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March 15, 2020 - The FIA’s regulations for the 2020 season include changes that will see a greater responsibility placed on drivers at the start of the race and an increase of MGU-Ks to three throughout the season rather than two. Other changes include the reinstatement of the traditional chequered flag.
Changes to the clutch management system put a whole new emphasis on the driver’s skill rather than relying on the car’s software. The pull-type paddle-enabled clutch will control 90 per cent of the engine’s torque. The new regulations also specify that the paddles shouldn’t move more than 80mm in one direction.
A relaxation to energy recovery limits means that drivers can now use three Motor Generator Unit–Kinetic (MGU-Ks) throughout the season rather than two. Nine of the 20 drivers received penalties for exceeding their MGU-K limit in 2019.
The amount of fuel allowed outside the fuel survival cell is now limited to just 250ml -- down from two litres -- to prevent teams from briefly exceeding the 100kg/hour fuel-flow limit and boost performance. To this end, teams must now add a second FIA-controlled sensor to the fuel cell.
The change comes after rivals queried Ferrari’s straight-line power advantage last season. The FIA sensor only measures fuel flow at intervals; Red Bull Racing hypothesised that Ferrari could be timing an injection of extra fuel in between the measuring points of the fuel flow sensor to improve performance.
Among minor tweaks, the traditional chequered flag returns to mark the end of a race. The 2019 regulations saw the chequered flag replaced by a chequered light panel, but a glitch at the Japanese Grand Prix saw the electronic panel illuminate a lap before the end of the race.
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