Ryan Wood  |    6 December 2017

FIA approves grid penalty tweak for 2018


The FIA's World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) has approved a minor tweak to the penalty system in order to reduce the confusion caused when a high number of drivers are penalised – a common occurence during the 2017 season.

The Italian Grand Prix was one of several races this year where a host of penalties dramatically altered the starting grid, with only four drivers remaining in the position that they qualified due to the four engine per season limit.

With that dropping to just three in 2018, it's expected the number of grid penalties – which exceeded 700 places this season – could rise further, therefore the FIA has made a minor tweak to simplify the system.

If a driver is hit with a penalty exceeding 15 places, they must start from the back and if multiple drivers are penalised, they will line-up in the order that the penalty was applied.

"A change to the power unit penalty system was approved, whereby if a driver incurs a penalty exceeding 15 grid places he will be required to start the race from the back of the starting grid," read a WMSC statement.

"If more than one driver receives such a penalty they will be arranged at the back of the grid in the order in which the offences were committed."

A number of other changes have been approved, though detailed informaton hasn't been released.

- Regulations relating to procedures for starting or resuming a race behind the safety car
- Changing the event timetable to increase flexibility
- Ensuring that testing of previous cars may only take place on tracks currently holding an FIA Grade 1 or 1T licence
- Provision for demonstration events in previous cars which does not constitute testing. No such demonstrations may exceed 50km in length and only tyres manufactured specifically for this purpose by the appointed supplier may be used
- Changes to ensure that oil cannot be used as fuel
- Introduction of a detailed specification for oil
- A minimum weight and volume for energy storage (batteries)
- Changes to position of cameras and wing mirrors to accommodate the Halo


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