The FIA's World Motor Sport Council has announced several changes to the sporting rules for the 2012 Formula 1 season.
Starting next year, all cars will have to pass all the mandatory crash tests in order to be able to take part in winter testing. The ruling body has also confirmed there will be a three-day test during the season, which is set to allow teams to run with their drivers mid-campaign. Previously, teams were only allowed to run during the season in the Young Driver test near the end of the year.
In addition, all lapped cars will be allowed to unlap themselves and then join at the back of the field during safety car periods, ensuring a clean restart without slower cars in front of the leaders.
There will now be a maximum race time of four hours during each grand prix, ensuring that lengthy suspensions do not result in events that are longer than that.
The FIA also said that from 2012, drivers will not be allowed to move back onto the racing line after having moved off it to defend their position. Cars which were in the pit lane when a race is suspended also will now be allowed to rejoin the grid in the position they were in when the race was stopped.
The governing body has also altered the use of tire allocations, with drivers now allowed to use all tires from the start of practice. Previously, only three sets were permitted.
Finally, the FIA said drivers will not be allowed to leave the track – like cutting a chicane on reconnaissance laps or in-laps to save time and fuel – without a justifiable reason.
The WMSC also announced that former grand prix driver Gerhard Berger has been appointed as the new president of the Single-Seater Commission.