Formula 1 Updates: New 2016 Season Rules Affect Noise, Tires & Driver Communications

Formula 1 Updates: New 2016 Season Rules Affect Noise, Tires & Driver Communications
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The 2016 season is almost here, and to usher it in, Formula 1 has issued new rules aimed at making the sport more competitive and exciting than ever before.


For some time now, there has been widespread complaint about the noise a Formula 1 car can make; or rather, the lack of it. In response to that, changes to the power unit have been introduced for the 2016 season.

For starters, there are now less engine development restrictions. It is hoped that manufacturers like Renault and Honda will have more leeway to create their own power units competitive to those ahead of the field, such as Mercedes and Ferrari. As a result, what were once viewed as off-limits “black areas” have now been allowed to received modifications. At the same time, power levels from the best engines are now allowed to exceed 1,000 bhp. With regards to this, it is believed that both Renault and Honda have managed to boost their power outputs by up to 70 bhp.

As far as engine noise go, fans can expect to feel more exhilarated when cars come roaring across the tracks for 2016, thanks to the revision of the the exhaust systems. This was done by removing the turbocharger wastegate’s chamber, thus effectively eliminating the car “silencer.” Nonetheless, it is believed that doing so will not affect the thermal efficiency or economy of the car.

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At the same time, tire provider Pirelli has introduced a fifth tire compound to their dry-weather tire line-up for the 2016 season. This would be the ultrasofts, used by some of the teams during the pre-season testing sessions in Barcelona. Furthermore, Pirelli shall be bringing three compounds to each race, giving the driver 13 sets of tires each race.

On the other hand, radio communications for the upcoming season will be more limited. Race engineers are especially facing more limitations on the radio. This is reportedly done to make drivers more self-reliant throughout the course of each race.

Nonetheless, teams can still communicate with their drivers regarding on-track dangers, track conditions, critical problems in the car, rival cars affected, instructions to pit, instructions to retire, marshaling flags or race cessation during the race. What will no longer be allowed are communications that will instruct a driver to run through the pit lane, go to the back of the grid, discuss car balance, switch it off or conduct a radio check.

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