Ecclestone and Todt given new power to address F1’s “pressing issues”

2015 F1 season

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FIA president Jean Todt and FOM chief Bernie Ecclestone have been given a mandate to address F1’s “pressing issues” following a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council.

The pair, who saw their proposal for an alternative F1 engine formula defeated by the F1 Commission last week, have been tasked with making “recommendations and decisions regarding a number of pressing issues in Formula One such as governance, power units and cost reduction”.

Todt and Ecclestone have said they intend to do so by the end of next month. The decision was approved by all bar one of the WMSC representatives.

The WMSC also approved an increase in the number of power unit development ‘tokens’ allowed for each engine manufacturer over the coming seasons:

YearOriginal allocation of tokensNew allocation of tokens

New engine manufacturers will be given 15 tokens in their first year and 32 in their second.

The FIA also opened the door for teams to continue using year-old power units, as Manor did this year. “Power units homologated in previous seasons may now be re-homologated,” noted the FIA in a statement. “Previously no manufacturer could supply more than one specification of PU.”

“The World Motor Sport Council was also advised that the FIA had agreed for Ferrari to supply a fourth customer team with a 2015-specification power unit in 2016,” it added. The fourth team is expected to be Toro Rosso, in addition to Sauber, Haas and Ferrari.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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37 comments on “Ecclestone and Todt given new power to address F1’s “pressing issues””

  1. Hey, let’s give two people who got F1 into this mess a mandate to try to get us out of it, despite having had no good ideas for the last few years except manipulative things that have ruined the sport! That sounds like a great idea!

    1. Asking the Fox to guard the hen house.

      1. @hohum – My thoughts exactly. I have no hope for proper solutions to make better racing in F1. Good solutions have been pointed out by qualified people numerous times, but that is doubtful to happen here. It would be lovely to be surprised, but this is likely to be a colossal disaster.

    2. @helava The only positive is they have a very good understanding of their own terrible ideas.

      1. I like the fact that after years of people asking they just go and say it will be done by the end of the month so maybe we were just asking the wrong people before…

  2. I don’t foresee any problem with giving the Emperor these powers to crush the rebel alliance.

    1. It’s a trap!

    2. Whats wrong with this scenario exactly? Thats how F1 was run for years, namely Bernie & Max Mosley show. Teams shouldnt be determining the rules anyway!

      1. Funny thing is, both Ecclestone and Todt have had it in their power (indeed in their job description) to solve these issues for years now @tomcat173.

        What they did is sign up to create the “strategic” group with the big teams deciding on the rules, and giving first Red Bull, then Ferrari and then the rest of the big teams a wholly impropriate signing bonus that skewed the sport more then ever before with the target to crush the reform oriented and budget cap planning FOTA.

        The “mandate” is nothing the WMSC could grant to these two – they already had the power but signed it away for money (Bernie to ensure the teams signing up to his conditions and Todt for a few million he needed for his re-election at the FIA). The only thing this is, is showing that any crazy ideas they force upon the sport the WMSC will vote through without thinking clearly about the consequences.

        1. My choice for COTD, thanks @bascb

  3. I don’t understand why Ferrari doesn’t supply Toro Rosso the 2016 spec engine, surely they cannot be concerned about competition coming from them.

    So logisticd maybe? Or will they supply Red Bull?

    The tokens allowance seems to me a step forward.

    And the cost reduction will be the same story all over again. I believe the solution is to open the rules a little to give the engineers a chance to create simple but effective solutions that could bring the middle table teams into contention every now and then, and simplify those stupid front wings, all that complexity is not cheap to achive. You can 3d print it to test but if you want to implement it you have to shape carbon fiber, and that is expensive. That is one of the few things that can save teams some money and yet keep them competitive.

    But considering these two I expect fan boost, water sprinklers, ulta-mega-super-butter-soft-tyres and so on

    1. yes, its about manufacturing and logistics. They simply do not have the resources and lead time to be able to produce enough new (and not yet completely redeveloped) engines before the start of the year.

      1. Maybe they can get around it and introducing them to STR as well during the season. I fancy the idea of having both Max and Sainz in proper machinery

      2. @bascb I don’t buy the ‘manufacturing’ reasoning. Yes, lead times are lead times, but under a new agreement they still have to manufacture 8+ new 2015 units in place of 8+ 2016 units on top of what they’re already doing. Common sense says it will be cheaper and more cost-effective to produce all the engines in one spec, rather than two.

        This is about Red Bull not wanting to pay too much for the engines, especially as it will likely mean the STR car will be quicker than the RBR car. They’re probably hoping their Illien-ised 2016 Renault engine is better than the 2015 Ferrari motor…

        1. But they will have some spare parts for those @optimaximal. And the parts are readily designed and signed off, so they can just go and manufacture them. The new engines aren’t even near to finished design wise, let alone put in production. Some of these components are hard to make and they will have their work cut out getting 8 of them ready for the first race already.

          The reason they went for Ferrari engines was more to do with STR not having the capacitis and budget available to build a car starting as late as now without knowing the engine. The big team does, so it can more easily hold out and wait, because they can just throw more money at producing all the parts to make it to testing (or who knows wheter they even plan to do all tests, if they expect the engine not to be much better)

  4. I said when I first heard about these new engine rules that the tokens weren’t enough for development, and here’s the shortsightedness of the FIA displayed.

    Nevertheless these are good rules, I am glad they have been decided upon, my only fear is the rise in costs if they have to keep developing.

  5. petebaldwin (@)
    2nd December 2015, 20:48

    It’s the right idea – for the people in those positions to sort this mess out and exclude the competitors. If Mercedes/Renault/Pirelli etc don’t like it, they can find something else to do. Sadly, it’s the wrong people in those all important 2 positions….

