Double points have been done away with, Korean Grand Prix is set to make a surprise return to the 2015 calendar and Max Verstappen would be thanking his stars for barely staying in F1.
Federation International de l’Automobile (FIA) during the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) meeting in Doha yesterday imposed an age-limit of 18 years for issuance of F1 super-licence from 2016 onward. However, since the Toro Rosso driver Verstappen already has one, the change will not affect him.
Verstappen will team up with 20-year-old Carlos Sainz Jr., son of former World Rally champion Carlos Sainz, at Toro Rosso for the 2015 season.
The five-day FIA Annual General Assembly and Prize Giving Gala event is being hosted by the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) at Doha’s St Regis Hotel.
According to the new regulations, apart from being over 18 years old, the driver must demonstrate knowledge of the sporting regulations, must have spent at least two years in minor Formulae and accrued a number of points from that experience.
Double points system for the season-ending race had been a thorny issue for drivers, teams and fans and the Jean Todt-led body has done away with that too.
The 27-member WMSC, which also includes the QMMF president and FIA vice president Nasser Khalifa al-Attiyah, ratified a record 21-race calendar including the Korean Grand Prix and a Mexican Grand Prix.
The race in Mexico has not been held since 1992 and is scheduled for November 1, while a date of May 3 has been set for the Korean race but with a caveat of ‘To Be Confirmed’.
The South Korean race had been facing financial woes when it was dropped from the 2014 calendar.
“Back to #Korea in 2015 ? Not the sexyest (sic) place of the world but did enjoy the 2013 GP …” Lotus driver Romain Grosjean tweeted yesterday. Grosjean had finished third in the race at the Yeongnam circuit.
The FIA release did not mention anything about the rising costs issue in Formula 1, which has already seen a team go under — Marussia F1 — and a team looking out for new buyers — Caterham F1.
In World Touring Car Championships, Qatar’s Losail International Circuit will host the season-ending race (subject to Event Promotion Agreement), an event traditionally hosted by Macau. The race weekend will be held November 20-22, 2015.
In a bid to spice up competition in the World Rally Championship, the WMSC voted to ban transmission of split times or other non-safety related data to competing cars. This means that drivers will have to deal with stages without any knowledge of their as well as competitors timings.
Also, to ensure a level playing field for WRC2 and WRC3 teams who run only one cars, only the best placed car in a team will be taken into account for points towards team championship.