Jean Todt, FIA President.

New cost cap and aero testing measures approved for 2021 F1 season and beyond

Following an electronic vote of the World Motor Sport Council on Wednesday, the FIA has approved a reduced cost cap for F1 teams and a new sliding scale rule for aerodynamic testing, in order to further level the playing field between the front and back of the grid.

As reported back in March, a cost cap had already been agreed by all F1 teams as well as the FIA, but as a result of the coronavirus pandemic that has hit all industries hard, Wednesday’s vote means that the original figure of $175m per year has been reduced to $145m, with further reductions to incrementally follow over the coming years.

The big technical news to come out of Wednesday’s meeting means that there will now be a ‘sliding scale’ for aerodynamic development from the 2021 season onwards. It means that the teams finishing further down the constructors’ championship standings will be afforded more wind tunnel time to develop the car than the teams at the top the following year.

The sliding scale now means that for winning the championship in 2020, the winning team will receive 90% of the testing allocation, which is raised by 2.5% all the way down the grid, the final team getting 112.5% of testing allocation. From 2022-25, the winning team will get 70% of testing allocation, the scale sliding by increments of 5% down the field.

The other big technical change to come out of Wednesday’s meeting sees the FIA approve a measure to limit downforce on the 2021 cars, meaning teams will now have to trim part of the floor, ‘in order to moderate the increase of downforce between 2020 and 2021,’ whilst there will also be a minimum mass increase to 749kg.

Revised Technical Regulations:

  • Freezing of a large list of components between 2020 and 2021. The list includes the chassis, gearbox, a number of mechanical components and impact structures. A token system has been devised to permit a very limited number of modifications in accordance to the competitors’ specific needs.
  • From 2020, limitations to Power Unit upgrades.
  • For 2021, changes to the plan-view trim and simplification of the floor ahead of the rear tyres in order to moderate the increase of downforce between 2020 and 2021.
  • For 2021, minimum mass increase to 749kg.

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