and then join the back of the pack, ensuring a clean re-start without slower cars impeding those racing for the leading positions.
• Cars which were in the pit lane when a race is suspended will now be allowed to re-join the cars on the grid in the position they were in when the race was suspended.
• Drivers may no longer leave the track without a justifiable reason, i.e. cutting a chicane on reconnaissance laps or ‘in’ laps to save time and fuel.
• Drivers may no longer move back onto the racing line having moved off it to defend a position.
• One three-day test will be carried out during the season, formerly there were none.
• All stewards’ decisions which are not subject to appeal are now in one place instead of being in various places within the regulations.
• All tyres allocated to a driver may now be used on the first day of practice; formerly only three sets were permitted.

The 2012 FIA Formula One World Championship calendar was confirmed as previously published.

Earlier FIA President, Jean Todt, opened the meeting by thanking Vijay Mallya and Vicky Chandhok for their hospitality and for hosting the week of FIA meetings in India


  • Twiinz

    “Before the safety car returns to the pits all lapped cars will be allowed to unlap themselves and then join the back of the pack, ensuring a clean re-start without slower cars impeding those racing for the leading positions.” WOOOHOOO! I have said this for years. It will improve the show.
    “Drivers may no longer move back onto the racing line having moved off it to defend a position.” So they stay off line through the turn and then resume the line? This will be cause for many penalties next year.

  • asahjaya

    How is this unlap thing going to be done? Do the driver pick-up speed and do the lap or just drop down the line and sorted out?

  • Firoze Munzeer

    “Drivers may no longer move back onto the racing line having moved off it to defend a position.”

    This is the Best News. Slower cars will not be able to impede the faster cars.

    If this was in place last year 2010 Alonso would have won the title and not Vettel. Petrov kept Alonso behind.

    This year there were many tussles by the slower driver Massa and the faster Hamilton. If the rule was in place this year there would not have been impacts between Hamilton and Massa. Further more Hamilton would have benefited and not been penalised in Monaco, would not have crashed with Button in Canada etc. I feel at the end of this year it may have been a different storey and wonder how the championship would have ended if this rule was in place this year.

    Blocking another faster car is definitely not racing. If you want to defend your position drive faster and not block. It reminds me of American football where they go for the player who is not carrying the ball where as in Rugby it is just the opposite. This rule will help faster drivers in tracks like Monaco, Spain. Singapore and other tracks.

    We are going to have some super racing in 2012 on an even playing field.

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