Formula One is one of the the most highly regulated racing motor sports and those rules have helped it develop a substantial international following. F1 rules and regulations are made and enforced by FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile). The rules have changed dramatically over the years since its initial World Championship in 1950 which helped it’s popularity grow. Below is an overview of the current rules and regulations governing Formula One racing.
All the F1 cars should not exceed 95 cm tall and 200 cm wide. There is no specified length though most F1 cars tend to have similar lengths. Cars must be equipped with roll configurations both behind and in front of the driver.
Tires and wheels
Pirelli is the only authorized supplier of car tires used in F1. This is to help boost the safety of the car and the driver. Pirelli provides both dry and wet-weather tires. FIA has made it a mandate that all F1 cars should have four exposed wheels made of magnesium. Front wheels should measure 370-385 mm while the rear wheels should be between 455-470 mm.
Tires must be inflated with nitrogen or air and that there should be no modification whatsoever. The use of wet tires is obligatory in case the race is started behind the safety car during heavy rains.
Driver Protocol and Penalty
These are rules that govern on-track driver behavior. A driver that commits an offense will be penalized. Jumping at the start of the race, blocking other drivers unfairly, causing an accident intentionally, speeding in the pit lane and obstructing another driver while being overlapped are all offenses. All drivers are required to use the track and not make any attempt to leave it.
The common penalties you can incur after committing an offense include a five-second penalty, drive-through penalty or ten-second time penalty. During the time penalties, you are required to drive to your garage and stop until the time’s over then rejoin the race. The ten-second time penalty has two options. One is mandatory, and you must accept. The other one allows you to complete the race then take the penalty. Failure to follow and accept the penalties of the steward can mean you’ll receive a black flag and be omitted from the race. Stewards have the mandate to reprimand you, drop you any grid position number in the preceding Grand Prix or even suspend you from the next race.
Race Start etiquette
Pit exit is opened half an hour before the formation lap starts. You’ll be allowed to leave the pit to pay a reconnaissance lap then stop at the grid in the start order with all engines turned off. Signals are shown 10, 5, 3, 1 and 15 seconds before that onset of the formation lap. Engines should be turned when the one-minute signal is given. If you’ve got a problem before the race starts, you can raise your arm, and the race start will be terminated.
Safety car and race suspension
The safety car is controlled and driven by a skilled circuit driver. It carries an FIA observer who controls the race. The car joins the circuit and has orange lights and all drivers must lineup behind it. Safety car can drive through the pit lane, and all competing drivers must stop at their garage pits. You should continue in the formation till you cross the line of the first safety car and green lights show. This is the time you’ll be free to race once more.
In case of a severe accident, the race can be suspended. In such a circumstance, red flags show everywhere around the circuit. You’ll be required to head slowly toward the pit lane then queue and not overtake. A 10-minute warning is given before the race can be resumed. Overtaking is not acceptable unless a driver delays when leaving the pit lane. However, in the case when a race cannot be resumed, results will be taken from that point.
ERS and Power Unit
You are required not to use more than four power units unless you are driving for multiple teams. Each power unit consists of up to six elements. You are allowed to use four of the six elements, and if you introduce an additional one, then you are subject to a grid penalty.
Refueling and fuel usage
Adding or removing fuel from the car after leaving the pit is prohibited. All F1 cars use petrol. All fuel tanks should be made of materials specified by the FIA. Additionally, it should be encased in a crushable structure to help endure extreme impact loads. All cars should not consume more than 105 kg of fuel in every single race.
No more than two cars are allowed for any team. Though you can bring a spare car for your team, once the race starts, use of spare cars is not permitted. You cannot change your car once the race has started.
Oil tanks for all F1 cars are strictly regulated to prevent oil leakage risks. Oil can be added in the course of the race. The cooling systems of all cars must be approved by the FIA. All oil lines and coolants should not pass through the cockpit.
Licenses and driver change
You are only permitted to use up to four drivers. If you intend to make any change, you can do so before the qualifying session begins. However, bear in mind that all the drivers should have a super license from FIA to participate in the F1 race. Besides, they should meet strict performance requirements and be above 18 years of age.
All F1 cars should be fitted with fire extinguishing equipment that discharges into the engine compartment and cockpit. Again, the driver should be capable of operating it when seated. Other safety equipment required include two rear mirrors, circuit breaker, leg padding, seatbelts and a switch.