The new F1 logo
The change of the F1 logo caused a huge discussion after being announced at the end of the Abu Dhabi GP weekend.
The primary thought among the fans was: Why change something which didn’t need to be changed? However, Liberty Media believed a change was necessary, even though they did not expect too many positive reactions by taking this road. According to surveys many people could not see the invisible ‘one’ within the old logo and Liberty Media wanted to keep it more simple and set its own mark on the ownership of the sport.
They argue with a focus to the future, but still, was it necessary? Liberty Media believes so, many fans disagree, but here we have it now. We will get used to it at some point…
Introduction of the ‘halo’ for 2018
In July, the FIA announced something that many fans and people involved in the sport were afraid of: The head protection ‘halo’ will be part of Formula 1 cars from 2018 onwards after tests suggested that the ‘aeroscreen’ is not an adequate solution yet, and different varieties of ‘halo’ have been worked on and tested for quite some time.
Since it’s clear that the halo can help to avoid fatal accidents in certain situations, the FIA felt that they have no choice but to introduce it, despite many people involved being against it. Drivers like Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Hulkenberg are definitely no fans of it, and the German even says that he hopes it won’t be used too long anyway. Still, if an accident were to occur and a halo had helped save a driver’s life, the FIA would be vindicated.
The thing which makes it controversial for most is the change to the looks of the cars. For decades we have been used to seeing the helmet unprotected in open-wheel cars. Of course we can expect the design to be changed to look more aesthetic, or even for the aeroscreen to be used when it’s developed to a point where it’s safe and the visibility is improved. Despite all debate, the FIA will stick to their plan and the 2018 Australian GP will be the very first F1 race where the whole grid uses head protection.
Stricter free practice requirements
The FIA has introduced a new, stricter system for drivers to acquire a free practice licence which means younger drivers will have to wait longer to get Formula 1 experience. Prior to the rule change, drivers needed to accumulate 300km (186 miles) in a ‘representative F1 car’ if they wanted to take part in a practice session without a superlicence.
But now the FIA has added more criteria which all young drivers must meet in order to compete. Drivers now need to have competed in at least six F2 races or have racked up 25 points on their superlicence in eligible championships during the previous three seasons. That is on top of the required 300km of representative running.
Once drivers have completed one practice session they must go on and finish a full F2 season or amass 25 points on their superlicence in order to be eligible for further running in any subsequent F1 practices. Formula 1 teams must also show evidence that their reserve drivers have been briefed about the most important rules and regulations and the drivers must then prove to the FIA they have consistently shown the highest quality of driving in single-seater formula cars.
Germany gets extended free-to-air F1 TV deal on RTL
Formula 1 will remain free-to-air in Germany until at least the end of the 2020 season after a new agreement was announced with broadcaster RTL on Tuesday. RTL has broadcast F1 live in Germany since 1991, covering the championship wins of Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg, but faced competition from Sky Germany to keep coverage free-to-air beyond the end of the 2017 season. The existing agreement has now been extended for a further three seasons, marking the latest TV agreement to have been struck under the tenure of F1’s new owner, Liberty Media.
F1 2018 testing
The first session of testing will get underway at the Circuit de Catalunya on Monday February 26, as the first period of testing will run for four days until March 1. A second period will resume on March 6 and run until March 9.
There will also be two in-season tests: the first is one is on May 15-16 back at Circuit de Catalunya and the second at Hungaroring in Budapest on July 31-August 1.