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Formula 1: FIA announces regulation changes, driver numbers, penalties, tires

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On Monday, December 9, the FIA announced regulation changes for Formula 1 racing. The announcement was made via press release from the organization. The new regulations affect issues such as driver numbers, tire testing, a cost cap, and new penalties.

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According to the FIA, the F1 Strategy Group and the F1 Commission met in Paris on Monday and approved five items unanimously. The items are: a global cost cap; approving a Pirelli tire test in December, 2013; approving permanent driver numbers; assigning new penalties; and deciding on points for the last race.

In principle, the FIA has approved a global cost cap for the sport. By January of 2015, the sport will have to abide by the new regulation. A working group comprised of the FIA, representatives of the Commercial Rights Holder and Team representatives will be set up in the coming days with the goal of getting specific regulations related to this matter approved by June of 2014.

Due to safety concerns, the FIA is allowing teams to test Pirelli tires in Bahrain from December 17-19, 2013. All F1 teams have been invited to the testing, and six have agreed to do so: Red Bull Racing, Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren, Force India and Toro Rosso.

Driver numbers may now be permanent, from 2 to 99. According to the FIA:

"Drivers will be asked to choose their race number, between 2 and 99, for the duration of their career in the FIA Formula One World Championship. Number 1 will be reserved for the current World Champion, should he choose to use it. If more than one driver chooses the same number, priority will be given to the driver who finished highest in the previous year’s championship."

A principle of a five-point penalty has been agreed upon by the FIA. Specifics will be discussed with F1 teams so that they may be applied in the 2014 season.

Finally, the FIA has decided to award double driver and constructor points at the last race of the season. This, the group said, is to "in order to maximize focus on the Championship until the end of the campaign."

According to the mandate afforded the President of the FIA at the World Motor Sport Council Meeting on December 4, these measures take effect immediately.

The 2014 FIA Formula One World Championship season begins in Melbourne, Australia, with the Australian Grand Prix on March 16.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Connie Ann Kirk, Ph.D. has been credentialed by the FIA to write about Formula 1. With a historic racer from upstate New York, she is working on a book about racers and racing.

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