F1 rubber-stamps plans for Portuguese GP and engine freeze
There is also support for a new qualifying format at some races
The first meeting of the F1 Commission in 2021 was held today, 11 February, in an online format. The FIA and Formula 1 confirm that positive discussions took place on a number of key topics relating to future Sporting, Technical and Financial Regulations as well as the future direction of Power Unit regulations.
The group was updated on the “TBC” space on the current version of the 2021 calendar. It is the intention of Formula 1 to fill the position with a race at Portimão in Portugal on the dates already held in the calendar. The final agreement is still subject to contract with the promoter.
Robust COVID-19 protocols enabled Formula 1 to run 17 events in 2020 and will enable us to run a World Championship again in 2021. While changing circumstances may require flexibility, the FIA and Formula 1 are working at all levels from government to local organisation to ensure that the calendar goes ahead as planned.
Proposed Regulation Changes
In order to permit a more equitable distribution of tyre testing during 2021, and taking into consideration the challenges presented to this programme due to the move to 18” tyres and the COVID-19 Pandemic, the FIA, following the request of Pirelli, proposed to increase the number test days allocated for such purpose from 25 to 30. This proposal was accepted unanimously.
Overview of key next Formula 1 generation car and PU objectives and proposed anticipation to 2025
In a significant development for the sport that reflects the unity and collaborative spirit between the FIA, Formula 1 and the teams, a vote on the freeze of Power Unit development was undertaken during the meeting, and the proposal was unanimously agreed by all teams and Power Unit Manufacturers. As such, engine development will be frozen from the start of 2022.
A high-level working group has been established including current and potential Power Unit manufacturers and fuel suppliers.
The definition of the objectives for the next generation of F1 car and Power Unit is of the utmost importance to the FIA and Formula 1, and together with teams and Power Unit manufacturers, there is strong alignment on the overall goals – particularly the need to reduce cost and reach carbon neutrality.
The key objectives for the 2025 Power Unit are:
Environmental Sustainability and social and automotive relevance
Fully sustainable fuel
Creating a powerful and emotive Power Unit
Significant cost reduction
Attractiveness to new Power Unit manufacturers
The FIA is pleased that Formula 1 and a number of the teams have achieved the highest level of FIA Environmental Accreditation. This was discussed during the Commission, with a glide path outlined for all teams to reach the highest level of Accreditation over the coming years, with this goal being integrated into the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations.
As 2021 sees the introduction of a cost cap for the first time in Formula 1, various topics around controlling costs and how this overall objective can be achieved over the coming years were tabled during the meeting.
As part of this, a working group will be created – including the drivers themselves – to discuss the topic of driver and senior team management contracts.
Race weekend format
All teams recognised the major importance of engaging fans in new and innovative ways to ensure an even more exciting weekend format. There was, therefore, broad support from all parties for a new qualifying format at some races, and a working group has been tasked with creating a complete plan with the aim to reach a final decision before the start for the 2021 Championship.
Note that all regulatory changes are subject to approval by the World Motor Sport Council.
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