Formula One

Power Unit Penalty System Improved

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After backlash from fans on a weekly basis, F1 has made a change to the power unit penalty system in hopes to remove any confusion.

If a driver earns a grid penalty worth 15 or more places, they automatically will be placed at the tail of the field. If more than one competitor sustains such infraction, the order will be determined by their penalty amount. Notably, drivers are only allowed three power units in 2018, versus four the previous season.

Previously, drivers who changed multiple power unit components could rack up multiple grid drops, often in excess of the number of cars at the event.

The FIA’s World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) meeting in Paris on Wednesday, also confirmed other changes as well:


  • Regulations relating to procedures for starting or resuming a race behind the safety car
  • Changing the event timetable to increase flexibility
  • Ensuring that testing of previous cars may only take place on tracks currently holding an FIA Grade 1 or 1T licence
  • Provision for demonstration events in previous cars which does not constitute testing. No such demonstrations may exceed 50km in length and only tyres manufactured specifically for this purpose by the appointed supplier may be used
  • Changes to ensure that oil cannot be used as fuel
  • Introduction of a detailed specification for oil
  • A minimum weight and volume for energy storage (batteries)
  • Changes to position of cameras and wing mirrors to accommodate the Halo

The meeting also confirmed the 2018 schedule officially, which was revealed earlier this year.

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

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Ashley McCubbin is currently studying journalism at the University of Guelph-Humber while writing for multiple websites. She also serves on the managing staff for a select few. Born in North York, Ontario, McCubbin currently lives in Bradford, Ontario and spends her weekend at the local short tracks in the area where she enjoys taking photos and working on websites.

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