Some small changes to the rules are coming to Formula 1 for the 2013 race season, changing up team curfews and how the drivers practice and qualify.
The first adjustment has to do with the use of the Drag Reduction System (DRS) during practice and qualifying. Until now, drivers were able to use DRS anytime during practice laps or while qualifying, but for 2013, use of the DRS will be limited to designated DRS zones.
The second sporting regulation change has to do with team curfew times, which prevent members of a race team from being in the paddock for a specified time. Starting in 2013, the team personnel curfew has been extended from six to eight hours on Thursday nights, and the exception hours will be reduced from four to two.
Technical regulations have also received some small changes starting in the 2013 season. First, new front wing deflection tests are being put in place to prevent teams from using flexible bodywork to enhance aerodynamics. A new higher minimum weight has been added as well for 2013, taking into account new 2013 tires.
After some controversy in the 2012 season, the ‘force majeure’ allowance has now been deleted, relating to when a car stops on the track during qualifying. Starting from 2013, the FIA will find out how much fuel a car would have used getting to the pits, and add it on to the one litre minimum sample.
Also announced on Wednesday by the FIA was the 2013 race season, which will include 20 races, one of which is simply listed as “reserved for another European event.”