The limited testing in Formula 1 has frequently led teams to utilize filming days as means of testing new cars before official group runs. Formerly, teams were restricted to a mere 100 kilometres of running on these filming days, equating to less than 20 laps on your standard track. The FIA‘s World Motor Sport Council has voted in a milestone decision to double this mileage allowance.
Effective immediately, teams now have a running total of 200km. This is a notable development for tracks like Silverstone. Previously, teams were only permitted to run 16 laps, but now, they’re entitled to complete 33. This leap forward provides an intense advantage for pre-season shake-downs as teams attempt to eradicate any issues with new vehicles.
In addition to this, the FIA has included a unique clause in the new regulations; of the two filming days teams are granted throughout a season, each team is allowed only one per day. The remaining limitations on filming days, officially categorized as promotional events, are unchanged. For instance, cars must be fitted with an FIA Electronic Control Unit (ECU) and use specifically manufactured tyres for such events.
Beyond the promotional events, teams are also permitted two demonstration events where they can operate their cars up to a maximum of 50km. In a new twist, teams are no longer required to inform their rivals if they choose to participate in one of these events.
Some modifications for the 2024 testing rules have been introduced as well; the pre-season testing scheduled to occur in Bahrain will operate each day from 10 am to 7 pm, instead of the usual closing time of 7.30 pm, as was the case last year.
The FIA is also implementing tightened restrictions regarding testing of older cars. It’s stated that any components utilized on such vehicles must have been previously employed in a race weekend. The adjusted Article 10.2 C) asserts that cars may only employ components and software of a specification used in at least one competition or Testing of Current Car (TCC) during a Championship season.
These amendments are designed to inhibit teams from testing brand-new parts on older cars in a bid to assess their performance outside the permitted testing parameters. Additionally, a pivotal rule has now prohibited any systems or parts that aid in the provision of valuable information about current machinery during the testing of older cars.
A new rule reads: “No test parts, sensors, instrumentation, test software, component changes, operational tests or procedural tests will be permitted which give any sort of information to the Competitor that is related to cars of the current Championship or cars complying with TCC.” The additional stipulation specifies that “only instrumentation and sensors that are required for the reliable operation of the car and have been fitted at one or more races of the period will be permitted.”