FIA clarifies new rules
Motorsport's governing body, the FIA, has clarified the rule changes affecting qualifying, post-qualifying and the use of spare cars in the 2003 Formula One season, which begins March 9.
Under the new regulations for the one-lap qualifying sessions
the 107 per cent qualifying rule, which stated that any driver who
failed to set a qualifying time within 107 per cent of the pole
position time could not race, has been removed.
Instead, a driver will have 30 seconds once shown the green
light to start his out-lap.
Any driver who fails to leave the pits during this time, or who
stops on the out-lap or impedes another driver will not be
permitted to take any further part in the qualifying session, and
will start from the back of the grid.
As drivers will only be permitted 30 seconds to leave the pits
to complete each of their qualifying runs, the FIA has said it will
permit working in the fast lane of the pits immediately before and
during both qualifying sessions.
If one or more cars fail to record a time during the first
session they will start their second qualifying session laps in
first session order reversed while if one or more cars fail to
record a time during the second session they will start the race in
second session order reversed.
Once a car has completed three laps and has returned to the
pits, it will be required to stop in the weighing area for
After weighing, race scrutineers will then move the cars to the
central FIA parc fermé, where they can be checked for general
conformity with regulations and to ensure that no alterations are
made between qualification and the race itself.
The FIA also confirmed that for safety reasons, no fuel could be
added to or removed from the car between the second qualifying
session and the race.
While the cars are being held only two members from each team
will be allowed to be in the central parc fermé at any one time and
mechanics will only be allowed to carry out minor checks such as
checking tyre pressures, fitting water heaters and changing tyres
before the car is pushed back to the team's garage.
All cars will remain under parc fermé conditions until the
Every car must start the race with the same wheels
and tyres that were used for qualifying except where qualifying
practice is held in wet conditions, and the warm up or race is dry
(or vice versa).
Under the new regulations, a spare car can only be used if a car
is damaged beyond repair. The spare car will then become the
relevant driver's race car.
If a race car is damaged in an accident which necessitated a
race stoppage within the first two laps a spare car can only be
used if the FIA Technical Delegate is satisfied that the original
car cannot be repaired in time for the re-start.
Cars will, in future, also not be allowed to be covered at any
time in the garages, pit lane or grid, except where they are needed
solely for mechanical reasons, such as fire protection or heat