The FIA has recently announced major cost-cutting plans for the Formula 1 World Championship.
As it stands the Formula 1 grid is another team down for next season. First Super Aguri, and now Honda. If anything, it has given everyone involved a proverbial kick up the backside. The result? Some of the most drastic changes in the sport in its 58-year history.
Having previously written about ways of reducing the costs of one of the most expensive sports on the planet, the FOTA and FIA have agreed on, and announced major costcutting measures for the 2009 season and beyond. See below for the full statement from the FIA.
The discussion in the comments is regarding a budget for each team, however, see below for the direction that Formula 1 is headed.
FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
The following measures to reduce costs in Formula One have been agreed by the World Motor Sport Council.
These proposed changes have the unanimous agreement of the Formula One teams, who have played a major role in their development. The FIA is grateful to the Formula One Teams’ Association (FOTA) and its Chairman Luca di Montezemolo for their incisive contribution.
• Engine life to be doubled. Each driver will use a maximum of eight engines for the season plus four for testing (thus 20 per team).
• Limit of 18,000 rpm.
• No internal re-tuning. Adjustment to trumpets and injectors only.
• The three-race rule voted on 5 November remains in force.
• Cost of engines to independent teams will be approximately 50% of 2008 prices.
• Unanimous agreement was reached on a list of proposed changes to the Renault engine for 2009; all other engines will remain unchanged. Comparative testing will not be necessary.
• No in-season testing except during race weekend during scheduled practice.
• No wind tunnel exceeding 60% scale and 50 metres/sec to be used after 1 January 2009.
• A formula to balance wind tunnel-based research against CFD research, if agreed between the teams, will be proposed to the FIA.
• Factory closures for six weeks per year, to accord with local laws.
• Manpower to be reduced by means of a number of measures, including sharing information on tyres and fuel to eliminate the need for “spotters”.
• Market research is being conducted to gauge the public reaction to a number of new ideas, including possible changes to qualifying and a proposal for the substitution of medals for points for the drivers. Proposals will be submitted to the FIA when the results of the market research are known.
Note: It is estimated that these changes for 2009 will save the manufacturer teams approximately 30% of their budgets compared to 2008, while the savings for independent teams will be even greater.
• Engines will be available to the independent teams for less than €5 million per team per season. These will either come from an independent supplier or be supplied by the manufacturer teams backed by guarantees of continuity. If an independent supplier, the deal will be signed no later than 20 December 2008.
• This same engine will continue to be used in 2011 and 2012 (thus no new engine for 2011).
• Subject to confirmation of practicability, the same transmission will be used by all teams.
• A list of all elements of the chassis will be prepared and a decision taken in respect of each element as to whether or not it will remain a performance differentiator (competitive element).
• Some elements which remain performance differentiators will be homologated for the season.
• Some elements will remain performance differentiators, but use inexpensive materials.
• Elements which are not performance differentiators will be prescriptive and be obtained or manufactured in the most economical possible way.
• Standardised radio and telemetry systems.
• Ban on tyre warmers.
• Ban on mechanical purging of tyres.
• Ban on refueling.
• Possible reduction in race distance or duration (proposal to follow market research).
• Further restrictions on aerodynamic research.
• Ban on tyre force rigs (other than vertical force rigs).
• Full analysis of factory facilities with a view to proposing further restrictions on facilities.
The FIA and FOTA will study the possibility of an entirely new power train for 2013 based on energy efficiency (obtaining more work from less energy consumed). Rules to be framed so as to ensure that research and development of such a power train would make a real contribution to energy-efficient road transport.
An enhanced Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) system is likely to be a very significant element of an energy-efficient power train in the future. In the short term, KERS is part of the 2009 regulations, but is not compulsory. For 2010 FOTA is considering proposals for a standard KERS system. The FIA awaits proposals.
A number of further amendments were adopted for the 2009 and 2010 Sporting and Technical Regulations. Full details will be available shortly on www.fia.com.