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F1 rule changes at a glance

February 24, 2004 18:30 IST

Despite the success achieved following rule changes in the 2003 F1 season, the sport has gone for an overhaul once again. provides an at-a-glance guide to the new rules for the 2004 season:


After reintroducing Friday qualifying last season -- it was done away with in 2002 -- qualifying has been dumped again this year. Instead, there will be two back-to-back sessions on Saturday afternoon. The first session will be reversed to set the running order in the second, which will determine all-important grid positions.

The difference in 2004 is that the second session will start just two minutes after the first ends.

Just as in 2003, refuelling is allowed after the first session, but not after the second. Which means teams have to win their grid slots while running their cars as they intend to start the race.

Changes to qualifying will mean a whole new set of tactics for teams.

Third drivers

In 2003, several teams chose to run in a new test session on Friday mornings in return for limiting their testing between races.

Renault in particular made this work to their advantage by running a third car with an experienced driver, Allan McNish, in it to help gain extra data.

But F1 bosses decided to change all that. For starters, the extra session has been eliminated.

But all, except 2003's top four teams, will be able to run a third car for another driver throughout Friday's two practice sessions as long as he has not competed in more than six Grands Prix in the previous two seasons.


There is a new restriction on technology for the new season, aimed at slowing cars through corners.

Rear wings, which provide much of the aerodynamic downforce at the back of the car, will be subject to new limits in 2004.

Previously, they could contain as many horizontal elements as required, but now there must be a maximum of three top rear wing elements and only one at the bottom.

Quick check:

Traction control: allowed

Automatic gearbox: banned

Launch control: banned

Extreme weather tyres: to be made available

Pit-to-car telemetry: banned

Pit-to-car radio: allowed

Engine: only 1 engine per driver per race available; use of spare engine will demote the driver 10 places down the grid.

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Number of User Comments: 25

Sub: hey what's dat with the rules?

i think slowly the excitement of racing will come to an end

Posted by Arun

Sub: rule changes

I think it is a good move by the authorities.In spite of the fact i beeing an ardent fan of the "SCARLET BARON" but in ...

Posted by Arvind.R.Prabhu

Sub: bad formula 1 administration

There is none in the whole world to stop ferrari's domination in F1.Ferrari is greatest and they work very hard for it.Seeing stupendous performance from ...

Posted by vini

Sub: Shumi the hero

It is good that the automatic gear box is banned.But this is not going to stop shumi from winning podiums.Shumi is the real F1 hero ...

Posted by savan

Sub: F1

Good 2 c indians catching up with the sport. But the news provided is not enough & complete. Make sure u provide full coverage of ...

Posted by Jithendra


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