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Formula 1

FIA issues update on key topics after latest F1 Commission meeting

The final meeting of the F1 Commission in 2022 has taken place, with several updates given on topics including wet weather running, the tyre blanket strategy and parc ferme processes.

Start Mexico 2022
Article
To news overview © XPB Images

The FIA has given updates on several areas of discussion raised at the final F1 Commission meeting of 2022.

As the last race weekend of the year gets underway at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem opened the meeting on Friday 18 November and congratulated F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali and all of the competitors on the success of the season.

Some key talking points were then addressed by the group – comprising teams, F1 and the FIA – during the meeting.

One of the developments was in regards to wet weather running following feedback from the drivers that visibility has been reduced with the latest generation of cars.

Other points raised included a trial of DRS usage changes in 2023, possible changes to parc ferme processes and the tyre blanket strategy for 2023-2025 following the initial plan to ban them for 2024.

All regulatory changes are subject to approval by the World Motor Sport Council.

In full: FIA statement over F1 Commission meeting

Regulatory and judicial process review

The Commission was informed that the FIA is undertaking a comprehensive review of the Sporting Regulations for 2024 as part of its continuous commitment to the evolution and refinement of its regulatory processes. FOM and the teams will be consulted throughout the review, with any resultant changes anticipated to be approved by end of April 2023 following standard FIA Formula 1 Governance. Additionally, the FIA will carry out a general review of its judicial process for 2024.

Wet weather update

Driver feedback has suggested that there has been reduced visibility in extremely wet conditions with this latest generation of cars, which is a key determinant on starting, or needing to suspend sessions.

Therefore, the FIA commenced a study to define a package of parts aiming to suppress the spray generated when running in wet conditions. The study focused on the following:

  • Definition of a standard bodywork kit, aiming to suppress the tyre spray from running in wet conditions by use of minimal bodywork over the wheels (wheel arches).
  • Understanding the contribution of surface water picked up through the underfloor tunnels to understand its significance.
  • Ensuring that the design does not unduly hinder pit-stop tyre changes.
  • Seeking additional benefits such as additional lights to improve car visibility.
  • Devices only to be fitted either before a race or during a red flag due to extreme wet conditions
Preliminary work and an initial concept were presented to the Commission, and the FIA will continue to work to refine the proposals, with further updates anticipated in 2023.

Grid and Power Unit penalties


Possible updates to the penalties relating to Power Unit infringements were discussed by the Commission. It was agreed that the current system is not a strong enough deterrent to teams to make strategic Power Unit changes, and encourages the change of change of more elements than needed once a driver has accumulated more than a certain level of penalty. This ultimately causes higher parts costs and undermines the PU element annual restrictions. This will continue to be discussed at the Sporting and Power Unit Advisory Committees for further analysis and refinement.

Tyre blanket strategy 2023-2025


The objective of the FIA and FOM remains to remove tyre blankets for 2024, however following numerous discussions and driver feedback, the Commission decided to delay any final decisions until July 2023, allowing for additional data gathering and testing feedback to fully inform the conclusions.

DRS activation after the start, re-start, or safety car


The Commission approved a proposal to evaluate a method to keep the field closer together and encourage closer racing by bringing the activation of the DRS forward by one lap at the start of a race or Sprint session, or following a safety car re-start. This will be trialled during each Sprint session in 2023 with a view to introducing it for all races in 2024.

Parc Ferme for events that include a Sprint session


Updates were discussed regarding ways to simplify the parc ferme processes at events that include a Sprint session. As previously noted by the Commission, events including a Sprint session place additional operational requirements on the FIA due to the significant increase in Parc Ferme requests between qualifying and the Sprint.

Accident damage allowance

The system in place to deal with the impact of accident damage during a Sprint session will be simplified. The allocation of accident damage allowance will be replaced with a fixed amount per team, per event including a Sprint session. The Commission approved the proposal to increase the forfeit allowance amount for each Sprint from $150k to $300k from 2023 onwards. All other Sprint allowances (minor damages pursuant to Art.4.1(l)(ii) and material damages pursuant to Art.4.1(l)(iii)) will be removed.

Technical and Financial regulations

Minor amendments to the 2023 Technical and Financial Regulations were unanimously approved. Additionally, regulations introducing additional, more stringent requirements for the strength of roll hoops were finalised for introduction in 2024.

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