The FIA has instigated a new safety feature by making high-tech light panels mandatory at all circuits that host Formula 1 and MotoGP races from 2022 onwards.
The panels must also be permanently installed at all venues that host the FIA World Endurance Championship, FIM WorldSBK and FIM EWC from 2023 onwards.
For F1, the championship promoter is currently responsible for the transportation of the panels to circuits ahead of a race weekend, before they are taken down for the next event.
As a consequence, other racing categories do not have access to the panels, which can be operated by race control or the marshals at track side.
The panels provide key details to the drivers such as flag information, safety car periods and weather conditions.
Due to the new regulation, all Grade 1 FIA tracks that are on the F1 schedule will have the T1-spec homologated light panels as a permanent feature.
The FIM circuits that will be part of the MotoGP, World SuperBike and Endurance calendars will be required to install the T1 or T2-spec homologated light panels.
This system will continue into Grade 3 FIA tracks in 2024, which will be forced to set up T3-spec light panels that host FIA Championships.
British manufacturer EM Motorsport is the only creator that has so far successfully passed the FIA tests for T1 and T2 panels, however a number of other manufacturers are in the process of homologating their system. Pixelcom, a Spanish company, is currently the sole provider of the T3 panels.
“This is another important step in the collaboration between the FIA and FIM on circuit safety,” said Stuart Robertson, FIA Head of Circuit and Rally Safety.
“It will ensure that all championships that race on these top-level circuits can have access to the latest safety innovations.”