F1’s new rules explained: Lower cost cap, sliding scale aero and more

    F1’s new rule changes target cutting costs and promoting sustainability as it attempts to bounce back from COVID-19 related disruptions.

    Published On May 28, 2020 03:56:00 PM


    F1’s new rules explained: Lower cost cap, sliding scale aero and more

    Formula 1’s governing body, the FIA, has approved some key changes to the series’ regulations that will be applicable from next year onwards, including a reduced cost cap and the introduction of a new sliding scale rule for aerodynamic testing. 

    We break down what all these changes mean for the future of Formula 1:

    Lower cost cap

    The COVID-19 pandemic, and the disruptions it has caused to F1’s 2020 season, already resulted in the postponement of the new technical regulations by a year to 2022. However, the introduction of the new financial rules will go ahead as planned in 2021 and this includes the introduction of a cost cap for all the teams. 

    The rules initially mandated all teams to adhere to a cost cap of USD 175 million (approximately Rs 1,327 crore), but that limit has now been further reduced to USD 145 million (about Rs 1,099 crore) for 2021. This limit will then reduce to USD 140 million (Rs 1,062 crore) in 2022 and USD 135 million (Rs 1,024 crore) from 2023 onwards. This change has been introduced as a direct result of the pandemic, which has hit the finances of all the teams on the grid.

    A lower cost cap means the bigger teams like Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull – who have significantly larger workforces than the independent teams – will have to adjust the size and scale of their operations going ahead. 

    The cost cap will apply to anything that covers on-track performance, but will exclude marketing costs as well as salaries of drivers and the top three personnel on the team. The FIA has also made exemptions for employees’ sick leave, costs of medical benefits, etc., to ensure that teams don’t cut costs in these areas to stick to the cost cap. 

    Sliding scale aero testing

    Another key rule change is the introduction of a new sliding scale for aerodynamic development from next year, with the hopes that it will prevent the bigger teams from gaining a significant advantage over the smaller, independent teams. 

    Explained simply, starting from next year, the lower a team finishes in the constructors’ championship, the more wind tunnel time it will be allowed to use to develop its car. So the bigger teams are going to have to figure out ways to use their wind tunnel and CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) time even more efficiently than before. 

    The scale will be based on the championship position at the end of the previous season and then reset on June 30 each year.

    Limiting downforce on 2021 cars

    For next year, teams will have to trim part of the car’s floor to reduce the downforce created, mainly so that a new tyre compound will not be needed for next season, before a switch to 18-inch tyres in 2022.

    Other changes

    The FIA also introduced some other tweaks to cut costs and promote sustainability.

    Also see:

    New F1 technical regulations delayed to 2022

    F1 targets July start for 2020 season

    Copyright (c) Autocar India. All rights reserved.



    No comments yet. Be the first to comment.

    Ask Autocar Anything about Car and Bike Buying and Maintenance Advices
    Need an expert opinion on your car and bike related queries?
    Ask Now

    Search By Car Price

    Poll of the month

    The Mahindra XUV 300 facelift will be called the XUV 3XO. Should more brands rename models for facelifts?

    Yes, it could give new life to a slow-selling car



    Yes, but only if there are significant changes



    No, it's confusing and dilutes the brand name



    No difference, the product speaks for itself



    Total Votes : 621
    Sign up for our newsletter

    Get all the latest updates from the automobile universe