FIA confirms major changes to the Sporting Regulation

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FIA has announced that the World Motor Sport Council has approved major changes to the sporting, technical and financial regulations that will help the sport overcome the financial challenges presented by the coronavirus outbreak.

Formula 1’s ten teams have agreed to a set of radical changes to the regulations in an e-vote last Friday, and this package of cost-cutting measures has been officially ratified by the World Motor Sport Council on Wednesday.

The most controversial topic has been the possible modification to the cost cap. It had been originally set at $175m, although the coronavirus crisis has prompted teams to review the necessity of lowering that limit even further. The FIA has now confirmed that the cost cap will be reduced to $145m in 2021, $140m for 2022 and $135m for 2023-2025, based on a 21-Competition season.

Additions have been made to the exclusions currently provided for in the Financial Regulations, including sustainability costs incurred for environmental initiatives, projects undertaken to assist the FIA, sick leave and long term sick leave, increase of Year-End Bonus exclusion cap for exceptional sporting results from $10M to $12M, costs incurred for staff entertainment (capped at $1M) and wellbeing of employees: exclusion of costs incurred for medical programs.

Changes to the Sporting Regulation

Updates will be introduced to the tyre regulations to allow for tyre testing during Free Practice 2 should it be necessary to approve a new tyre specification by Pirelli and the extended use of P140 tyres in the case of a wet Free Practice 1 session.

Further restrictions will see limitations introduced for aerodynamic testing and the power unit test bench for cost reasons.

For 2021, further reductions will be implemented to aerodynamic testing. A new sliding scale regulation will also be introduced that is set to provide teams with less championship points with more testing time. The aerodynamic testing bias will be linear between P1 and P10.

For 2022, a number of key specific aspects of the regulations have been set out, including curfews, restricted number components (RNCs), scrutineering, and parc fermé prescriptions. These regulations will be reviewed and refined throughout 2020 and 2021.

Changes to the Technical Changes

The major technical regulation overhaul has been already delayed until 2022 while teams have also agreed to the retention of their current 2020 chassis for next year. In order to limit teams’ expanditures, the development of a large list of components will be frozen between 2020 and 2021. The list includes the chassis, gearbox, a number of mechanical components and impact structures.

Furthermore, a token system has been devised to permit a very limited number of modifications in accordance to the competitors’ specific needs.

As a further restriction, limitation will be introduced to the power unit upgrades in 2020.

For 2021, the minimum mass will be increased from 746kg to 749kg despite the retention of the current chassis for next year. Changes will be introduced for 2021 to simply the floor ahead of the rear tyres in order to moderate the increase of downforce between 2020 and 2021.