F1 CALENDAR 2019
The following twenty-one Grands Prix are due to be run as part of the 2019 World Championship. Each race is run over a minimum number of laps that exceeds a total distance of 305 km (189.5 mi); the only exception to this is the Monaco Grand Prix, for which the distance is 260 km (161.6 mi).
Race Director and Technical Delegate Charlie Whiting died unexpectedly days before the opening race of the season in Australia. Deputy Race Director Michael Masi was named as his successor.
In a bid to improve overtaking, teams agreed to a series of aerodynamic changes that affect the profile of the front and rear wings. The front wing endplates were reshaped to alter the airflow across the car and reduce the effects of aerodynamic turbulence, and winglets above the main plane of the front wing have been banned. The slot in the rear wing was widened, making the drag reduction system (DRS) more powerful. The agreed-upon changes were drawn from the findings of a working group set up to investigate potential changes to the technical regulations in preparation for the 2021 championship.
Parts of the technical regulations governing bodywork were rewritten in a bid to promote sponsorship opportunities for teams. The agreed changes are to mandate smaller bargeboards and limit aerodynamic development of the rear wing endplates to create more space for sponsor logos. The changes were introduced as a response to falling revenues amid teams and the struggles of smaller teams to secure new sponsors.
The mandated maximum fuel levels were raised from 105 kg (231 lb) to 110 kg (240 lb) so as to minimise the need for drivers to conserve fuel during a race. Driver weights are no longer considered when measuring the minimum weight of the car. This change was agreed to following concerns that drivers were being forced to lose dangerous amounts of weight in order to offset the additional weight of the post- 2014 generation of turbo-hybrid engines. Drivers who weigh less than 80 kg (180 lb) will have to make up this weight with ballast, located around the seat to minimise possible performance gains. The changes were introduced (1) to eliminate the advantage drivers with a naturally smaller body shape had over taller and heavier drivers and (2) to discourage unhealthy diet and exercise regimes to improve performance.
The regulations introduced a bonus point to the driver (and the constructor) that sets the fastest lap in a race. The point is only awarded if the driver is classified in the top ten at the end of the race. This makes 2019 the first time since 1959 that a bonus point gets awarded for setting the fastest lap.
The FIA introduced a new standard for driver helmets with the intention of improving safety. Under the new standard, helmets will be subjected to a more thorough range of crash tests aimed at improving energy absorption and deflection as well as reducing the likelihood of objects penetrating the helmet’s structure. All certified helmet manufacturers were required to pass the tests in advance of the 2019 championship to have their certification renewed. Once introduced to Formula One, the new standard will gradually be applied to all helmets used by competitors in every FIA-sanctioned event.
Tyre supplier Pirelli renamed its range of tyres following a request from the FIA and the sport’s management. The governing body argued that the naming conventions used in 2018 were obtuse and difficult for casual spectators to understand.Under the new plan, names given to particular compounds, such as “hypersoft” and “ultrasoft”, will be replaced by referring during each race to the three compounds teams have available for that race as soft, medium and hard. This is hoped to aid fans in understanding the tyre compounds used at each round. The actual compounds for the season will be referred to by number, from the firmest (“1”) to the softest (“5”). Pirelli will continue to decide which three compounds are made available for each race. The practice of using colours to identify the specific compound (such as pink for the hypersoft) will be discontinued, with white, yellow and red being used for the three compounds available for each race where white denoted the hardest available compound and red the softest. As all five compounds are available in testing there will be slight variations in the details on the tyre sidewalls to distinguish between the different compounds during testing.