The Melbourne Grand Prix Is Just Days' Away, Carbooq Looks At The Year Ahead

In Car News, F1 by Keith Johnston2 Comments

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So what’s changed for 2015?

A number of new regulations come into effect for 2015…

Power units – each driver is restricted to four power units during the season, although that will be increased to five (as in 2014) if the number of races as originally scheduled exceeds 20. Should a driver exceed the total, a grid penalty will be imposed.

Power unit penalties – the replacement of a complete power unit no longer results in an automatic penalty; instead penalties are applied cumulatively based on the individual components of each power unit. Unlike in 2014, grid penalties no longer roll over to the next event. If a driver is unable to take their full grid penalty, the remainder will be applied as a time penalty for the relevant Grand Prix, on the following basis:

  • 1-5 grid places: five-second time penalty
  • 6-10 grid places: drive-through penalty
  • 11-20 grid places: ten-second stop-and-go penalty
  • more than 20 grid places: a time penalty

New penalties – in addition to the five-second penalty introduced for 2014, race stewards also have the option to hand out ten-second penalties for minor infringements in 2015.

Points – double points will no longer be applied for the season finale in 2015.

Standing restarts – a proposal for standing restarts has been rescinded, meaning safety-car restarts will follow the same procedure as in previous years.

Virtual Safety Car – in a bid to improve safety, particularly in the event of double waved yellow flags, a virtual safety car system designed to ensure drivers slow sufficiently has been introduced for 2015. This can be used to neutralise a race without having to introduce the safety car itself.

Race suspensions – for 2015, drivers must proceed slowly into the pit lane, rather than back onto the starting grid, in the event of a race suspension.

Clearing the grid – a driver will be forced to start from the pit lane if any member of his team, or any relevant equipment, remains on the starting grid after the 15-second signal has been shown.

Unsafe releases – for 2015, unsafe releases will be met with an automatic ten-second stop-and-go penalty for the relevant driver. Additional penalties may be imposed at the stewards’ discretion.

Safety car lapped drivers – as was the case in 2014, lapped cars may unlap themselves behind the safety car; however, the safety car will no longer need to wait until said drivers have caught back up to the back of the field before leaving the track. Instead, the safety car is free to pull back into the pits on the following lap after the last lapped car has been waved through.

Suspension – any suspension systems fitted to either the front or rear wheels may only react to direct changes of load applied to the relevant section. Front-and-Rear Interconnected Suspension (FRIC) will therefore be formally outlawed.

Gearbox – teams will no longer be able to re-nominate gearings during the season – they could do it once in 2014.

Minimum weight – the minimum weight has been increased slightly for 2015 – without fuel, each car must weigh at least 702kg.

Nose designs – new regulations, brought in to improve safety and also restrict strange and ugly solutions, mean nose designs become more uniform. 2014 layouts like the anteater and twin tusk will no longer be legal.

Cockpit safety – the Zylon anti-intrusion panels on both sides of the survival cell have been extended upwards to the rim of the cockpit and alongside the driver’s head.

In-season testing – there will be two in-season two-day tests, down from four in 2014. Two of the four days in total must be reserved for young drivers.

What’s missing?

The field has shrunk to 10 teams with the Caterham folding due to financial pressure. Thankfully last year’s unpopular rule change of double points for the final race has been dropped. Very sadly the F1 field will again be without Jules Bianchi who remains in a coma in his native France following his horrific accident at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix. The rising star remains in a stable condition but there is no time frame on when, or indeed if, he’ll make a full recovery.

2015 Driver Line Up

44 – Lewis Hamilton
6 – Nico Rosberg

Red Bull-Renault
3 – Daniel Ricciardo
26 – Daniil Kvyat

5 – Sebastian Vettel
7 – Kimi Raikkonen

14 – Fernando Alonso
22 – Jenson Button

77 – Valtteri Bottas
12 – Felipe Massa

8 – Roman Grosjean
13 – Pastor Maldonado

Toro Rosso-Renault
33 – Max Verstappen
55 – Carlos Sainz Jr

12 – Felipe Nasr
9 – Marcus Ericsson

Force India-Mercedes
27 – Nico Hulkenberg
11 – Sergio Perez

28 – Will Stevens
98 – Robert Merhi

2015 F1 Calendar

  • Australian Grand Prix – March 15
  • Malaysian Grand Prix – March 29
  • Chinese Grand Prix – April 12
  • Bahrain Grand Prix – April 19
  • Spanish Grand Prix – May 10
  • Monaco Grand Prix – May 24
  • Canadian Grand Prix – June 7
  • Austrian Grand Prix – June 21
  • British Grand Prix – July 5
  • German Grand Prix – July 19
  • Hungarian Grand Prix – July 26
  • Belgian Grand Prix – August 23
  • Italian Grand Prix – September 6
  • Singapore Grand Prix – September 20
  • Japanese Grand Prix – September 27
  • Russian Grand Prix – October 11
  • United States Grand Prix – October 25
  • Mexican Grand Prix – November 1
  • Brazilian Grand Prix – November 15
  • Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – November 29

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