New rules for April, 2001 and future safety regulations

23 February 2001 - The World Motor Sport Council as approved the changes to the Formula One Technical and Sporting Regulations for 2001, 2002 and 2003. The changes were agreed upon with the current F1 teams. The new rules will take effect on ...

23 February 2001 - The World Motor Sport Council as approved the changes to the Formula One Technical and Sporting Regulations for 2001, 2002 and 2003. The changes were agreed upon with the current F1 teams.

The new rules will take effect on April 16, 2001. First race with the new rules will be the Spanish Grand Prix.

Engines
A number of engine control parameters will no longer be restricted, these include: throttle, ignition and fuel settings, thus permitting the use of a traction control system; pit lane speed limiter; engine rev limiter.

Starts
Any system capable of detecting a race start signal will not be permitted.

Clutch
Clutch control during gear changes will no longer be restricted.

Gearbox
Fully automatic gear changes will be permitted.

Suspension
Powered devices of any kind will no longer be permitted in suspension systems. This will prohibit, for example, the use of shock absorbers containing fluid whose characteristics change when electrical current is applied.

Brakes
Powered devices will no longer be permitted in braking systems. (This will prevent the use of computer controlled brakes).

Steering
With the exception of power assistance for 2001 only, powered devices will no longer be permitted in steering systems. (This will prevent the use of computer controlled steering).

Differentials
With the exception of any system which is capable of transferring or diverting torque from a slower to a faster rotating wheel, differential control will now be free. (This will prevent the use of so-called torque-steer differentials).

Software validation
In order to ensure that all necessary safety measures continue to be taken, the FIA will maintain its software verification routines, the emphasis however shifting from system control to system integrity.

Future safety regulations include:
A driver start abort system to come into force 1.1.2002

A system capable of warning teams and drivers that a speed limit will be enforced on specific parts of the track to come into force 1.1.2002, (see FIA note below).

A collision warning system to come into force 1.1.2003.

A system capable of warning teams and drivers that a specific speed profile will be enforced on the whole track to come into force on 1.1.2003. This system will replace the "Safety car".

On 1.1.2002, the size of the rear view mirrors will increase from 120x50mm to 150x50mm.

NOTE: FIA TO INTRODUCE INTELLIGENT SPEED LIMITS FOR FORMULA ONE IN 2002

When an accident occurs during a Formula One race, it is necessary to slow competing cars as they pass the scene, so as not to put track workers at risk. Currently this is done by showing one or more yellow flags, depending on the degree of risk. Drivers are then expected to slow down and overtaking is prohibited. The amount they slow down is a matter for their judgement.

From 2002, this system will be replaced by the imposition of a variable speed limit. The limit will depend on the layout of the circuit at the accident site and the degree of risk to track workers. It will be decided by the race director and communicated electronically to each driver in the relevant area. Cars will be equipped with means to help drivers to run just under the limit. Cars exceeding the limit will be detected and given a stop-go penalty.

This technology is available for road cars. It has already been demonstrated. Using it in Formula One will make the ordinary road user aware of it throughout the world. It is hoped this will significantly speed up the introduction of intelligent speed limits in Europe.

In general, current speed limits are out of date, arbitrary and almost always wrong for the prevailing conditions. On a motorway, the limit is usually too fast for heavy traffic in pouring rain and too slow for light traffic on a fine day. Current urban limits are too fast past a school when the children are coming out, but a very slow limit is unnecessary at the same place at 4 am in the morning.

On public roads, the future is intelligent speed limits properly applied rather than arbitrary speed limits haphazardly (and thus unfairly) enforced. By demonstrating intelligent speed limitation in Formula One to a huge world-wide audience, the FIA hopes greatly to accelerate the introduction of the necessary technology on the roads. This will be another example of technology transfer from Formula One making a major contribution to road safety.

-FIA

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Series Formula 1