The FIA has announced that the grid penalty system will change for the 2019 F1 season. Efforts have been made to avoid situations in which teams didn’t bother to set a time in qualifying but maintained grid position.
The governing body of Formula 1 announced changes that are aimed at encouraging running in qualifying with the new system applying grid penalties after the session.
Under the current system, grid penalties for new power unit components were applied in order of appearance on track.
It led to situations in which a driver would leave the pit garage at the beginning of practice to ensure their penalty would be applied first and therefore gaining grid positions over others with penalties.
In theory, the drivers with penalties will have to set a lap in qualifying as they will still have positions to fight for against other drivers with grid penalties.
Another clarification with the new rules is that any driver who is outside of the 107% time in qualifying will line up at the back of the grid regardless of grid penalties for others.
Amongst other changes, minimum weight has been raised from 740kg to 743kg after teams reported to the FIA that they were struggling to reach the minimum weight previously.
Front wing specifications for next season were also officially signed off on. The wings will be simplified and wider with the aims of improving the ability to follow other cars in dirty air.