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F1 to introduce penalty system for drivers, in-season testing

Associated Press

6/28/2013 11:53:43 AM

SILVERSTONE, England -- Along with new engines, the 2014 F1 season will have plenty of other changes including a penalty point system for drivers and expanded testing to be allowed, the World Motor Sports Council announced Friday.

The penalty system was prompted by race crashes in the past year. The system would allow a driver to accumulate 12 points before he is banned from the next race. The council said the penalty points would depend on the "severity of the offence."

It also announced plans to allow preseason testing in January, which raises the prospect that some could take place in Abu Dhabi or Bahrain, which have been lobbying to host them. It also would allow four two-day track sessions during the season. The tests would be held in Europe and on the Tuesday and Wednesday after each race to "ensure minimal additional resources are necessary.

In-season testing was banned in 2009 because of concerns over the high costs, especially among the smaller teams.

Other changes approved by the World Motor Sports Council, the rule-making body of the International Automobile Federation (FIA), included allowing Mercedes to supply engines to a maximum of four teams in 2014.

There are other rule changes for drivers, as well. Gear boxes can be used for six rather than five races, no more than 100 kilograms of fuel can be used for one race and pit lane speeds have been set at 80 kilometres per hour in practice and qualifying.

Currently, the speed limit is 60 kph in practice and 100 kph for qualifying.