The World Motor Sport Council has ratified a number of rule changes to facilitate Formula 1’s return to action next month, following a long delay to the start of the 2020 F1 season because of the coronavirus pandemic.
One of the rule changes is a revised starting procedure as part of new protocols aimed at cutting the number of employees in close proximity.
The pit exit will now open 30 minutes prior to the start of the grand prix, rather than 40 minutes, in which all drivers must make their way to grid under their own power.
A maximum of 40 team personnel will be permitted access to the grid for each car, but when the five minute signal is given, 24 crew members must begin leaving the grid with just 16 permitted after the three minute warning.
Any team members on the grid 15 seconds prior to the start of the formation lap will force that driver to start from the pitlane and a penalty will be imposed if they fail to.
The curfew on team personnel gaining access to the circuit has been cut from nine hours to eight.
“No team personnel who are associated in any way with the operation of the cars are permitted within the confines of the circuit during two eight hour restricted periods which commence eleven hours before the scheduled start times of P1 (Practice 1) and P3 (Practice 3).
“With the exception of Monaco, if the unrestricted time between the end of P2 and the start of the second restricted period exceeds nine hours the excess will be added to the second restricted period.
“Each team will be permitted two individual exceptions to the above during a Championship season, however, both of these exceptions may not be used during a single Event.”