Formula 1 is accelerating fearlessly towards a new era from 2021, one in which the drivers, cars and teams will all be on a more level-playing field.
And it’s been a tough balance to achieve with F1’s powerbrokers seeking to retain advantages…while legions of hardcore fans dream of the sport’s glorious but unsustainable, brutal past.
SOUNDBITE (English) JACQUES VILLENEUVE,
1997 F1 WORLD CHAMPION:
“In my mind Formula 1 has always been extremes, [and] pushing the boundaries - and human boundaries. It’s supposed to be too fast, it’s supposed to be too expensive, it is supposed to be crazy - and that’s not what we have.”
But F1 is making progress on its perfect world solution, with the 10 teams briefed on the full future package in London last month…
And while all of the details are yet to be revealed, what we do know is that the racing will be closer, with a car running in the windtunnel that loses just 5 per cent of its downforce behind a rival…
… compared to the 50 per cent with current-spec cars.
A cost cap is expected to be introduced - with reports stating $135 million US dollars is now the end target – albeit from 2023 – with a glide path for the big spenders, starting with $220 million next year.
To go with the cost cap will be cost controls, with standardisation of parts that are not performance differentiators… like gearbox internals.
There will be more races, including Hanoi in Vietnam…
SOUNDBITE (English) CHASE CAREY,
CHAIRMAN & CEO, FORMULA 1:
“We've made it a goal and a priority for us to try and host Formula 1 races in what we believe are the most exciting and dynamic cities and countries around the world.”
… while F1 is also looking at how to streamline Grand Prix weekends to ensure less waste, like freight, reducing update parts – and introducing more curfews to stop teams stop working around the clock.
More details will be revealed in due course, but the aim is to have 2021’s vision signed-off from mid-season to give teams a chance to digest and develop ahead of F1’s brave new world.