New wet start procedure for 2017

Date published: September 29 2016

Formula 1 will introduce a new wet weather start procedure in 2017 after the sport came in for heavy criticism in the wake of the British Grand Prix.

The opening five laps of this year’s Silverstone race took place behind the Safety Car despite several drivers calling for it to be started.

Race Control, though, waited until the conditions were good enough for intermediates before there was a rolling start.

Drivers and fans alike complained, prompting the FIA to adopt a new procedure for 2017.

“A new procedure regarding wet weather starts was accepted,” read an FIA statement following Wednesday’s World Motor Sport Council meeting.

“From 2017, if a Safety Car is deemed to be required for the beginning of a race due to wet weather, a normal standing start will occur once the track is deemed safe to race.

“The process will see the safety car return to the pit lane and the cars assemble on the grid for the start.”

The FIA also announced that next season, given the introduction of new wider tyres, all the drivers will have the same two hard, four medium and seven soft sets of tyres for the first five grands prix.

“For the first five events of the 2017 Championship season only, the normal team selection procedure for tyres will not be used as the deadline occurs before pre-season testing.

“For these events the supplier will allocate two sets of the hardest compound specification, four sets of the medium compound specification and seven sets of the softest compound specification to each driver.”

The ban on drivers changing their helmet designs has also been relaxed but for one race only, or if the driver swaps teams mid-season.

The FIA said: “Drivers must continue to present their helmets in substantially the same livery at every event of the FIA Formula One World Championship for easy recognition of the driver in the car, however a driver will now be allowed one event (such as a home race) for a special livery (at the driver’s choice).

“Drivers will also be allowed to change their helmet liveries if changing teams during the season.”