Formula 1: Race starts will change after strategy review

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
Formula 1 cars line up on the grid
F1 bosses wants to "enhance the excitement and unpredictability" of the sport with these new changes

Formula 1 is to restrict the amount of help drivers receive from electronic aids and team coaching by the Belgian Grand Prix in two races' time.

Governing body the FIA said the changes would have "a particular emphasis on race starts" to ensure drivers were "back in full control of the car".

It added the changes would "enhance excitement and unpredictability".

Among a series of other plans, the penalty system governing engine changes will be overhauled.

Formula 1: The next four races
3-5 July: British Grand Prix (Silverstone)21-23 Aug: Belgian Grand Prix (Spa-Francorchamps)
24-26 July: Hungarian Grand Prix (Budapest)4-6 Sep: Italian Grand Prix (Monza)

The changes, agreed at a meeting of the rule-making strategy group on Wednesday, also include:

  • greater freedom on tyre choices for teams at each race
  • changes to the exhaust systems to "improve engine noise for 2016", after criticism of the sound of the turbo hybrid engines that made their debut last season
  • an extra power unit per driver for an engine manufacturer in its first season, which will apply retroactively to McLaren's partner Honda this year
  • a review of power unit development and supply as well as the race fuel allowance and limitations on engine testing
  • pressing ahead with plans for faster and more aggressive-looking cars for 2017

A statement from the FIA added that "several exciting and innovative changes to the qualifying and race weekend formats have also been discussed and are being evaluated for introduction in 2016".

There was no detail on what these might be, although there have been suggestions that there might be a second, shorter race on Saturdays.