FIA to restrict F1 teams covering cars in pre-season

Mark Sutton/Sutton Images/LAT

FIA to restrict F1 teams covering cars in pre-season

Formula 1

FIA to restrict F1 teams covering cars in pre-season


Formula 1 teams will be unable to cover their cars during pre-season testing to allow fans a better experience, following a rules tweak by the FIA.

The World Motor Sport Council met on Wednesday in Paris to approve any changes to the 2020 regulations, and made one change to “wording to prevent teams from covering their cars during winter testing, in order to make these events more appealing to the media and fans.”

At present, teams use screens in front of their garages (pictured above) during testing to prevent photography and rival teams being able to get a close look at their cars, but that often means fans in the main grandstands are unable to see the cars other than when they are on track.

The change to the wording will see the cars treated as if it was a grand prix event — where covers are not permitted aside from if they are clearly required for mechanical reasons — apart from if the floor is not on the car. Teams will still be allowed to cover their cars during its recovery and repair if it was damaged during track running.

With no in-season testing in 2020, the WMSC approved the expansion the end-of-season Pirelli tire test from two to three days, with at least one of those days having to be carried out by a driver who competed in a race in 2020. At least one of the days must be completed by a ‘young driver’ — defined as drivers who have started no more than two grands prix in their careers.

Additionally, following a glitch at the Japanese Grand Prix this year, the FIA has reverted to using the checkered flag as the definitive end-of-race signal rather than an electronic board.