Formula 1 teams have been informed that FIA’s special qualifying mode ban will come into effect from the Italian Grand Prix onwards.
News of a potential ‘party mode’ ban first emerged ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, and race director Michael Masi confirmed that the intention was to introduce it as early as the following round, the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps on August 28-30.
The Race understands a technical directive has now been distributed to teams on Friday, with the aim to normalise the use of engine modes across a grand prix weekend.
But the technical directive will come into play at Monza, a week after Spa, with the FIA understood to be giving teams an extra week for ‘preparatory dyno testing’.
The FIA says the reason for the new directives is to make it easier to police the legality of F1’s current complex V6 turbo-hybrids.
The conventional wisdom is that the ‘party mode’ ban should peg back the dominant Mercedes team in qualifying, although both its team boss Toto Wolff and lead driver Lewis Hamilton have made it clear they didn’t believe it would be a significant hindrance to the team.