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F1 stewards handed more power to punish drivers in 2011

F1 drivers will face tougher regulations when they line up on the grid for next season's opening race in Bahrain.
F1 drivers will face tougher regulations when they line up on the grid for next season's opening race in Bahrain.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Formula One race stewards will have more power for the 2011 season
  • Stewards can now impose race bans on drivers who have broken the rules
  • Backmarkers must make way for faster drivers when they are being lapped
  • A curfew has been applied to team personnel to prevent mechanics working overnight
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(CNN) -- Formula One drivers will face tougher penalties for improper driving in the 2011 season, while race stewards will have more power to hand out sanctions.

Stewards were already able to issue drive-through and 10-second penalties or a drop of any number of grid positions, and they will now be able to exclude drivers from race classification and suspend them from future grand prixs.

The changes were released by ruling body the FIA in the wake of last Friday's World Motor Sport Council meeting in Monaco, at which the 2011 regulations were set.

The FIA also released details of driving practices it considers improper, including more than one change of direction when defending track position.

It also announced that backmarkers -- cars at the rear of the field who have been lapped by faster drivers -- will have to move aside for leading racers, or face being reported to the stewards.

F1 bosses drop ban on team orders

Another change for the forthcoming season is the introduction of a curfew on team personnel, which will prevent mechanics working on their cars through the night on a race weekend.

The curfew will be between midnight and 6 a.m. ahead of practice on a Friday and between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. before qualifying on a Saturday.

Each team will be allowed to break the curfew on four occasions throughout the season.

The 2011 season will begin with the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 11-13.