FIA Change Engine Rules for 2009

The rules regarding the use of only 8 engines throughout the upcoming F1 season have been clarified by FIA's race director Charlie Whiting in an interview for the series' official site. The FIA official finally brought some light into the matter, revealing that the rule on which an engine had to be used for at least 3 consecutive races has been dropped for 2009.

In exchange, all drivers will be penalized if using more than 8 engines throughout the season. A 10-place penalty on the starting grid for every extra engine will be incurred. However, the Friday practice session will no longer be exempted from that rule, which means the teams will have to run a total of 16 engine (8 per driver) for the entire duration of the upcoming season.

“It’s eight engines for the whole year. A driver will only incur a penalty if he uses a ninth engine. So the teams can use the engines as they like. There’s no three consecutive race rule because there doesn’t seem to be a need for it any longer. The engines will not have to do three complete events now,” said Whiting, according to Formula 1's site.

“In the past, as you know, the two-race engine was used only on Saturdays and Sundays. Now, for 17 races, the eight engines will have to do the three days of each grand prix. What the teams will do is to have a Friday engine that’ll probably do the first four races or something of that nature. They’ll then take the engine out and use another one for Saturday and Sunday. All we’ve got to do, - it’ll be extra work - is to make sure that these engines remain sealed and are untouched,” added Whiting.

Fernando Alonso warned, earlier this week, that the Friday sessions this year will see little traffic, as all teams will look to keep mileage down to a minimum in order to prolong the life of an engine. That would most likely lead to less testing of new aerodynamic devices by the teams, who'll have little time to develop and test it properly.
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