What are the latest rules and guidelines?
Formula One is a constantly evolving sport and, while the basic rules remain the same, each season sees small changes or developments to the already existing rules. This is so that the guidelines take account of the latest technological and aerodynamic advancements. In order to sound like a real Formula One pro and not a fair weather fan - here are the most recent rules for the 2007 season!
After Michelin pulled out last year, Bridgestone have now become Formula One's sole tyre supplier. They will be supplying two types of tyre for each race and, depending on the conditions; one will prove quicker than the other.
The rule is that the teams must use each tyre for at least one stint (the gap between driver's pit stops) during each race.
It is tactical decisions like these, which are made by the driver and team’s management and pit crews, that make Formula One such an intriguing sport. Each of the two tyres supplied has differences in construction and in rubber compound in order to cope with the widest range of conditions, such as weather and track abrasiveness.
These two tyres do not include the specialist wet weather tyres, which are used in wet conditions, so if it rains, a race may be completed on three sets of tyres. But, far from being an academic question, it is deciding when each driver and his team should use the different tyres, and for how long, that can ultimately decide the race.
In previous years, teams have changed their engines on a yearly basis, meaning that the team with the biggest pockets would come out on top. This year, however, engine design has been frozen until 2009, with only very minor changes permitted within the published rules.
On top of this, each engine is limited to 19,000rpm (revs per minute), which will eliminate the traditional quest for extra revs as a means of finding more power. Instead, engine development will now concentrate on improving driveability and efficiency through secondary measures such as engine mapping software, which is a sophisticated method of ensuring that the engine operating to optimum efficiency at all speeds and in all conditions.