Among a number of rule tweaks for the 2019 Formula One season, the FIA has announced it will increase the fuel allowance for each car with the aim of allowing drivers to push harder during races.
The sport's rule making bodies -- the Formula One Strategy Group and Formula One Commission -- met at the FIA's headquarters in Paris on Tuesday to discuss the future of F1. As well as reviewing the sport's wide ranging changes for 2021, which were outlined to the teams at the Bahrain Grand Prix earlier this month, three rule changes were agreed for next season.
The main change is an increase in the fuel allowance for a race distance from 105kg to 110kg, which the FIA hopes will reduce the need for fuel saving in races and allow "full power" racing. The opening two rounds of the 2018 season took place on circuits with heavy fuel consumption, resulting in a degree of lift-and-coast fuel saving at the end of straights. With an extra five kilos of fuel to play with, the hope is that drivers will be able to push harder for the entire race.
However, other circuits on the calendar don't result in such heavy fuel consumption and teams regularly run under the allowance to ensure a lighter car at the start of the race. Therefore, fuel saving is still likely to occur but the hope is that it is more in line with historic levels rather than the extremes experienced under the existing regulations.
The FIA also confirmed that the weight of the car and driver will be separate under the regulations in 2019. Although details have not been released, it will mean heavier and taller drivers will not face a fight to slim down in order to bring the total weight of car and driver as close to the minimum as possible. The introduction of the Halo put more pressure on drivers to slim down this year as the weight of the cockpit safety device is roughly 10kg and the minimum weight was only increased by six kilograms ahead of the season. Lighter drivers currently have the benefit of placing ballast around the car for a performance benefit, but under the new regulations that ballast will have to be placed in the seat to meet the minimum driver weight.
A third change to the regulations will see all drivers wear biometric gloves in 2019, which have been trialled this year and allow medical staff to monitor the vital signs of drivers in the event of an accident. A 3mm sensor in the glove monitors pulse rate and the amount of oxygen in the blood, with plans to monitor body temperature and respiratory rate in the future.
F1 closing on 2021 engine plans
The meeting in Paris also set a deadline for deciding the next set of engine regulations, which are due to be introduced in 2021. Formula One and the FIA have already outlined their proposals to the teams but will now aim to have a finalised plan by the end of May in order to give existing and new manufacturers enough time to develop the new power unit.
The FIA said the basic architecture of the existing 1.6-litre V6 turbos would remain the same, but confirmed the MGU-H, which recovers heat energy from the exhaust, would be ditched. The MGU-H has been a contentious point in negotiations so far, with Mercedes and Ferrari arguing that it is required to keep the engine road relevant and warning that its removal will require an expensive redesign.
Meetings will take place in the coming weeks to thrash out the details for 2021, in which the FIA and F1 will attempt to convince existing manufacturers that their proposal is not a "dumbing down" of the current regulations while also persuading new manufacturers that F1 will be worth investing in ahead of 2021.