F1 announces 2021 regulations, including $175m cost cap

Engine regulations will remain largely unchanged for the 2021 season, F1 announces

Formula 1 has announced its 2021 regulations, including the introduction of a $175m spending cap at a press conference in Austin ahead of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix.

The proposals have been unanimously approved by the World Motor Sport Council, and Chase Carey announced at the press conference that negotiations with the teams remain ongoing, but are in an advanced stage.

It’s hoped the cost control regulations will bring the grid closer together, leading to closer on-track racing, as well as making the sport more sustainable and attractive to businesses.

Among the technical changes, smaller front wings, the removal of barge boards, the introduction of a long diffuser and prescribed parts to limit the shape of some areas of the cars have all been included. This is designed to reduce wake to allow cars to follow the driver in front more closely.

There won’t be any changes to the power unit, with the 1.6l V6 turbo hybrid continuing. F1 had initially hoped to scrap the hybrid aspect of the engine, but given the investment teams have made developing this area, this will now be kept in. However, the weight limit on the power unit is slightly increased in a bid to reduce costs.

Chairman and CEO of F1 Chase Carey said in a statement announcing the new regulations: “Formula 1 is an incredible sport with a great history, heroes and fans all over the world,” said Chase Carey, Chairman and CEO, Formula 1.

“We deeply respect the DNA of Formula 1, which is a combination of great sporting competition, uniquely talented and courageous drivers, dedicated teams and cutting-edge technology. The goal has always been to improve the competition and action on the track and at the same time make the sport a healthier and attractive business for all.

“The approval of the rules by the World Motor Sport Council is a watershed moment and will help deliver more exciting wheel-to-wheel racing for all our fans. The new rules have emerged from a detailed two-year process of examining technical, sporting, and financial issues in order to develop a package of regulations.

“We made many changes during the process as we received input by the teams and other stakeholders and we firmly believe we achieved the goals we had set out to deliver. These regulations are an important and major step, however, this is an ongoing process and we will continue to improve these regulations and take further steps to enable our sport to grow and achieve its full potential.”

FIA president Jean Todt added: “After more than two years of intense research and development, of close collaboration with our partners at Formula 1, and with the support of the teams and drivers, circuit designers, the single tyre supplier, Pirelli and all F1 stakeholders, the FIA is proud to publish today the set of regulations that will define the future of Formula 1 from 2021 onwards.

“It is a major change in how the pinnacle of motor sports will be run, and for the first time, we have addressed the technical, sporting and financial aspects all at once. The 2021 regulations have been a truly collaborative effort, and I believe this to be a great achievement. A crucial element for the FIA moving forward will be the environmental considerations – Formula 1 already has the most efficient engines in the world, and we will continue to work on new technologies and fuels to push these boundaries further. What the FIA publishes today is the best framework we could possibly have to benefit competitors and stakeholders, while ensuring an exciting future for our sport.”

It had been thought tyre blankets would be banned from 2021, but the sport will retain them for at least the 2021 and 2022 seasons, although the temperatures will be lower to save costs. Due to the bigger wheels, brakes will be bigger.

The sporting regulations have also had a shake up, with Thursday’s scrutineering being moved to Friday morning, with two shorter practice sessions then taking place later in the day on Friday.

The season will be limited to 25 races a year, while the curfew on work by teams at the track will be strictly enforced, limiting the number of hours those working in the paddock spend at the track.

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