Formula 1 teams agree cost-cutting package

The teams reached an agreement, despite differing opinions on what the budget limit should be

Formula One teams have agreed to a package of cost-cutting changes to help the sport overcome the coronavirus pandemic, BBC Sport revealed.

The teams voted to accept a plan to reduce the budget cap to be introduced next year by $ 30 million to $ 145 million (£ 114 million).

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This will be reduced again to $ 140 million in 2022 and $ 135 million for the period 2023-25.

This is one of a series of measures aimed at reducing costs and leveling the playing field, including a system of disadvantages in research and development.

The package has yet to be officially approved by the F1 legislative body, the FIA's world motoring council. Your vote will take place next week and is expected to be a formality.

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How did that happen?

F1 had already agreed last October to introduce a budget cap of $ 175 million in 2021, but the potential for income loss caused by the coronavirus has led to requests to decrease that number.

A split has emerged between the three major teams and the rest, with Ferrari and Red Bull in particular, opposing lowering the ceiling below $ 150 million, while McLaren was among those pushing for such a low price. as much as $ 100 million.

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But the teams finally agreed to a compromise that everyone can accept, according to several personalities who wished to remain anonymous.

Ferrari argued that any amount below $ 150 million would force them to cut hundreds of jobs, but it is believed that they made a series of significant sacrifices for the sake of the sport.

Among them are acquiescence to a major reduction in aerodynamic development in the 2020 and 2021 seasons, and a delay in the introduction of new rules in 2022.

Ferrari accepts that its 2020 car is not as competitive as they would like, so having to compete for two years with minimal development possibilities could delay their chances of actually competing in the world championship until 2022.

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McLaren has been lobbying to reduce the budget cap for what they consider a more balanced playing field

Radical steps towards an unprecedented situation

One of the most radical aspects of the rules package is the plan to limit aerodynamic development to the most successful teams.

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There will be a defined reference amount of time allowed for the wind tunnel and computing data, and a varying allowance scale for this R&D, depending on a team's final position in the previous championship.

In 2021, to allow teams to develop cars according to the new rules in 2022, the team that finishes first this year will have 90% of that quota, with a sliding scale of 2.5% so that the team that finished last receives 112.5%.

From 2022 onwards, the world champions will have 70% of the total budget, with increments of 5% until the team that finishes last has 115%.

Any new teams will receive the same permission as the team that finishes last.

Teams of manufacturers negotiated a quid pro quo on a topic known as "notional value" of customer parts.

This rule defines an assessment for parts normally purchased by smaller teams of manufacturers, such as gearboxes and suspension.

After a team buys these pieces, their set amount is taken from the total amount of the team's budget limit.

Conversations dragged on as a result of the complexity of these ideas and the need to define all the potential details.

The introduction of a new F1 car design has been postponed to the 2022 season

Something more?

The vote also marked the formal acceptance of several other rules that have already been widely discussed in public and that have already been agreed.

These include:

  • The delay in introducing until 2022 the new comprehensive technical regulations that were planned for 2021 and which aim to make the field more competitive and allow cars to run more efficiently
  • The requirement for teams to compete in their 2020 cars also in 2021.
  • The possibility that the format of some race weekends will change to facilitate the race in as many races as possible after the championship starts this season – for example, compressing the action on the track in two days.
  • The budget cap will reduce or increase by $ 1 million for each run removed or added to the calendar. So next year, for example, it will be $ 145 million if there are 21 runs, but $ 144 million if there are 20 and $ 146 million if there are 22.
  • Restrictions on engine development in 2020 and 2021, including limiting hours on a dynamometer test bench and the number of updates allowed per season, as a first step towards reducing engine costs for F1 racing car manufacturers .

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