Formula 1- How Rules Have Changed

In sport there is never any moment that is the same as the other” – Michael Schumacher


The FIA Formula One World Championship is a single-seat auto racing. The “formula” means a set of rules that the participants must comply in order to race. “Grand Prix” the major series of race is held to evaluate the points and select two Championships. Formula One car can go up to the speed of 360km/h, however it has been limited now to ensure safety. The performance of the car depends on the suspension, tyres and aerodynamics of the car.

The regulations for Formula One has changed many times throughout the history. The main reason behind so many changes is to ensure safety. Over the years it has been made sure of that there are proper equipments and facilities in case of any accident. Some technological advancements has been banned so that, like earlier said, the cars don’t go up to the speed of 300-360km/h. Such speed during a bend on the track can also cause death of the driver. During the first 10 years of Formula One racing there were no such rules and regulations to ensure safety. Participants would risk their life just to win the race. During 1950’s, engine with compressor was introduced; crash helmets were also given to the drivers. Later during those years petrol became a compulsory part. During 1960’s, no compressors were allowed, minimum weight was set at 450 kg, automatic starter was introduced, double braking system, seat-belts ,fire protection, protective helmet and overalls, flag signaling was code established and made mandatory. After the unavoidable death of Ronnie Peterson, the driver’s crusade for safety was ensured by Jackie Stewart. The circuits were changed and improved with safer features. Circuits like Paul Ricard, Zolder and Hockenheimring were built with safety features installed. Air-boxes on the top of cars were banned; Maximum permitted size of a compressed engine increased to 1500 cc and minimum weight increased to 550 kg. In 1980’s the construction material was changed from almunium to carbon fiber for safety of the driver. In 1990’s with near fatal accidents to JJ Lehto and Jean Alesi, large mirrors and quick release steering wheel were made mandatory, Front wing was narrowed and rear overhang was reduced. FIA put a ban on electronic driver aids such as active suspension, traction control and launch control. During 2000 no major changes were made except for the introduction of HANS (hand and neck safety).

With the new season Formula One 2015 has some new rules such as Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari’s engine development will no longer be constricted to the February 28 homologation deadline. Also, all four manufacturers will be restricted to just four power units for the entire season, rather than the five. . The minimum weight of the car has been increased from 691kg and 702kg without fuel. This has been done so that taller drivers are not penalized and they don’t have to lose weight in order to meet the requirements. This year the introduction of the Virtual Safety Car (VSC) has also been done for safety purposes.


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