Replay - Chaotic start to Brazilian GP
Former Formula 1 drivers are to become part of the group of stewards who will adjudicate at each grand prix as part of plans published on Friday.
The move is among the first major changes made by Jean Todt since he succeeded Max Mosley as president of motorsport's governing body the FIA.
Ex-drivers will form part of a four-man group of FIA stewards to deal with F1 issues at each grand prix.
A commissioner will also be appointed to deal with F1 on Todt's behalf.
The World Council also approved the new points system suggested by the F1 Commission on Thursday, with 25 points for a win rather than 10.
And it released the final 2010 calendar, with Abu Dhabi now the final race of the season instead of Brazil, Canada's return confirmed and the dates of the final four races changed after the Japanese Grand Prix was moved back a week.
The decision to appoint drivers to the stewards is likely to be warmly welcomed by active drivers and teams, who have long complained about the inconsistency of decisions by race stewards.
And it marks a distinct break from the previous regime - Mosley always rejected the idea of using ex-drivers as stewards.
The FIA said in a statement following its World Council meeting in Monaco on Friday that "a smaller permanent group of F1 Stewards will sit with experienced former F1 drivers to provide a permanent panel of three FIA stewards, together with one steward representing the National Sporting Authority, to deal with F1 at each Grand Prix.
"There will no longer be a non-voting chairman and each group of stewards will elect their own chairman among themselves for each race. Utilising video and radio exchanges, they should aim to reach decisions very efficiently."
There is as yet no information on which ex-drivers will be involved.
The new stewards set-up is part of a wide-ranging restructuring of the way the FIA administers F1 introduced by Todt, who was elected to succeed Mosley in October.
The other key element is the introduction of a commissioner to represent the FIA at grands prix - a move that is being echoed across all the FIA's championships.
The FIA statement said: "The commissioners report directly to the President of the FIA and, at the request of the President, to the Deputy President of the FIA for Sport or to other members of the World Motor Sport Council.
"The commissioners will be present at each event of the World Championship for which they have been appointed and their role is to serve as permanent liaison for the various stakeholders involved (national sporting authorities, promoters, organisers, manufacturers, teams, officials, suppliers, etc).
"They are also tasked with supervising the general running of the championship and its development on behalf of the FIA.
"The commissioners are not empowered to take decisions or to perform any other act of a regulatory nature which may come under the remit (sporting, technical, organisational or disciplinary) accorded to the officials of the event by the International Sporting Code.
"The appointment of the commissioners will allow the FIA president to focus on the strategic development of the FIA and in particular to further encourage the synergies between mobility and motor sport."