Formula 1 teams have reportedly signed off on a huge package of cost-cutting measures, which will now be sent to the World Motor Sport Council for ratification before they become official.
The measures are partly aimed at cutting costs because of the coronavirus pandemic, but also part of a wider ongoing effort to dramatically slash the cost of competing in F1, with budgets steadily rising year-on-year.
Whilst it’s known a budget cap will be introduced for 2021, it has now been agreed that the starting figure will be $145 million (£120m), which will reduce to $140m in ’22 and then $135m for ’23 onwards.
This is far lower than the original cap of $175m which had previously been floated by the leading teams as an acceptable level.
As part of plans to create a fairer playing field, which was a key factor in the now delayed ’21 rules overhaul – which will now happen in ’22 – the rules will go a step further by introducing a ‘success handicap’.
This will limit the amount of development time depending on a team’s finishing position, by using a sliding scale.
This will apply to several areas of development including wind tunnel time and computational fluid dynamics (CFD).
It’s not yet been revealed exactly how the sliding scale would work, but according to BBC Sport, the championship-winning team would be given a 90 per cent allowance which would then increase by 2.5 per cent increments, so second would get 92.5 per cent until the tenth team gets 112.5 per cent.
From 2022 this will be cut to 70 per cent for the leading outfit, with larger increments of 5 per cent. Any new team joining F1 would be permitted the maximum amount of development quota.
More Races = More Money
It has also been agreed that the budget cap will rise by $1m for each additional race. So if the 2021 calendar rises to 22 events, it will be topped up to $146m, instead of $145m, and vice versa if the calendar is cut.
A raft of smaller rule changes were also included, such as officially confirming the use of ’20 cars in ’21, and reduced engine development to lower costs for manufacturers.
The package will now go to the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council to be officially ratified and included in future regulations.