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F1 2022

Dieter's Diary: 2023 calendar and Audi/Porsche's plans

In his Saturday diary from Silverstone, RacingNews365.com Editorial Director Dieter Rencken updates us on the latest paddock news and catches up with a special hypercar.

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To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool / Getty Images


Head for Silverstone early as I expect heavy traffic, particularly given the length of time most of us had spent in queues on Friday once we'd turned off the main (A43) carriageway.

However, due to three factors – lack of workday traffic, most campers having arrived on Friday and the circuit's one-way system being in operation from today – getting in is a relative breeze.

First stop is the FIA team boss conference, with the common threads being the governing body's technical directive regarding porpoising and inflationary allowances. Both topics are set for discussion during the F1 Commission meeting scheduled for next Friday in Austria, but the word is that there will need to be "compromises".

However, as author Arthur Block wrote: "Compromise is always more expensive than the suggestions it is compromising…"

After the conference I have coffee with Sauber (Alfa Romeo) boss Fred Vasseur. The Frenchman is on form, as his smiling tongue-in-cheek reply to my question as to whether he has heard from Kimi Raikkonen since the Finn retired from F1 last year attests: "No, but we didn’t hear from him even when he was driving for us…"

2023 calendar and the F1 futures of Porsche/Audi

One of the hot topics in the paddock is the 2023 calendar, usually due in mid-July but likely to be delayed a month (at least) while the final blocks fall into place.

The contracts of a number of races expire this year – France, Monaco, Austria and Belgium amongst them – and Japan in 2023, while South Africa's potential date provides another complication. Until their futures are sorted there can be no firm announcements.

Also undecided are the F1 futures of Porsche and Audi, both of whom have made positive noises about entering the sport as engine suppliers and/or team owners, but have yet to commit themselves.

While the 2026-onwards power unit regulations are effectively sorted, they have yet to be ratified by the FIA's World Motorsport Council after being deleted from last week's WMSC agenda for reasons not publicly known.

My latest information is that FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem has now written to the two companies and advised them that a video conference of all PU stakeholders will be convened within the next fortnight, during which the engine regulations will be finalised. Should these eventually find favour with VW Group, expect an announcement before the summer break; if not, expect the two brands to walk away…

Why Silverstone is a favourite venue

Post qualifying I chat with Stuart Pringle, CEO of the British Grand Prix and one of the most lucid of all promoters. The crux of his interview can be read here, but one point is worth reiterating: Given F1's target of zero carbon events by 2030, BGP is arguably the most sustainable of all Grands Prix due given that 70 per cent of teams are UK-based and 97 per cent of spectators are local – with a third of them camping on site.

Once the day's formalities are over I head for Aston Martin F1's campus across the road from Silverstone for a media dinner. A wonderful sit-down three-course meal is enjoyed by all – thanks Matt and Will – but on a personal note my biggest kick is getting up close and personal to the Aston Martin Valkyrie: at this race in 2016 I'd revealed plans for the hypercar, and here it is in flesh.

As I drive to my B&B on the outskirts of Daventry I reflect on BGP: The race has long been one of my favourites, in that it combines a traditional circuit with magnificent facilities and (usually) great racing, all (often) spiced up by Britian's capricious weather.

This particular event, though, holds a special significance for me: In 1997, 25 years ago to the week, I first held FIA F1 accreditation. I'll be sharing some of my experiences over the past quarter century with you tomorrow.

			© Dieter Rencken
	© Dieter Rencken

Also interesting:

F1 Podcast: What's next in F1's porpoising row?

RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth discuss the key topics from the Canadian Grand Prix, including the fierce debate over the FIA's intervention on porpoising.

F1 2022 British Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


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