Concluding our look at the rule changes coming into force in 2017, we focus this time on the Sporting Regulation tweaks designed to make this year’s championship more closely-fought, cheaper and potentially more colourful…
Power Plays With the accent firmly on chassis, aero and tyres this season, power units, which have dominated the conversation for the past three seasons, are less likely to grab the headlines this year, especially as we edge towards power convergence. There are however, changes to the rules surrounding their use.
Last year there were several occasions on which drivers chose to stockpile power unit elements by making multiple changes at an event. That loophole has now been closed and if a number of new elements are introduced only the last element fitted can be used at subsequent grands prix without incurring a penalty.
Fuelled up To meet the demands of the new cars, the regulations governing fuel usage have been adjusted, with the previous maximum of 100kg of fuel to be used in a race being elevated to 105kg.
Token gesture The rather confusing token system by which teams could 'spend' an allotted yearly amount of tokens on power unit upgrades during the season has been scrapped.
In order to cut costs, drivers will be limited to four power units per season compared to last season's five. In 2018 the number will drop to three. The 2017 power unit regulations have also been rewritten to guarantee supply of power units to teams should any team face the prospect of going into the following season without a supplier. In order to cut costs further, the price of power units supplied by manufacturers must be reduced by €1m in 2017, and from 2018 the price will be capped at €12m.