Home - The Official Formula 1 Website Skip to content

2008 season changes

Published with permission from the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile.

From the 2008 Formula One Sporting Regulations:


28.4 f) Except during the last Event of the Championship season, each driver will be permitted to use a replacement engine without incurring a penalty the first time this becomes necessary during the season.
28.6 a) Each driver may use no more than one gearbox for four consecutive Events in which his team competes. Should a driver use a replacement gearbox he will drop five places on the starting grid at that Event each time a further gearbox is used. Unless the driver fails to finish the race (see below) the gearbox fitted to the car at the end of the Event must remain in it for three further Events. Any driver who failed to finish the race at the first, second or third of the four Events for reasons beyond the control of the team or driver, may start the following Event with a different gearbox without a penalty being incurred.
A gearbox will be deemed to have been used once the car's timing transponder has shown that it has left the pit lane.
b) If a driver is replaced after the first, second or third of a four Event period, having finished the first, second or third Events, the replacement driver must use the gearbox which the original driver had been using.
c) After consultation with the relevant team the FIA will attach seals to each gearbox in order to ensure that no moving parts, other than those specifically permitted under d) below, can be rebuilt or replaced.
Following each of the first three Events, and within two hours of the end of the post race parc fermé, further seals will be applied in order to ensure that the gearbox cannot be used until the following Event. These seals will be removed at 0900 on the day of initial scrutineering at the following Event.
d) At the second, third and fourth Events seals may be broken once, under supervision and at any time prior to the start of the qualifying practice session, for the sole purpose of changing gear ratios and dog rings (excluding final drives or reduction gears).
Gear ratios and dog rings (excluding final drives or reduction gears) may also be changed under supervision for others of identical specification at any time during an Event provided the FIA technical delegate is satisfied there is evident physical damage to the parts in question and that such changes are not being carried out on a systematic basis.
e) Other than under d) above, a replacement gearbox will also be deemed to have been used if any of the FIA seals are damaged or removed from the original gearbox after it has been used for the first time.

33.1 The qualifying practice session will take place on the day before the race from 14.00 to 15.00.
The session will be run as follows :
a) From 14.00 to 14.20 (Q1) all cars will be permitted on the track and at the end of this period the slowest seven cars will be prohibited from taking any further part in the session.
Lap times achieved by the seventeen remaining cars will then be deleted.
b) From 14.27 to 14.42 (Q2) the seventeen remaining cars will be permitted on the track and at the end of this period the slowest seven cars will be prohibited from taking any further part in the session.
Lap times achieved by the ten remaining cars will then be deleted.
c) From 14.50 to 15.00 (Q3) the ten remaining cars will be permitted on the track.
The above procedure is based upon a Championship entry of 24 cars. If 22 cars are entered only six cars will be excluded after Q1 and Q2.

From the 2008 Formula One Technical Regulations:

8.2 Control electronics

8.2.1 All components of the engine and gearbox, including clutch, differential and all associated actuators must be controlled by an Electronic Control Unit (ECU) which has been manufactured by an FIA designated supplier to a specification determined by the FIA.

The ECU may only be used with FIA approved software and may only be connected to the control system wiring loom, sensors and actuators in an manner specified by the FIA.

8.2.2 All control sensors, actuators and FIA monitoring sensors will be specified and homologated by the FIA.

Each and every component of the control system will be sealed and uniquely identified and their identities tracked through their life cycle.

These components and units may not be disassembled or modified in any way and seals and identifiers must remain intact and legible.

8.2.3 The control system wiring loom connectivity will be specified by the FIA.

8.2.4 Pneumatic valve pressure may only be controlled via a passive mechanical regulator or from the ECU and its operation will be monitored by the ECU.

8.2.5 The car hydraulic system will be monitored by the ECU.

8.2.6 The ECU will be designed to run from a car system supply voltage of 12V nominal provided by a homologated voltage regulator.

9.2 Clutch control
9.2.2 Designs which allow specific points along the travel range of the clutch operating device to be identified by
the driver or assist him to hold a position are not permitted.

9.3 Traction control
No car may be equipped with a system or device which is capable of preventing the driven wheels from spinning under power or of compensating for excessive throttle demand by the driver.

Any device or system which notifies the driver of the onset of wheel spin is not permitted.

14.6 Headrests and head protection
14.6.3 Whilst he is seated normally the two further areas of padding for the driver's head must be positioned in an area bounded by two vertical lines and one horizontal line through the front, rear and lower extremities of the driver's helmet (on the vehicle centre line), and the upper surface of the survival cell. Each of these must cover an area greater than 33000mm² when viewed from the side of the car and be no less than 95mm thick, this minimum thickness being maintained to the upper edges of the survival cell and over their entire length. The minimum thickness will be assessed perpendicular to the car centre line but a radius no greater than 10mm may be applied along their upper inboard edges. If necessary, and only for driver comfort, an additional piece of padding no greater than 10mm thick may be attached to these headrests provided they are made from a similar material which incorporates a low friction surface.

19.4 Composition of the fuel
19.4.5 A minimum of 5.75% (m/m) of the fuel must comprise oxygenates derived from biological sources. The percentage that each component is considered to originate from a biological source is calculated from the relative proportion of the molecular weight contributed by the biological starting material.

Play video