The FIA has ratified a series of significant changes to the Formula 1 regulations from 2020-2022 following a vote by the World Motor Sport Council on Wednesday.
A major part of these raft of rule changes will be the introduction of a budget cap from 2021, which teams have agreed to reduce from its original $175m limit down to $145m.
This will be lowered to $140m in 2022 and drop another $5m the year after, as part of F1’s cost-cutting measures in response to the global coronavirus pandemic.
Another major revision is the implementation of a sliding scale for aerodynamic development, that will result in teams being limited to the amount of research and wind tunnel time it can have over a season.
It has been agreed that final championship position will determine how much time teams can spend on developing its car for the year after.
Part of F1’s problem has been a clear divide between the teams in terms of budget and resources, which with these extensive changes is hoped to result in a more competitive field.
Elsewhere, a large amount of components are to be frozen between 2020 and 2021, including chassis and gearbox, but front wings and side pods are areas that teams will be permitted to develop.
As part of an attempt to reduce downforce for 2021, teams will also have to trim part of the floor, that will prevent new tyre compounds needing to be created for next season.
The full list of changes to the technical, sporting and financial regulations are listed as follows.
- Freezing of a large list of components between 2020 and 2021. The list includes the chassis, gearbox, a number of mechanical components and impact structures. A token system has been devised to permit a very limited number of modifications in accordance to the competitors’ specific needs.
- From 2020, limitations to Power Unit upgrades.
- For 2021, changes to the plan-view trim and simplification of the floor ahead of the rear tyres in order to moderate the increase of downforce between 2020 and 2021.
- For 2021, minimum mass increase to 749kg.
- For 2020, provisions for “closed” and “open” events and the relevant regulatory structure for each (e.g. personnel at the paddock), depending on whether such events permit spectators.
- For 2020, various updates relating to tyre regulations, with provisions 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.
- For 2020, a reduction in aerodynamic testing (ATR) and the introduction of Power Unit test bench restrictions for cost reasons.
- For 2021, a further reduction in aerodynamic testing, and the introduction of a bias between championship position and ATR limitations. The ATR 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 work as a package together with the 2022 Technical Regulations that were approved by the World Council on 30 March 2020 and will be part of an ongoing review and refinement process throughout 2020 and 2021.
2021 Financial Regulations:
- Reduction of the Cost Cap level to $145M for 2021, $140M for 2022 and $135M for 2023-2025, based on a 21-Competition season.
- The following amendments/additions will be made to the exclusions currently provided for in the Financial Regulations:
- Increase of Year-End Bonus exclusion cap for exceptional sporting results from $10M to $12M and Social Charges for Year-End Bonus.
- Threshold for calculation of exclusion for Social Charges on Salary paid to staff lowered from 15% to 13.8%.
- Costs incurred for staff entertainment (capped at $1M).
- Wellbeing of employees: exclusion of costs incurred for medical programs (e.g. vaccination, eye tests, hearing tests) made available to all relevant employees.
- Sustainability costs incurred for environmental initiatives.
- Maternity/paternity/shared parental/adoption leave, exclusion for Salary costs.
- Sick leave and long term sick leave: exclusion for Salary costs.
- Projects undertaken to assist the FIA.
- Concurrently with these regulation changes, the Notional Values for Transferable Components (TRCs) have been defined by the FIA for 2021, which is of increased importance considering the reduced Cost Cap level. It has been reaffirmed that the concept of the Notional Values (subject to their correct and fair setting), achieves the following:
- Enables smaller teams to avoid the necessity to establish and maintain a capability to design, develop and manufacture the parts that have been designated as TRCs (Transferable Components)
- Prevents project “flipping” (a small team supplying a big one to circumvent the Cost Cap restrictions).
- Enables small teams to make genuine savings.