Formula One's rule makers have today, just ahead of the start of the USA GP weekend, revealed the complete set of technical and financial regulations that are set to dramatically improve racing as of 2021.
After more than two years of work involving a detailed analysis of the sport’s on and off-track operations, the World Motorsport Council has unanimously ratified the new framework of regulations.
Different to previous rule changes that were often implemented with short term effects in mind, the new set of regulations are meant to address some of the sport's major issues. In the end, it should make Formula One a more sustainable sport by curbing the continuous increase in spending, while improving the show, enabling drivers to race each other harder than what is currently possible.
Perhaps the most important system that will be put in place is the new budget cap, which will effectively limit teams in the amount of money they can spend to improve the performance of their cars. Set at $175 million, the cap is still very much above most of the team's current budgets, but a considerable reduction for the biggest teams such as Ferrari, Red Bull Racing and Mercedes. The amount, which was initially set at a lower $150 million, also excludes promotional events, marketing and driver salaries.
On display at the event was a wind tunnel model that has been used to evolve the technical regulations. The model was iteratively improved and tested in the wind tunnel, to ensure it would be a major improvement compared to the characterics of a current Formula One car, while keeping an eye on the aesthetics as well.
FIA President Jean Todt, who called into the presentation from Geneva, said: “After more than two years of intense research and development, the FIA is proud to publish today the set of regulations that will define the future of Formula 1 from 2021 onwards.
“It is a major change in how the pinnacle of motor sports will be run, and for the first time, we have addressed the technical, sporting and financial aspects all at once. The 2021 regulations have been a truly collaborative effort, and I believe this to be a great achievement. A crucial element for the FIA moving forward will be the environmental considerations – Formula 1 already has the most efficient engines in the world, and we will continue to work on new technologies and fuels to push these boundaries further.
“What the FIA publishes today is the best framework we could possibly have to benefit competitors and stakeholders, while ensuring an exciting future for our sport.”
Presenting the new regulations in Austin ahead of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix, Formula 1 Chairman and CEO Chase Carey said: “Formula 1 is an incredible sport with a great history, heroes and fans all over the world. We deeply respect the DNA of Formula 1, which is a combination of great sporting competition, uniquely talented and courageous drivers, dedicated teams and cutting edge technology.
"The goal has always been to improve the competition and action on the track and at the same time make the sport a healthier and attractive business for all. The approval of the rules by the World Motorsport Council is a watershed moment and will help deliver more exciting wheel to wheel racing for all our fans. The new rules have emerged from a detailed two year process of examining technical, sporting, and financial issues in order to develop a package of regulations. We made many changes during the process as we received input by the teams and other stakeholders and we firmly believe we achieved the goals we had set out to deliver.
“These regulations are an important and major step, however, this is an ongoing process and we will continue to improve these regulations and take further steps to enable our sport to grow and achieve its full potential. One of the most important initiatives we will be addressing as we go forward is the environmental impact of our sport. In the next few weeks we will be launching plans to reduce and ultimately eliminate environmental impact of our sport and business. We have always been at the leading edge of the automobile industry and we believe we can play a leadership role on this critical issue, as well.”