F1 set to introduce radical sporting rules

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Monaco, Monte Carlo Circuitmc

Formula 1 could introduce a set of radical sporting changes to bolster the level of competition after teams held an e-vote about a package of cost-cutting changes.

Although the sport is yet to confirm, BBC Sport reported that the ten Formula 1 outfits held an e-vote on Friday, agreeing to the introduction of a set of changes, aimed at helping the series solve the financial difficulties caused by the global coronavirus outbreak and bolstering the competitive nature of the pinnacle of motorsport.

The most controversial topic of the e-vote was the further lowering of the cost cap. While Formula 1 announced last October that a budget cap of $175m would be introduced in 2021, the coronavirus epidemic has prompted teams to consider the possibility of lowering that limit even further.

While Ferrari and Red Bull initially resisted agreeing to an even lower cost cap, teams like McLaren were pushing for a figure as low as $100m. The Italian outfit argued that such a drastically low figure would force them to cut hundreds of jobs. Following week-long discussions, Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto indicated that the fabled Italian outfit could possibly pursue other adventures in motorsport with the possibility of joining America’s premier open-wheel series, IndyCar.

It has now emerged that the teams agreed to a reduction of the budget cap to $145m in 2021, a figure that Ferrari indicated is the absolute limit it can agree to. This cost cap will be then further reduced to $140m in 2022 and $135m for the period of 2023-2025.

Besides the cost-cutting measures, it has also been decided that an aerodynamic handicap system would be introduced. Previously, the sport rejected any form of handicap systems used for example in different touring car racing series given the fact that it artificially alters the competitive order.

According to the new aerodynamic system, the worst-performing teams will be allowed more wind tunnel time and CFD development time compared to rival outfits performing better in a certain period of time. Furthermore, the allowance of open-source parts has also been agreed.

After the teams have given the changes the green light, the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council has to ratify the modifications to the Sporting Regulations. The body is expected to hold an e-vote as soon as next week.