Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) announced changes in the regulations of the championship of 2015, which will be applied on the championship taking place in Australia on 15 February.
Engines will only be developed 32 times during the seasons, unlike the previous season when development was not allowed after 28 February. This was a result of a regulation gap which was discovered by the Ferrari team. The acceptable engine power has also been reduced to 4 instead of 5 for each race.
FIA also made these changes regarding car fronts due to safety issues. Car fronts in the 2015 season will be of lower height with tapered ends, similar to those used in the 90s.
The minimum car weight was lifted from 691kg to 702kg, which will make it easier for tall drivers.
A new safety system has also been included, which is a virtual safety car. This was a result of Marussia’s Jules Bianchi’s huge accident last season. This virtual safety car will be used in cases where an actual safety car will not be necessary. The driver will be forced to drive within the speed limit set by the race management until the virtual safety car sign disappears.
This season, FIA will conduct all winter tests in Europe, where the season will start in Xerez from 1 to 4 February and in Barcelona from 19 to 22 February and from 26 February to 1 March.
FIA lowered season trials by half and they will be set in Spain and Austria, while each trial will take two days, which is four days of each season. Each team has to get one driver that did not participate in more than 2 Formula 1 races during two days of the four trial days.
Penalty rules regarding power units have also changed since 2014, when drivers have to recede several ranks before the start of the race in case he/she changes engine pieces. However, this rule changed so that time will be added as a penalty to the driver during the race.
FIA also amended penalties when drivers stop at barns so that 10 seconds would be added in case the driver violates the rule. The same penalty will be applied if the car drives in circuits unsafely, and the driver would be forced to start from the circuit if the team members do not leave the place and all the equipment 15 seconds before the warm-up lap.
Finally, FIA issued a new regulation stating that a driver must be more than 18 years old with a driving licence in his hometown, because Scuderia Toro Rosso team participated in the championship by putting a 17-year-old driver, Max Verstappen, in the race.