Finishing cars are always weighed and measured and have fuel samples checked after races, before the results are made official.
However from the Bahrain GP onwards the FIA will randomly select one car for much more detailed examination, and potentially stripping of components.
The FIA has informed the team of the process, via a technical directive and a more general explanation from the stewards, so that they are aware that any car could be selected.
For transparency the FIA wants to make it clear that the selection process, and choice of which items to examine, is not necessarily based on any specific suspicions.
It also means that teams are expected to ensure that their engineers are available to co-operate with any investigation if necessary.
Teams may be asked to sign a declaration that their second car is of identical specification to the one that is being examined.
The process also means that official results will be marked as being subject to technical checks and that should any irregularities be found those results could change long after Sunday evening.
AlphaTauri mechanics with the AlphaTauri AT01 at scrutineering
Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images
In a bulletin issued on Saturday the FIA stewards noted: “In order to complete deeper technical checks of the cars in the championship, the technical delegate will routinely and randomly select one car at each event following the race for deeper disassembly, conformity checks and checks of software and systems.
“Additional checks may also be carried out on the Competitor’s other car. This is in accordance with Art. 14.3 and 25.5 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations.
“These checks will be in addition to the routine checks carried out by the technical department of the FIA and reported at the conclusion of each event.
“The technical delegate will publish his regular report, following which the Stewards will publish a ‘Final Classification’ which in accordance with Art. 20 of the International Sporting Code (ISC) will be marked as being ‘Subject to ongoing routine technical checks.’
“Should any irregularity be subsequently discovered, the technical delegate will publish a report and the stewards have ordered the technical delegate to take the appropriate steps to safeguard any evidence that may be discovered in these technical checks, including impounding and sealing relevant parts and information.
“Should a stewards’ investigation be necessary, in accordance with Art. 11.9.3.t of the ISC which concerns decisions that must be taken after an event, the stewards may reconvene, or delegate their authority to a subsequent panel of stewards, or to a panel assembled by the FIA for that purpose.
“The stewards emphasise that while this is a new procedure in this championship, it is routinely carried out in other FIA World Championships and competitions.”