Formula 1 News

FIA forbids teams to alter engines after qualifying

This will add to the ban on exhaust-blown diffusers off-throttle that starts with the British GP.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011

PARIS, June 21, 2011 (AFP) - Formula One teams will no longer be able to either change or tinker with their engines in between the start of qualifying and the Grand Prix itself, a letter sent to them from the governing body the FIA has revealed.

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A copy of the letter obtained by AFP reveals that whilst the teams are not strictly breaking any rules by making alterations to their engines the FIA believe it goes against the spirit of the 'parc ferme'.

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A spokesperson for the FIA confirmed to AFP the contents of the letter.

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"The FIA, the regulatory authority of F1, has let it be known to the teams that after analysing the statistics from the first seven Grand Prix, they noticed astonishing differences in the engines performances in certain cars," the spokesperson said.

"Our philosophy is very simple: that the governing body intervenes when it perceives that the rules have not been respected, because those rules have been taken advantage of owing to them having too much flexibility."

The FIA laid matters out in more technical detail in their letter. "It has become obvious that some engine and control system set-up parameters are routinely changed during post-qualifying parc fermé.

"It appears that teams have been relying upon the fact that physical connections to the car are permitted by the Article 34.1 of the F1 Sporting Regulations and electrical units may be freely accessed.

"In our view this is totally inconsistent with the intention of the parc fermé regulations, i.e. that cars should be raced exactly as they qualified.

"Even though electrical units may be freely accessed there is no provision within the regulations for making any changes to the set-up of any of the units.

"It is therefore our view that, with immediate effect, from the time at which each car first leaves the pits during qualifying until the start of the race, no changes to the set-up of any electronic control unit may take place.

"We also feel that in accordance with Article 2.7 of the F1 Technical Regulations the onus should be placed upon each team to satisfy us that the above requirements are adhered to."

The next race on the calendar is this Sunday's European Grand Prix in Valencia, Spain.

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