Formula 1

Pirelli and the 107% rule make their Formula 1 returns

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In Wednesday’s meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Geneva, Pirelli were confirmed as the single Formula 1 tyre supplier for 2011-2013.

It was also agreed that adjustable rear wings, to aid overtaking opportunities, should be introduced, but F-ducts will be banned from 2011.

In addition, any driver whose best qualifying lap exceeds 107% of the fastest Q1 qualifying time will not be permitted to take part in the race, except under exceptional circumstances.

The Council also moved to stop any drivers pushing their cars back to the pits after qualifying, as Lewis Hamilton did in Montreal, by ruling that, with immediate effect, “if a sample of fuel is required after a practice session the car concerned must have first been driven back to the pits under its own power.”

The safety car rules were also clarified, to avoid a repeat of the confusion in Monaco where Michael Schumacher was punished for his last-corner manoeuvre on Fernando Alonso.

The introduction of the adjustable rear wings brings some clearly-defined rules as to when this advantage can be deployed. In the statement released after the WMSC meeting, the following passage referred to the use of adjustable bodywork:

“From 2011, adjustable bodywork may be activated by the driver at any time prior to the start of the race and, for the sole purpose of improving overtaking opportunities during the race, after the driver has completed two laps. The driver may only activate the adjustable bodywork in the race when he has been notified via the control electronics that it is enabled. It will only be enabled if the driver is less than one second behind another at any of the pre-determined positions around each circuit. The system will be disabled the first time the driver uses the brakes after the system has been activated. The FIA may, after consulting all the competitors, adjust the time proximity in order to ensure the purpose of the adjustable bodywork is met.”

It was also confirmed that the minimum combined weight of car and driver throughout the entire race weekend was to be raised by 20kg to 640kg in 2011. This is believed to be a move to reduce the weight impact of installing a KERS system, encouraging its adoption for next season

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