The FIA just took preventive action against a start procedure which had the potential to emulate a launch control system activated by a driver on the starting grid.
Following an inquiry by Ferrari questioning the validity of such a system, the FIA has issued a warning to all teams clarifying the matter but outlawing the system.
It is not clear whether Ferrari genuinely sought approbation from the governing body on the ‘preloaded start’ system, or if the correspondence was simply a ruse to put the concept out in the public domain in order to prevent rival teams from embracing it.
In its attempt to hand back to the driver as much control as possible in the starting procedure, the FIA introduced last season restrictions on the amount of help a driver may receive from his team as he heads to the grid, mainly in terms of finding clutch bite points at the start.
The ‘preloaded’ start procedure involved a preset series of settings destined to provide the driver with optimum launch off the grid.
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When the restrictions were introduced last seasons, drivers endured less consistent starts, with Lewis Hamilton indeed fumbling a few launches off the grid which cost him dearly.
It is understood however that FIA’s Charlie Whiting outlawed the procedure brought to light by Ferrari on the grounds of safety.
With the process involving lowering revs during the preload phase, drivers would run the risk of anti-stall kicking in, leaving a car dangerously stranded on the grid.
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