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Spare cars, engines and gearboxes

FIA regulations state that drivers may have no more than two cars available for use at any one time. Spare cars are no longer allowed, though teams may bring additional chassis which can be built up in the event of a race chassis being damaged beyond repair.

If a driver switches car between qualifying and the race then he must start the race from the pit lane. A change of car is not allowed once the race has started.

There are also restrictions on engine and gearbox use. Each driver may use no more than one engine for two consecutive events. If an engine change is required ahead of qualifying at either event, the driver will drop ten places on the grid for that event. If the change is made after qualifying, the driver goes to the back of the grid. From 2008, a driver will not be penalised the first time he needs a replacement engine during the season, unless it is at the final event of the championship.

Each driver may use no more than one gearbox for four consecutive events. As with engine changes, for this purpose an event comprises final practice, qualifying and the race. Every unscheduled gearbox change will require the driver to drop five places on the grid at that meeting.

If a driver fails to finish a race due to reasons beyond his or his team’s control, he may start the next meeting with a new engine and/or gearbox without incurring a penalty.

Spare cars and engines - Stickers ready to be applied to the front of the spare Toyota. World © Moy/Sutton Spare cars and engines - Super Aguri F1 Team spare car in the paddock. World © Sutton
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