Formula One's governing body, the FIA has approved several key changes to the 2021 technical and financial regulations, but it has also implemented tweaks to the forthcoming season.
Hosted by FIA President Jean Todt and FIA Deputy President for Sport Graham Stoker, the World Motor Sport Council gathered in Geneva last Friday for its first meeting of the year.
The WMSC is made up of the FIA President, the Deputy President for Sport, 7 Vice-Presidents, 14 titular members and 5 members by right. The latter five members include the President of the Women in Motor Sport Commission, the President of the International Karting Commission (CIK), the representative of the Commercial Rights Holder of the F1 World Championship, the President of the FIA Manufacturers' Commission and the President of the FIA Driver's Commission.
Significant tweaks to the 2021 regulations
Although the 2021 technical regulations have been introduced in Austin last November, that was only a draft of regulations after the governing body continued to carry out research to find the right set of regulations. Following its recent analysis, a number of changes have been implemented and approved by the WMSC.
Changes to the front wing profiles have been approved to prevent downwash to allow closer on-track fights between cars. Following continuous asks from several outfits, front wing endplates, top bodywork and rear wing endplates have been modified to give teams more commercial space.
Furthermore, drastic improvements have been implemented to improve the energy absorption of the chassis in front, lateral and rear impacts. It has also been announced that tethers will be mandated for rear wing and rear impact structures. To improve the electrical safety of the cars, a number of updates have been approved for 2021.
Kulite has been appointed as the official supplier for Power Unit pressure and temperature sensors in the 2021, 2022 and 2023 seasons.
In 2021, for the first time in history, Formula One will introduce a cost cap to try to control and restrict the team's expenditures. Regarding to the cost cap, the FIA said that „changes to the Financial Regulations for 2021 and beyond will allow monitoring activities to be performed by Cost Cap Administrators at any point in time, remotely or at F1 Teams’ premises.”
Last minute changes
For 2020, the FIA has introduced a second sensor to monitor the operation of the power units. To accommodate the new unit, the minimum mass has been increased from 745kg to 746kg.
The Council has also lifted the ban on the helmet design changes. Since 2015, drivers have been limited to just one full design change during a campaign with only minor tweaks to the core design permitted. The tweak to the sporting rule now allows drivers to change their helmet design in an unrestricted number of occasions.
Furthermore, the Council also declared that the end of season test at Abu Dhabi will be using 18” 2021 Pirelli tyres.