F1 Info - 2006 Rule Changes

The key rule changes which take effect in 2006 are summarised below.


The 3 litre V10 engines of recent years have been replaced by 2.4 litre V8 units, although the Toro Rosso team have opted to use rev-restricted V10s under a transitionary arrangement. Engines must still last for two race weekends. A driver who needs a new engine during practice will be relegated 10 places on the grid, but if the change takes place after first qualifying, he will start from the back. There is a bit of a loophole in that if a car fails to finish its first of two races, its engine can be changed for the next race without penalty, even if the reason for the retirement was engine failure. Top


A dramatic change to Qualifying appears to have brought the excitement back. There is a single one hour qualifying session, divided into three periods. All cars go out together in the first 15 minute period, on qualifying fuel, and at the end of the period the slowest six cars drop out and take positions 17-22 on the grid. The same happens in the second 15 minute period, with the slowest 6 cars knocked out and taking places 11-16 on the grid. These 12 cars can be fully refuelled before the race.

The remaining 10 cars go out for a final 20 minute period, on race fuel, to fight for pole. They will burn off fuel in the early stages to be as light as possible for their pole challenge. Cars are allowed to refuel at a rate of 2.8kg of fuel for every lap completed in the final period, provided those laps are completed at a speed within 110% of the fastest time.

Timed laps during the first two periods must be completed by the chequered flag to be counted, whereas in the final period a lap must be started by the chequered flag to be counted. Top


There is a return to pit stops for tyres in 2006, after just one season of using only one set of tyres for qualifying and the race. A maximum of 7 sets of dry weather tyres (plus 4 sets of wets and 3 sets of extreme wets) can be used per car per weekend, and the compound to be used in the race must be selected before Qualifying. Top

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