The rules that have been used to govern Formula One racing have changed drastically over the years. The rules and regulations of the sport are often dictated by the main governing body, FIA. The main reasons behind the various F1 changes in rules are often associated with safety implementation. Over the decades, the FIA has provided several regulatory changes in the sport. This has included the incorporation of improved sporting equipment and strategies, which are available in the likelihood of any safety concerns. In particular, these rules have been customized at controlling dangerous activities on the sport with a main goal of making it much safer.

In addition to this, a host of technological and innovative additions have been restricted from use over the years based on the FIA legislations. This governing body has also implemented various approaches to ensure the speeds are reduced to the appropriate level for safe Grand Prix Racing. Without this type of mitigation techniques, these vehicles would be capable of achieving cornering velocities averaging at 300 km/h. It is important to note the result of an accident at such a high velocity would lead to astounding results. Since the year 2000, the FIA regulation has provided several changes to control the cost of the sport. In fact, the average cost of running a team in the sport has evolved significantly in the recent years, and this has not been a sustainable endeavor. The following are some of the notable changes from the begging til' now

During the 1950s

While Formula One races had been occurring ever since the late forties, it was only in 1950 that the sport was categorized as a World Championship. Safety was not regarded as a primary factor during the first one decade of racing, and technological progression was hampered. In fact, a significant portion of the circuits the were used for Formula One racing at the time comprised of barely any safety features. The general perspective at this period was that death was a reasonable risk in winning races. Consequently, very few rules and regulations were changed at this time.

During the 1960s

In the early of the 1960s, very few safety regulatory changes were introduced into the Formula one rule book. Having said that, the introduction of a new approach in cutting edge and modernized designs allowed for drivers to start proposing for improved safety regulations. This decade in the F1 sport is seen as the start of various regulatory changes in the sport.

The 1970s

These are the years which are regarded as the introduction of current changes to F1 racing. The speed of these vehicles had increased significantly by early 1950s, but the various safety factors had not been addressed. Unnecessary deaths were still a common occurrence, and various factors were considered. For instance, several drivers had the opinion that the danger of the sport was too high regardless of the changes which were introduced in the 1960s. The 1970s was also classified as the last decade of racing in long circuits. For instance, the SPA-Francorchamps circuit and the Nurburgring Nordschleife were banned due to safety issues. Various circuits were developed at the time with improved safety considerations such as enhanced car structures with additions such as aerofoils mounted on the side section of the vehicle.

In the 1980s

During the 1980s, the sport is believed to have become much safer especially after Petersons Fatal Crash. The immense amount of downforce produced by the ground effect increased in adversity over the years, thus leading to several deaths and accidents which would to career stopping injuries. As a result, the technology was restricted from use in early 1983. Some of the main safety additions included improved chasis structure with carbon fiber material, which reduced the fatalities in accidents in this decade. Having said that, companies such as Renault threatened safety regulations with their turbocharged engines. As a result, these engines were banned in the 1988 season, and new racing standards were set for the sport. Races became much more organized with the setting of specific racing times, practice sessions, and qualifying sessions as well. This was primarily meant to influence how advertisers would avail their products. As a result, the eighties is seen as the introduction of more organized F1 racing rules and increased commercialization of the sport.


Despite the various safety concerns especially during the turbo reign, Formula One had managed to go well over one decade without any fatalities during races. The improved car structures especially that of the improved carbon fiber chassis meant that people now believed that death was no longer an issue in the sport. This perspective was contradicted especially when the FIA hastily restricted all of the performance enhancing electronic tools that had become prevalent in the sport. With such hasty changes in the sport, many believed that this would be a shaky era in sports history. For instance, the fatal accidents of Jean Alesi and JJ Lehto during in season racing proved this point. The various changes that were implemented at the time were rash decisions and were believed to lead to be the leading cause of accidents. For instance, these Rash changes almost resulted in the death of Pedro Lamy, with the primary cause of the crash believed to be FIA hurrying to implemented to new rules. Before the final period of the decade, the impact of the 1994 Sam Grand Marino Grand Prix, led to improved Formula One safety regulations.

The new millennium

By the end of the 1990s, various safety standards were introduced for the second time in well over two decades. Having said that, the deaths of marshals in the year 2001 and 2001 after being struck by tires demonstrated that the safety would be an ever-present concern for the sport. Broadly speaking, the sport was much safer and in particular with the implementation of systems such as `HANS`(Head and neck safety), which have been significant safety improvements.

A significant portion of the changes introduced by FIA during this periods was aimed at controlling the speeds of the car and controlling costs of running the sport as well. The global credit crunch affected the sport with major companies such as Honda, BMW, and Toyota withdrawing their participation. The remaining manufacturers in cooperation with FIA have since then been working to reduce costs and improve regulations.

2011 up until now

The previous rule adjustments which were made at during the end of the new millennium were aimed at introducing the sport as entertainment has failed. With the ever increasing costs being much more controlled thanks to improved budget caps and safety standards at their optimal levels, the sport was now more focused on improving the entertainment perspective. In addition to this, there was also another goal of introducing environmental regulations in an effort to improve the future of the sport, especially with the world taking on a much more sustainable approach to things.