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Summary of the Formula 1 Rule changes for 2009

Engine Homologation (2007 to 2010)

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Earlier F1 Rules and Regulations announcements
2008 F1 Rules and Regulations Page
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2009 Technical Regulations page

Following is a summary of the changes to the Formula 1 Rules and Regulations for the 2009 Formula 1 Season (compare with the 2008 F1 regulations) :
(Note: We only provide the major differences between the 2009 and the 2008 F1 regulations. For the full documents please follow the links at the top of this page)

The FIA introduced a number of major changes to the F1 regulations for the 2009 Formula 1 season aimed at improving overtaking by reducing the reliance on aerodynamic grip and increasing the mechanical grip. In addition, a few additional changes have been introduced as cost cutting measures in the face of the economic crisis.

Drivers' Championship:

The Drivers' Championship will be awarded to the driver who has won the most races during the season. If two or more drivers finish the season with the same number of wins, the title will be awarded to the driver with the most points, the allocation of points being based on the current 10, 8, 6 etc. system.


  • Introducing a neutral section of the front wing (the middle half metre).
  • The front wing is lower (75mm from 150mm) and wider (up from 1400 to 1800mm as wide as the car) with driver-adjustable flaps. (Drivers will be allowed to make two wing adjustments per lap).
  • No turning vanes, barge boards, chimneys or winglets.
  • A taller rear wing (up 150mm to bring it level with the top of the engine cover) and narrower rear wing (750mm from 1000mm).
  •  Longer and higher diffuser and moved rearwards, its leading edge now level with the rear-wheel axle line.

(with these changes, the FIA is hoping to acheive a 50% less downforce.


  • Slick tyres to be used instead of the grooved
  • The FIA have request from Bridgestone to make a bigger difference between the prime and option tyres available to the teams. Drivers will still have to use both tyres during a race (except when wet)

(this will enable more mechanical grip)

Energy Recovery (KERS)

  • Teams have the option to use a Kinetic Energy Recovery System in 2009 (it becomes mandatory in 2010) The KERS will allow a driver to have around 80 extra horsepower via a 'boost button' for about seven seconds per lap.

Engine power and use

  • Engines will be limited to 18,000 RPM (from 19,000 RPM in 2008) - Each driver is allocated eight engines for the whole year. These 8 engines can be used in any combination (including having a different engine for qualifying and the race). If a driver exceeds eight engines then penalties will apply.
  • Friday practice is included as part of the weekend in respect to engine use. (in 2008 team were allowed to use different engines on Friday).

Safety car

  • The safety car rules revert to the 2006 regulations concerning safety cars with the exception that a car has to maintain a certain speed to get back to the pits so a car cannot slow down excessively.


  • Track testing is banned 7 days before the first race of the season until the 31st of December.
  • Teams will be allowed to carry out three one day young driver training tests between the end of the last event of the Championship and 31 December of the same year. Drivers are eligible only if they have not competed in more than two F1 World Championship Events in the preceding 24 months or tested a Formula One car on more than four days in the same 24 month period.
  • Teams can also conduct eight one day aerodynamic tests carried out on FIA approved straight line or constant radius sites between 1 January 2009 and the end of the last Event of the 2009 Championship.

Wind Tunnel Testing

  • A maximum of 40 hours of testing per week is allowed.


  • The FIA will publish the weights of all cars after qualifying at each Event.
  • For greater clarity for spectators and media, wet tyres have been renamed “intermediate” and extreme-weather tyres renamed “wet”.
  • On the first day of practice all drivers must be available for autograph signing in their designated team space in the pit lane.
  • All drivers eliminated in qualifying must make themselves available for media interviews immediately after the end of each session.
  • Any driver retiring before the end of the race must make himself available for media interviews after his return to the paddock.
  • All drivers who finish the race outside the top three must make themselves available immediately after the end of the race for media interviews.
  • During the race every team must make at least one senior spokesperson available for interviews by officially accredited TV crews.

Click here for the 2009 Formula 1 Regulations discussion thread

Summary & Links to all the important Formula 1 announcements by the FIA

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