Featured image from F1 site. Oh the colors!
Sporting regulations for the 2018 season include:
– Only three engines are allotted for each team to use this season, down from four for the previous. This is apparently to encourage engineers to design more reliable power units (looking at you…Honda…) and also reduce team costs. It will also help reduce the number of power unit changes and penalties (see below) incurred on teams.
– New, simpler grid penalties have been established where if changes with 15+ grid spot penalties are incurred, drivers are to start from the back of the grid, in order of the penalized changes made. (Honestly, the way they had it last year sounds nearly identical, as you could incur a 33-spot penalty and still start at the back of the grid. The question is, why is there any grid spot penalty over 20 grid spots when there are only 20 cars on the grid? It would have been simpler to lower the number given for the penalty or just make them automatically start from the back of the grid. But the FIA’s way is clearly more simple….)
– More Tires! Just when you thought you had finally grasped the complicated and abundant number of tires used for Formula 1, well, now there are more to remember! Pirelli has introduced two new compounds for the 2018 season, expanding the selection from five to seven compounds, now including a hypersoft and superhard. Teams will continue to select from the three compounds preselected for each race. To give you a refresher on tires and what they now include, the list goes as follows: Hypersoft (pink), Ultrasoft (purple), Supersoft (red), Soft (yellow), Medium (white), Hard (blue), Superhard (orange). Pirelli also indicated these new tire compounds are a step softer than the 2017 compounds, which could potentially lend to a second per lap quicker.
Technical regulations for 2018 include:
– No more T-wings and shark fins, which will bring some relief to the grid and fans. Last year there were multiple issues with T-wings falling off cars during races, with a failed effort (led by Red Bull) to ban them during the season. And although the shark fin had aerodynamic purposes, it was just plain awful to look at. However…
– …It is still not as awful as the inevitable halo, whose thong sandal-shaped design will be gracing cars for the 2018 season. We are all for safety, but hopefully someone will develop something more aesthetically pleasing for future seasons. Or Ferrari will threaten to leave again and maybe that will get those things off the car more quickly.
– The FIA also outlawed trick suspension, which allowed teams like Red Bull and Ferrari to place a small link in the front suspension allowing the ride height of the car to vary, dependent on the steering angle. You may not have even realized that was a thing, but so it stands it will be forbidden to use in the 2018 season.
Former Red Bull and Toro Rosso driver, Daniil Kvyat was announced this week as the new development driver for Ferrari, and I promise this is not a joke nor am I pulling anyone’s leg, as was thought in reaction to the initial announcement. Considering his tiff on-track with Ferrari’s “top” driver, Sebastian Vettel, this new arrangement is bound to make for an interesting team dynamic. At least in test driving, Kvyat shouldn’t get in the way or destroy too many cars. What is also interesting is Ferrari embracing the driver considering his relationship with Vettel last season, and getting fired from two teams.
Chip Ganassi Racing is no longer talking with Danica Patrick for running the Daytona 500 and Indy 500 this year. Patrick announced her retirement from NASCAR at the end of the 2017 season, hoping to sort out a ride for the Daytona 500 and Indy 500 as a career finale. She’s still in works to produce a ride for both efforts, but a CGR ride is off the table.
Andretti Autosport shared on social media moments of testing the new 2018 aero kit this week, including Carlos Munoz, who, like his former A.J. Foyt Racing teammate, Conor Daly, does not have a full time ride for the 2018 IndyCar season. Munoz however, was fortunate enough to grab one of the Indy 500 seats with the Andretti Autosport team.
The 2018 aero kit will be making a special appearance at the 2018 North American International Auto Show, with a press conference next week in Detroit. Stay tuned for more.
Team IndyCar’s Alexander Rossi and Conor Daly survived another week of challenges on CBS’s The Amazing Race. If you haven’t had a chance to catch up on this week’s episode, it includes watching Conor try to appraise diamonds, and the duo racing as french fries in Belgium.
Earlier this week, Formula E announced their partnership with ABB, renaming the series the ABB FIA Formula E Championship. ABB brings its innovative work and technology leadership to a series looking to be the future and innovation of vehicles, with both aiming to work together on the future of e-mobility. (There is also a cute animation including a Formula E car on their main page if you’re interested.)
And ABB will make their debut with the next stop for the series tomorrow in Marrakesh. Don’t forget, if you haven’t voted for your FanBoost, there is still time!
15 days til the Rolex 24!!!
The Roar Before 24 provided a peek as to what to expect in the 2018 season. The Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda had the first official IMSA race of the season, featuring the LMP3 class and the Mazda Prototype Challenge. Sixteen-year-old Canadian Roman De Angelis took the win for LMP3 in the No. 4 Ligier JS P3 for ANSA Motorsports, and Dr. Robert Masson, a local neurosurgeon, won the Mazda Challenge in the No. 11 Performance Tech Motorsports car.
Sunday following the Prototype race was qualifying and garage assignments for the Rolex 24. IMSA is beginning to post and update the 2018 season news, so for more on who is who on the GTLM grid, check here on IMSA’s news page. More updates are sure to come.
As a last note, I will be attending the Rolex 24 this year, as a spectator at least, but I plan to be posting updates live. Make sure you are following @GpGrlTweets on Twitter and @GpGrlPhoto on Instagram to keep up on the excitement!