Pattaya Daily News

10 March 2010 :: 12:03:38 pm 15254

Formula 1 Expansion & Rule Changes for 2010

As if changing the refuelling rig, scoring system and extending the race calendar wasn’t enough for the start of the 2010 Formula One season, the powers that be have also approved the expansion of the race grid to include four new teams.
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Formula One, the 10th of March 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: Formula 1 executives only aim to improve the sport by enhancing the excitement and encouraging drivers to go for the win rather than the safety that previously came from holding back. So with the season due to begin on the 14th of March we take a quick look at some of the new introductions and re-introduced changes in this year’s series.

Grid, Calender & Points

This year’s racing line up at qualifying has been expanded from 10 teams to 13 with a total of 26 cars registered. Four new teams were permitted entry – Virgin Racing, Lotus F1, Hispania Racing and U.S. F1.

After the Toyota team pulled out at the end of last season the fourth team U.S. F1 were granted a license to race in the group, however; recent reports speculate that they are not ready to start. Another outfit, Stefan GP, are waiting in the wings with a Toyota designed setup ready to go.

With the addition of the 4 new teams into the championship, the calendar has also been extended to include a South Korean race in conjunction with a much anticipated return of Formula One to Canada.

The scoring system has been radically overhauled, closely resembling that of the MotoGP championship. Top 10 finishers will now finish in the points with the winner getting a substantial 25 points as opposed to 10. The new system adopts a 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 format.

Fuel, Weight & Tyres

Making a return to the regulations is the full tank rule, meaning that every car on the grid will be required to commence the race with a full tank of fuel. Tanks sizes have increased to 250 litres as a result and the cars have all adopted a longer wheelbase.

Front tyres have been made narrower whilst the compounds have been made harder to compensate for the added weight that has been put into the cars. Final qualifying drivers are now required to start the race on the same set of tyres that the grid position was set. Tyre sets have also been scaled down, with each team to be issued 11 sets as opposed to the previous 14.

Car weights will no longer be published prior to the race, however all setups must be over 620kg. With more emphasis on fuel economy and strategy the sport is also hoping to present a greener image.

Last years introduction of the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) by the McLaren and Ferrari manufacturers has been outlawed in a joint agreement by the teams. The system involves storing the vehicles own kinetic energy, at the flywheel, which can then be used as an accelerant by the driver, at the press of a button. KERS was successfully used to win a Grand Prix by Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen in Belgium last year with second placed Giancarlo Fisichella claiming “Actually, I was quicker than Kimi. He only took me because of KERS at the beginning (of the final straight).”

Testing, Qualifiers & Stewards

In-season testing will remain banned for the 2010 competition however a new regulation has been introduced allowing a replacement driver, who has not taken part in a grand prix for the previous two calendar years, to test drive the car. In such cases, one day of track testing will be granted at a circuit not used in the Formula 1 race calendar.

Due to the expansion to 26 cars, the 8 slowest will now be eliminated after the first qualifying session and a further 8 after the second, as opposed to 5 in the 2009 season.

Stewards officiating on the race will now include former F1 drivers and the number of officials has been increased to 4 from 3 in previous years.

Reigning world champion Jenson Button recently shared his opinions on the new setup and race strategies for the year; “I think, looking at testing, we are going to get a lot of very unusual strategies in the race,” says world champion Jenson Button.

“I think you are going to have some teams trying to stop two or three laps before their rivals so they can get out on new tyres and maybe bump them.

“You’ll also have the teams that aren’t so competitive trying crazy strategies like pitting after lap one and hoping to run to the end of the race.”

Note: So with the recent rule and regulation changes and new additions to the grid the Formula One 2010 season is all set to commence and looks to be heating up as one of the most competitive yet, especially if pre-season testing is has anything to do with it.

Reporter : Harry Roberts   Photo : Internet   Category : Sports News

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