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Page last updated at 14:06 GMT, Wednesday, 23 June 2010 15:06 UK

Changes made to allow more overtaking in Formula 1

By Andrew Benson

Sauber mechanics change tyres on a car at the Turkish Grand Prix
Pirelli has won the contract to supply tyres to the F1 circuit

Formula 1 will attempt to make overtaking easier next season by introducing adjustable rear wings.

Drivers will be able to alter their wings to increase straight line speed, making it easier to pass another car.

The change was agreed at a meeting of F1's legislative body, the FIA World Council, on Wednesday.

It also confirmed Pirelli as F1's tyre supplier from 2011, banned the F-duct aerodynamic device and amended the safety car rules for the end of races.

That final decision is a consequence of the controversy at this year's Monaco Grand Prix, when Mercedes driver Michael Schumacher was given a 25-second penalty for overtaking Fernando Alonso's Ferrari.

It was agreed the rules were unclear - Mercedes and some other teams argued they allowed overtaking after the safety car had pulled in on the last lap - and the FIA, F1's governing body, agreed to clarify them.

The rule - which will be introduced with immediate effect - now makes it explicit that overtaking will not be allowed if the safety car pulls in at the end of the last lap.

The FIA World Council said: "No car may overtake until it has passed the first safety car line for the first time when the safety car is returning to the pits.

"However, if the safety car is still deployed at the beginning of the last lap, or is deployed during the last lap, it will enter the pit lane at the end of the lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking."

With regard to improving overtaking next year, the World Council announced "driver-adjustable bodywork" would be allowed.

It did not specify which part of the car this would be but a senior FIA insider confirmed to BBC Sport the top flap of the rear wing would be adjustable.

McLaren engineering director Paddy Lowe had earlier confirmed this was the proposal the teams' organisation Fota had put to the FIA.

Lowe said the device would allow a following car to increase its speed by 15km/h (about 9.3mph) and the driver in the car in front would not be allowed to deploy the device to defend his position.

Lowe said: "The flap will be adjustable by the driver.

"He can run it however he likes in qualifying, so what we'll actually do is make the flap so it has very low drag, and in qualifying that will allow you to get a better lap time by using it wherever you can.

"In the race, you can't use it for the first two laps at all, but after that if you're within a second of the car in front then you will be able to deploy it.

"So that will be very interesting. That's a Fota initiative to improve the show and I think it's very exciting."

The F-duct, pioneered by McLaren this year, has a similar effect by 'stalling' the rear wing - changing the airflow over it so its ability to produce downforce is reduced.

But these devices have been explicitly banned - as exclusively revealed by BBC Sport in May.

Meanwhile, Pirelli, which had long been expected to be the company that replaced current supplier Bridgestone next season, has won a three-year contract to supply F1.

The Italians were preferred to British firm Avon, while the director of Michelin, Nick Shorrock, said the French manufacturer had decided not to bid for the contract.

The main obstacle was Michelin's objection to the FIA's desire for one tyre manufacturer to supply tyres to all teams.

Among other changes are a re-introduction of the 107% rule, which prevents any driver whose quickest time in the first qualifying session is slower than 107% of the fastest from taking part in the race.

The FIA has acted to avoid a repeat of Lewis Hamilton's actions after qualifying in Canada, when he stopped his McLaren on the slowing down lap because to return it to the pits would have meant he would not have had enough fuel for the official sample.

The World Council said: "With immediate effect, if a sample of fuel is required after a practice session the car concerned must have first been driven back to the pits under its own power."

The minimum weight limit of the car and driver has been raised by 20kg to 640kg. This is to prepare the way for a return of the Kers power-boost and energy storage systems which featured in 2009.

These are already included in the rules, so the FIA did not need to explicitly comment on them.



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see also
Bridgestone to end F1 tie in 2010
02 Nov 09 |  Formula 1


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