  6. “Previously no manufacturer could supply more than one specification of PU.”

    Has there even been a weekend where Sauber, Lotus, Williams drove with the same spec as Ferrari or Mercedes…?

    1. By that, they mean one homologated unit. Yes, the engines will be at differing stages of development, but they’re the same core unit.

    2. In 2014 … @xtwl.

      And who knows, maybe with the first race the engines were the same, before the first parts got added in. But I agree with your point. Once they allowed in season development, parity was at best an illusion.

  7. I like the fact that the teams are not being given the power and I also like the fact that we are talking about actual issues, and not complete non-issues such as noise, or what daft gimmick to implement next.

    Can I see Todt and Ecclestone solving all of Formula 1’s problems overnight though? It’s almost as likely as me being replacing Hamilton at Mercedes for 2016.

    1. I wonder what’s ‘died’ more times by now, rock and roll, or F1?

      1. Rock and roll and F1 never die; they regenerate :)

  8. Sorry to lower the tone, but I have only read the first sentance of the article and I can only interpret it as follows:

    Todt and Ecclestone are going out on a man-date.

    I hope they are very happy together, that is all.

    1. F1’s premier power couple :D

  9. The vast majority of rule changes in F1 over the past 10 years or so have been short sighted and poorly conceived so I see no reason why giving Todt and Ecclestone the power to make changes will result in anything different.
    The engine rules resulted in costly over engineered power units where simply changing the formula of the fuel and oil can result in a half second gain. Unfortunately when the rules were proposed no one bothered to stop and think where the engine development would go and thus come up with a set of rules that would result in powerful, reliable yet cheap and simple engines.
    The cost cutting measures which were introduced to help the smaller teams have done little to help the small teams and probably even less to reduce costs. Jordan, Stewart and Sauber did far better under the pre-cost cutting rules than any of the smaller teams have done under them.
    Putting the cars in Parc Ferme after qualifying guarantees that we’ll almost never see a car faster in the race than it was in qualifying thus ensuring that the grid remains relatively unchanged during the race.
    Reducing in-season testing ensured that the team that did the best in the off season would remain unchallenged during the season.
    The only change that actually improved the race weekend were the changes to qualifying. So you’ll forgive me if I remain skeptical or downright cynical at this latest proposal.

    1. I agree.

      With the age of the people in power (Bernie), they seem to think it’s just some fringe group online who is complaining about F1 at the moment. They (FOM CVC etc) probably pass it off as “Well people always complain, they complain when we got rid of the V10’s” etc).
      I don’t think this is the same as just loosing the V10’s, F1 has so many problems. Almost everything in my opinion needs a complete change. Track design (horribly ugly, painted run off and painted green, blue or whatever color tarmac outside the white lines). No disadvantages from running off track etc.

      The only way this thing we have now that is supposed to “Formula One” (in my opinion is not, it’s just some hybrid , a mish-mash of what should be racing series) to change is to STOP WATCHING & GOING TO GP’S. Only once FOM & CVC loose a ton of money will they be forced to make proper changes that we the fans want (i know we don’t all agree before anybody says that). At least almost everyone I speak to, dislikes so many things about “F1” at the moment.

      I’m pretty sure if some new racing series came along with these new tracks, these rules, Pirelli, DRS and where drivers can’t do anything without approval from many people. We would all laugh and would never watch more than a few races to see what it’s all about.

  10. This my first post on any site in over two years.

    1. and what a well thought out and worthwhile post it was

  11. Is it just my imagination, or is Honda + Mclaren being given a little rope here. Does Honda have more development tokens than either Mercedes, Ferrari or Renault next year?

    1. Just to expand

      New engine manufacturers will be given 15 tokens in their first year and 32 in their second

      Does that mean Honda will have 7 development tokens more than competition?

      1. no, to me it is saying they have changed the rules for all manufacturers.

        All manufacturers will get 32 tokens next year, unless you are a brand new manufacturer.
        Brand new manufacturers will get all the time pre entry to make as many changes as they like. Upon entry they will recieve 15 tokens in their first season, and 32 the following season.

        Thats how I read it anywat

        1. But it states that in 2016, engine manufacturers will have 25 tokens for development. 2nd year engine manufacturers get 32 tokens. Technically, Honda is a 2nd year manufacturer, so they should get 32 tokens.

          Again…. FIA leaves loopholes and elements up to misinterpretation

  12. Knowing Bernie and Jean, introducing new engines (replacing the current ones) will go hand in hand with a price cap manufacturers can charge for their brand new power units. They’ll probably throw in Super-DRS too. When you do a ‘super lap’ (no corner cutting, no contact, no criticism of Pirelli, the rules or sport on team radio) you get to use more moveable aerodynamic parts, this will go hand in hand with wider tyres and a looser stance on ground effect.

    Personally I’m very enthusiastic for the advent of 3 tyre compounds while only two have to be used. I wonder if it is at all entirely possible that teams will devise strategy that only sees them using the two tyre compounds that are fastest. We all know how exciting tyre strategy has been in 2014 and 2015.

    More overtaking with more aerodynamics, cost cutting by re-inventing the rules, a sharp focus on driver safety after a fatal accident. Glad the FIA and the FOM finally step up to the plate we’ve come to expect from them.

    F1 needs good racing more than ever. It’s losing more and more of its appeal outside of the track, so it desperately needs more on-track..

  13. The photo above the article is really nice and fits perfectly ^^

    Glad to see Renault and Honda being given the possibility to improve their engines but I fail to see how that will help the whole ‘F1 is too expensive’ problem. The cost of R&D will be charged to the small teams.

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