Formula 1 announce changes to 2020 clutches

Date published: May 1 2019

New clutch, oil-burning and rear mirror rules agreed for 2020.

Formula 1 will bring in a revised set of clutch regulations for 2020 in an attempt to make it more difficult for drivers at race starts.

Motorsport.com report that along with making pull-type paddle-activated clutches mandatory for each driver, the clutch signals used by the standard ECU will also receive close attention from the FIA in an attempt to limit any advantageous mapping.

If a team wants to use two clutch paddles on the steering wheel, each paddle must now be identical, and the paddle must work linearly with the clutch – meaning that the drivers’ actions alone must be representative of the engagement of the clutch.

All these changes mean that a greater responsibility will now be on the drivers, so we could see more variation in getaways at race starts.

Article 9.2.1, section F of the technical regulations states that: “To ensure that the signals used by the FIA ECU are representative of the driver’s actions, each competitor is required to demonstrate that the paddle percentage calculated by the ECU does not deviate by more than +/-5% from the physical position of the operating device measured as a percentage over its entire usable range.”

The FIA have also moved to reduce the oil-burning taking place in the cars – Motorsport.com report that tougher rules will come in to place on the transfer of oil to the powertrain.

Only one auxiliary oil tank (AOT) may be included within the car. This, and the pipework connecting to the engine, cannot exceed 2.5 litres – and must be solenoid controlled.

The amount of fuel outside of the survival cell has also seen a major reform, dropping from 2 litres to 0.25 litres allowed in a bid to stop any fuel flow trickery or mixing of oil with fuel in other areas of the car.

The final change relates to rear-view mirrors as the FIA look to limit their aero benefits by ordering them to be enclosed in a smaller box.

They must also be 30mm closer to the survival cell and 40mm lower down from 2020 after complaints of limited visibility.

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