The 2007 Formula One season sees a number of changes to the regulations with more to come in 2008.
Engines are as those used during the last two races of 2006 – 2.4 litre V8s - and must now be used during the 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 seasons. Although this move, designed to cut development costs, has been widely described as an 'engine freeze', some limited development work will be allowed.
The two-race engine rules no longer apples to Friday sessions. So, any driver starting a meeting with a fresh engine will not be penalised for a testing failure. It also means drivers may opt to use alternative engines on Fridays and save their race engines for qualifying and the race.
There are changes to the position and dimensions of both front and rear wings, both are lower and simpler, both are intended to improve airflow to a following car to make overtaking easier.
Friday's two practice sessions have been extended from 60 to 90 minutes each.
Bridgestone are F1 racing's sole supplier in 2007, each team will receive only two specifications of tyre per event. Drivers will have four sets per driver on the Friday and ten for the remainder of the weekend.
Safety car regs have been modified to prevent drivers going into the pits as soon as the safety car comes out. No car is allowed to enter the pits until the field is bunched up behind the safety car and before the safety car returns to the pit any lapped car running between cars on the lead lap must overtake those cars and the safety car before taking up their correct position at the back.
Third cars will no longer be allowed, but all teams are permitted to run one test driver in each Friday session. The alternative driver must use either of the team's race cars.
A GPS marshalling system, involving a cockpit light display of flag signals in each driver's car, is being introduced. This will allow Race Control to alert drivers to potential hazards more effectively.
All cars are now be fitted with a warning light just ahead of the cockpit. This provides rescue crews with an immediate indication of the severity of any accident.
The crash tests that Formula One cars must pass have been made more stringent, while the minimum size for the impact-absorbing structure has also been raised. In addition, the driver’s cockpit must now be clad in special anti-penetration panels made of Zylon. An additional five kilograms has been added to the car’s minimum weight requirement to offset the weight of the panels.
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