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The Rule Book and its history


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#1 David Beard

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 13:00

Sometimes one has to own up to not knowing stuff that a TNFer should really be familiar with…. :

These days you can go to the FIA web site and experience the full horror of today’s F1 rule book. But where can I go to learn the detail of the regulations in earlier times?

In particular, can someone tell me what the requirements were for self-starter systems and reverse gears in 1958 and 59, in F1 and F2?

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#2 RS2000

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 14:44

Good question. There's been a lengthy discussion on another forum about late 60's FIA regs for Gp2,5 etc. It seems original hard copy "Yellow Books" is the only definitive source? Its not helped by FIA using Appendix K now rather than resurecting true "period" Appendix J. At least FIA has current detailed regs on line. UK MSA only makes current regs available to those who already have hard copy, which is not the most logical situation...

#3 Roger Clark

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 14:54

On board self starters became mandatory for Formula 1 in 1961.

I'm not aware of any mention of reverse gears becoming compulsory at that time, so I assume they were required under the 2.5 litre formula. I'm sure I've seen film of 50s Grand Prix cars reversing, which supports that assumption. Whether certain cars emanating from the shadier areas of north London were wholly compliant with these regulations is another matter.

I think that the requirements of formula 2 were the same as formula 1 in this respect.

#4 David McKinney

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 14:58

Although some 1954/60 GP cars had reverse gears I think these were for convenience rather than compliance with any regulations. Fairly sensible to fit one, in case your driver spun into an awkward position, but I don't think they were mandatory.
And, like Roger, I'm pretty sure you didn't need self-starting mechanisms back then.

#5 Vitesse2

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 22:12

In answer to David's original "where?" my only suggestion would be the RAC Library. Or maybe Beaulieu.

The foreword to the first Yellow Book states that the regulations were "hitherto circulated separately and from time to time by the FIA, and it was not always easy to obtain a complete collection of them."

I do know that the AC de France published an annual before the Yellow Books appeared, but I've never seen a copy, so I have no idea if it contains what you're looking for David.

#6 D-Type

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 22:19

Self starters definitely became mandatory in the 1961 F1 regs.

I suspect that reverse gear has been mandatory since the year dot as it was always required for Land Speed Record cars, so it may well have been part of the FIA definition of 'a car'

#7 David Beard

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 12:54

Thanks for the replys.

This puzzles me, though...


Originally posted by D-Type
I suspect that reverse gear has been mandatory since the year dot as it was always required for Land Speed Record cars, so it may well have been part of the FIA definition of 'a car'


At least one car in 58 and 59 (yes, from north London, as Roger suggests) definitely didn't have a reverse gear. Somewhere I have read a comment in Motor Sport by DSJ on this fact, but I would have to do a lot of reading to find it again.
I think the comment was to the effect that the a reverse gear was required, but the team was getting away with it. Don't things change!

#8 Kvadrat

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Posted 22 March 2005 - 04:27

Originally posted by Vitesse2
The foreword to the first Yellow Book...


When first Yellow Book was published?

#9 Vitesse2

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Posted 22 March 2005 - 13:20

Originally posted by Kvadrat


When first Yellow Book was published?


1968.

Originally posted by Kvadrat
I do know that the AC de France published an annual before the Yellow Books appeared, but I've never seen a copy, so I have no idea if it contains what you're looking for David.

I've since obtained a copy of the 1936 edition. No regulations, unfortunately, apart from the rules of the ACF itself. It lists all the members of the club, complete with their home addresses and joining date - among the names I've noted are George Heath (joined 1899), residing in Neuilly, and the novelist "Guillaume W Somerset-Maugham", resident of Cap-Ferrat. Ettore Bugatti didn't actually join until 1926, but his address is given simply as "Molsheim"!

The committees of the ACF are also listed, together with the members of the AIACR and CSI, committee members of various national ACs and of affiliated French and colonial clubs.

#10 Stephen W

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Posted 22 March 2005 - 14:34

Originally posted by David Beard
These days you can go to the FIA web site and experience the full horror of today’s F1 rule book. But where can I go to learn the detail of the regulations in earlier times?


David, maybe it should be WHO rather than WHERE. I would have thought one person who would have a copy would be the blessed Bernie Ecclestone!

I know shock horror but I suspect deep down he is an avid collector. So you could try a punt in his direction via the FIA website?

:rotfl:

#11 HDonaldCapps

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 11:42

I found the contemporary rules for the Coupe Internationale/ Gordon Bennett Cup, the W.K. Vanderbilt, Jr. Cup, and the earliest version of the AAA Contest Rules I have yet to discover in a book published in 1905. The CSI did not publish its first Sporting Regulations until late 1925, as I recall.