Formula 1 – A Glance at Season 2010
Numerous changes have been introduced this new season and the most prominent of these changes is that viewers would get to see very little of fuel rig incidents at the pit stop. Massa driving away with the fuel rig and Kimi driving into a ball of fire would be things of the past. The tanks of the cars would carry enough fuel to last the entire race, no more fuel rig nozzle problems. Welcome to the new Formula 1 Season 2010.
March 14 is the day the new season kicks start at Bahrain. This season would see the drivers fighting it out for the Championship through 19 races. The number of teams too has gone up; this season would see 13 teams fighting it out with their 26 cars. With one team, USF1 not ready to fight, the season may see 12 teams and 24 cars fighting it out.
The prominent of the changes as previously mentioned is the refueling ban. The drivers would now enter the pit stop to only have a change of tyres. The change of tyres is predicted to last a meagerly 3 to 3.5 seconds long. The size of the fuel tanks has gone up from 80 litres capacity to 250 litres capacity. The fuel in the tanks should take the cars to the end of the race. Limited fuel means that the Formula 1 cars have indeed started turning green.
The point system too has seen some drastic changes. The fight to single point championship victories perhaps is now over. While Kimi became a Champion with a point difference between him and Hamilton in 2007, Hamilton became the Champion with a point difference between him and Massa in 2008.
The better of the drivers were not aptly awarded it seemed. The new system would see the winning driver of a race scoring 25 points against the previously 10 points. The second place driver would take 18 points as against the 8 points previously. The third place driver takes 15 points as against 6 points previously. The point format would look something like this: 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1.
The KERS system has been dumped; has the cars lost the green tinge a bit? Only 2 teams used the KERS system in the 2009 season, Ferrari and McLaren. Both the teams had won races from the energy boost KERS provided whilst performing overtaking maneuvers. The cars minimum weight the current season has been raised to 620 Kg as against 605 Kg the previous season.
The tyres too have seen sufficient changes. The front tyres have narrowed from 270 mm to 245 mm; this would bring better grip balance it is understood. The compounds added to them would make them harder to compensate for the additional weight they need to bear.
The teams that enter Q3 of qualifying will participate in the race with the same set of tyres with which they set their grid times. The numbers of dry weather tyres that have been allotted to each team per race have fallen to 11 from 14 the previous season. One set each should be returned after practice 1 and practice 2. The wheel rim covers seen in the previous season have been retired.
Testing during the season continues to remain banned. A newer regulation would allow teams to test a replacement driver who has not participated in a Grand Prix in the two previous seasons. The driver would be allowed a day of track testing on a track which Formula 1 approved and which is not part of Formula 1 the current season.
Q1 of qualifying would last 20 minutes. The end of Q1 would see the elimination of the slowest 8 cars; these cars would subsequently fill up the last eight grid places during the start of the race on race day.
Q2 would start post a 7 minute break after Q1. The times get reset and the session would last 15 minutes. The cars fighting it out could put in as many laps as required; the Q2 would end with the elimination of another 8 slowest cars. These cars would subsequently fill the places 11 to 18 on the grid on race day.
Q3 would commence after an 8 minute break, the previously set times are reset and the session would last 10 minutes. The shootout for the pole would now start between the 10 surviving cars. The cars could put in as many numbers of laps as they wish. The timings set by the cars would decide their starting order amongst the top 10 grid positions on race day.
Four stewards would look over the race as against the three stewards the previous season.