High-tech light panels will be mandatory at all circuits that host events in the FIA Formula One World Championship & FIM MotoGP World Championship from 2022, and the FIA World Endurance Championship, FIM WorldSBK and FIM EWC from 2023, as part of a new safety partnership between the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM).
Homologated light panel © Photo FIA
The light panels can be operated by race control or trackside by marshals and are used to display crucial information to competitors including flag information, weather status, and if a safety car or virtual safety car has been deployed.
Currently in F1, the championship promoter is responsible for transporting the top-level panels to each race but then removes them for the next one, meaning that other events on those circuits do not have access to this safety technology. The new requirement will mean that every championship competing on these circuits will have access to F1 levels of safety technology.
Each of the FIA Grade 1 circuits on the F1 calendar will need to install the T1-spec homologated light panels, which have passed the latest FIA Standard 3504-2019.
Each of the FIM circuits on MotoGP, World Superbike, and Endurance calendars will need to install the T1 or T2 spec homologated light panels.
The requirement will extend to other FIA Grade 1 or Grade 2 circuits hosting FIA Championship events, including the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2023, where T2-spec panels will be mandatory, and FIA Grade 3 circuits hosting FIA Championships in 2024 where the T3-spec light panel will be required.
These panels undergo rigorous testing by the Federal Institute of Metrology laboratory in Switzerland, where they are examined under a number of conditions including rain and direct sunlight.
British company EM Motorsport is currently the only manufacturer to have passed the FIA tests for T1 and T2 light panels, with several other manufacturers currently in the process of homologating their products. Spanish company Pixelcom has passed the FIA T2 tests and is currently the only provider for FIA-homologated T3 panels.
This new requirement builds on the collaboration between the FIA and FIM on circuit safety and follows the introduction of a joint circuit paint standard earlier this year.
Stuart Robertson, FIA Head of Circuit and Rally Safety, said: “This is another important step in the collaboration between the FIA and FIM on circuit safety. It will ensure that all championships that race on these top-level circuits can have access to the latest safety innovations.”
Franck Vayssié, FIM Circuit Racing Commission Director, added: “The FIM and FIA share a strong bond in terms of safety and this further strengthens that cooperation. Making these light panels mandatory at FIM circuits that host MotoGP, Superbike and Endurance World Championships will help to ensure the highest levels of safety for all series that race on these top-level tracks.”