F1 outlines rule changes for 2021

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Bahrain, Bahrain International Circuitbh

The Formula One teams and the FIA have today been informed about the set of rule changes that F1 aims to implement in 2021, a year when the sports aims to resolve some of its long standing issues, including team competitiveness and on-track action.

Chase Carey, Chairman and CEO at Formula 1, said: “Formula 1 is a sport with a rich history. We want to preserve, protect and enhance that history by unleashing F1s potential, by putting our fans at the heart of a more competitive and more exciting sport. We are driven by one desire: to create the world’s leading sporting brand. Fan-centred, commercially successful, profitable for our teams, and with technological innovation at its heart.”

The announced initiatives are nothing specific, and it is believed that this outline has been kept vague on purpose while discussions with the teams are ongoing. Ferrari has been very vocal by submitting a quit threat, while Mercedes have equally shown worried about the potential prospect of simplifying the engines too much.

Interestingly, the budget cap is now back on the table, after repeated failures to have it introduced under the helm of Bernie Ecclestone. Smaller teams have asked for this repeatedly, as this might close the field, and make all competitors rely more on engineering, rather than measuring performance based on the available budgets. Discussions around this topic are expected to be fierce once again. It will also be interesting to see how this will be governed, as potential abuse and workarounds for the system were one of the reasons why it failed to be introduced earlier on.

Key strategic initiatives

Power units (PU)

  • The PU must be cheaper, simpler, louder, have more power and reduce the necessity of grid penalties.
  • It must remain road relevant, hybrid and allow manufacturers to build unique and original PU.
  • New PU rules must be attractive for new entrants and Customer teams must have access to equivalent performance.

Costs

  • We believe how you spend the money must be more decisive and important than how much money you spend.
  • While there will be some standardised elements, car differentiation must remain a core value
  • Implement a cost cap that maintains Formula 1's position as the pinnacle of motorsport with a state-of-the-art technology.

Revenues

  • The new revenue distribution criteria must be more balanced, based on meritocracy of the current performance and reward success for the teams and the Commercial Rights Holder.
  • F1s unique, historical franchise and value must and will still be recognised.
  • Revenue support to both cars and engine suppliers.

Sporting and technical rules & regulations

  • We must make cars more raceable to increase overtaking opportunities.
  • Engineering technology must remain a cornerstone but driver’s skill must be the predominant factor in the performance of the car.
  • The cars must and will remain different from each other and maintain performance differentiators like aerodynamics, suspensions and PU performance. However, we believe areas not relevant to fans need to be standardised.

Governance

  • A simple and streamline structure between the teams, the FIA and Formula 1.