Guest Author - Christine Blachford
The FIA have been pushing cost cutting as one of the main objectives for Formula 1 for the future. Max Mosley has been introducing radical concepts such as the standard engine, and asking the FOTA for their opinions as well. A meeting between the World Motorsport Council and FOTA saw some of the ideas confirmed and the way Formula 1 is heading is much clearer. Here are some of the regulations we'll see going forward.
We already knew that engine life was to be lengthened to three races, and this has been confirmed. Teams will also be limited to twenty engines each year. That's eight for each driver and four for testing. For 2010, the standard engine will be introduced as a low cost option for independent teams.
There will be no in season testing, which means all on-track improvements will be done during the off season or the Friday of each race weekend. Wind tunnel activity is being limited, and there is the possiblity of a standard chassis in 2010. This all depends on whether teams consider the chassis a performance differentiator, so this is something that will be discussed nearer the time.
Factories and Personnel
Factories will have to close for six weeks per year where that is the local law. They will also be reviewed in a couple of years to see whether any more cost-cutting can be done. Personnel attending races is to be reduced by teams sharing information about tyres and fuel.
In 2010, the ban on tyre warmers will be in place, along with a ban on refuelling. That is quite significant, as although pit stops will still take place for tyre changes, this eliminates the strategy aspect of fuel loads. Team radio will also have to be a standard system, which means as fans, we should get radio from all the teams, rather than some keeping their radio communications secret. The FIA are also going to conduct market research to investigate the public reaction to a change to the qualifying format, and also to Bernie's medal idea that would replace the current points system.
Some of these are progressions of things we already know about, others are quite radical changes. The idea of a standard chassis is not something I'm happy about, but it is still quite a long way off, and things change so quickly in F1, there's nothing to worry about just yet.