Cut To The Race Podcast

What was discussed in the FIA Formula One Commission Meeting

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The Formula One Commission gathered in London on April 26, for another meeting led by FIA President, Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

While congratulating the community for the successful season openers they so far had, he discussed several topics. New regulations were put in place, which are subject to approval by the World Motor Sport Council.

Sprint Races

This has been a popular topic in recent days. While some teams oppose to this idea, others such as Ferrari are in favour.

The first Sprint race was in Imola this season, and there are two more to follow in Austria and Brazil. The meeting claimed that this format is gaining popularity among fans and stakeholders. It also said that the teams are supporting the decision to extend to six Sprint Races in 2023.

The Commission reached no decision yet, to conduct more research to ensure the safety and reliance of those involved.

It concluded, “While supporting the principle of an increased number of Sprint events, the FIA is still evaluating the impact of this proposal on its trackside operations and personnel, and will provide its feedback to the Commission.”

Helmet Cameras

In 2023 Technical Regulations will be updated to ensure all drivers use a helmet camera.

These cameras give fans a different point of view. They provide fans with an opportunity to see the track from a driver’s view. It helps to give a better idea of what the driver experiences, especially with the new porpoising phenomenon.

The meeting said, “Following the trialling of the latest generation of helmet cameras over recent events, they have proved to be a great success, generating significant positive feedback from fans as a valuable addition to the broadcast of Grands Prix.”

Fernando Alonso’s (Alpine) view from the helmet camera during Practice 2 of the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix

Reduction in tyre usage

The 2023 season will see two races have a reduction in the number of tyres available to the teams. Rather than 13, the teams will be provided with 11 tyre sets. This will be a trial and they might implement it in future seasons for all races.

The meeting explained the reason behind it. They said, “This will be done to evaluate the impact of the reduction in tyre allocation on track-running, with the overall intention to move to more sustainable use of tyres in the future.”

2026 Power Unit

The meeting made more clarifications on the 2026 power unit regulations. There are four objectives in place for the next generation Formula One Power Unit so far.

These are as quoted on the FIA statement:

  1. Maintaining the spectacle – the 2026 Power Unit will have similar performance to the current designs, utilising high-power, high-revving V6 internal combustion engines and avoiding excessive performance differentiation to allow for improved raceability.
  2. Environmental sustainability – the 2026 Power Unit will include an increase in the deployment of electrical power to up to 50% and utilise a 100% sustainable fuel.
  3. Financial Sustainability – work is ongoing to define, consolidate and improve Financial Regulations regarding the Power Units, and the aim is to reduce the overall costs for competitors whilst retaining the cutting-edge technological showcase that is at the core of Formula One.
  4. Attractive to new Power Unit Manufacturers – the regulations are intended to make it possible and attractive for newcomers to join the sport at a competitive level.

Basically, Formula One aims at making the sport more sustainable, open to other manufacturers but still maintain its core values. They do not want the quality of racing to change, except for the better.

Changes to the power unit will cause changes to aerodynamics. The FIA’s aerodynamic department done simulation work to finalise “preliminary targets” which are, as quoted on the statement:

  1. Significally reduced drag to improve sustainability and efficiency and complement the Power Unit characteristics.
  2. Maintain and improve on recent lessons learned about close racing and cars being able to follow each other.
  3. Reduce car dimensions.
  4. Reduce or contain car mass.
  5. Sustainability: Continue path towards the standardisation or simplification of strategically-selected components for cost-cutting purposes. Expand the usage of sustainable materials or technologies and focus on recyclability.
  6. Continued innovation in terms of car safety, moving towards active and connected safety systems.

These changes hint to a more levelled driving field. This is similar to what Formula One hopes to achieve with the 2022 regulation changes.

Head Image Credit: FIA

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