• Article 39.1 prohibiting team orders deleted at WMSC meeting
• Plans to make Formula One engines greener unveiled
The FIA has removed the regulation banning team orders from its rulebook following this year’s controversy at the German grand prix, which led to Ferrari being fined £65,000 by race stewards.
After coded messages over the team radio Felipe Massa ceded a potential victory to his team-mate, Fernando Alonso, a move that sparked outrage at the time. After meeting the stewards Ferrari were deemed in breach of article 39.1 of the FIA 2010 sporting regulations that states “team orders which interfere with a race result are prohibited”. But following today’s meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Monaco, the sport’s governing body said the rule has now been deleted.
A WMSC statement read: “Teams will be reminded [that] any actions liable to bring the sport into disrepute are dealt with under article 151c of the International Sporting Code and any other relevant provisions.” Article 151c is effectively the FIA’s catch-all regulation that relates to “any fraudulent conduct, or any act prejudicial to the interests of any competition or to the interests of motor sport generally”. It was a rule that resulted in McLaren being fined almost £50m in 2007 over the spying scandal.
The omission of the team orders regulation headlines a raft of other changes that have been made for 2011. The WMSC has approved amendments to the list of penalties stewards are permitted to apply, made revisions to driving and driver conduct, reintroduced intermediate tyres for 2011 and stipulated that gearboxes must be used for five consecutive races rather than the current four.
They have also introduced a regulation that allows the race director, Charlie Whiting, to close the pit lane during a race for safety reasons, as well as providing a clarification on when cars may overtake the safety car.
The FIA also confirmed its intention to introduce radical new engine regulations from 2013 that will ensure the sport becomes far more environmentally friendly.
Following dialogue with the four engine manufacturers – Ferrari, Renault, Mercedes and Cosworth – the powerplants will be 1.6-litre, four-cylinder units with high-pressure fuel injection, and with a maximum 12,000rpm. The quartet now have 27 months to deliver the new powerplants that will replace the current 2.4-litre V8s.
VW/Audi, who had apparently been awaiting today’s announcement with some interest, may also now come into the reckoning as an engine supplier in light of the FIA’s forward-thinking plans.
According to the FIA, the new engines will deliver a 35% reduction in fuel consumption and will feature extensive energy management and recovery systems, yet maintaining current levels of performance.
From next year F1 is already due to see the re-introduction of Kers (kinetic energy recovery system), a device that stores energy from braking and converts it into power used to boost acceleration.
According to motor sport’s world governing body, the announcement “underlines the FIA’s commitment to improving sustainability and addressing the needs of the automotive industry”.
In a further move to cut engine costs, from 2013 drivers will only be allowed to use five engines per season – the limit is currently eight – with that figure cut to four from 2014.