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Longer Friday practice among 2007 changes 18 Oct 2006

The FIA’s World Motorsport Council met in Barcelona on Wednesday and subsequently confirmed a number of changes to Formula One racing’s sporting regulations for 2007 and beyond.

Among the key changes for next season are alterations to the Grand Prix weekend format. Fridays will now feature two 90-minute sessions, with teams allowed to use a third driver, but only two cars. The two-race engine rule will no longer apply on Friday, so anyone experiencing an early failure will not be penalised with a grid penalty.

Under next year's move to a single tyre supplier, each team will receive only two specifications of tyre per event. However, they will get more sets - four per driver on the Friday and ten for the remainder of the weekend.

Safety car regulations have also been modified to prevent drivers diving for the pits the minute the safety car comes onto the circuit, and to stop backmarkers interfering with the leaders during a race restart.

And in a move to further improve safety in the sport, a GPS marshalling system, involving a cockpit light display of flag signals, will be introduced for next season.

The FIA release in full:
The following sporting regulations were approved for the 2007 FIA Formula One World Championship.

Practice
Teams may only use two cars in any one practice session. A nominated third driver or either race driver can use these cars in the session.
The two free practice sessions on the first day of practice have been extended from one hour to ninety minutes each.

Tyres
The single tyre supplier is required to provide identical quantities and specifications of tyres to all teams over a calendar year.
It may only provide two specifications of tyre at each Event.
The quantity of dry-weather tyres each driver may use at an Event has been increased from seven sets to 14. A maximum of four sets will be available to each driver for the first day of practice and 10 for the remainder of the Event.

Engines
The two-race engine regulations will now only apply to the second day of practice and the day of the race.
Engines homologated and used during the last two Events of 2006 must now be used during the 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 seasons.

Safety Car
When the Safety Car is deployed no car is permitted to enter the pits until all are bunched up behind the Safety Car. This is to remove all incentive for cars to be driven quickly back to the pits for refuelling when the Safety Car is deployed.
Before the Safety Car returns to the pits any lapped car between cars running on the lead lap must pass those cars and the safety car. It may then proceed around the track to take up position at the back of the line of cars behind the safety car.
Before a race is resumed any lapped car between cars running on the lead lap must pass those cars and the safety car and then proceed around the track to take up position at the back of the line of cars behind the safety car.

Stewards
The stewards may now impose grid place penalties.

The following sporting regulations were approved for the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship:

FIA ECU to be fitted for all testing in addition to races.
A 10 place grid penalty will be issued for an engine change, as opposed to a weight penalty.
A five place grid penalty will be issued for a gearbox change, as opposed to a weight penalty.
Gear ratios may be changed once per race under supervision.
Damaged gear ratios and dog rings may be changed without penalty provided it is evident physical damage has not been made deliberately.

Ferrari’s request to supply two teams with engines in the 2008 championship has been accepted.

A number of technical regulations were also approved for the 2007 and 2008 championships.