F1 closes engine loophole
FORMULA One moved on Wednesday to close an engine loophole that has allowed world champion Lewis Hamilton and other drivers to stockpile power units by taking multiple and meaningless penalties at race weekends.
The governing International Automobile Federation (FIA)'s World Motor Sports Council said in a statement that, in future, only the last element fitted could be used at further events without penalty.
Mercedes driver Hamilton, who had suffered engine failures earlier in the year, took a 55-place starting grid penalty at last month's Belgian Grand Prix for exceeding his permitted allocation of engine components.
There are only 22 slots on the grid, which meant the Briton started at the back but did not have to carry any of the leftover penalty places to future races.
Mercedes had fitted three new power units beyond Hamilton's permitted allocation of five, expanding his pool of engines for the final races.
The Briton is currently eight points behind German teammate and championship leader Nico Rosberg with six races remaining, including Sunday's in Malaysia.