Formula 1 bosses presented their visions for 2021 and beyond to team principals and members of F1’s Strategy Group and the F1 Commission at a summit today in St James Square, the London headquarters of Liberty Media, the sport’s commercial rights holder.
Although a code of secrecy was imposed on delegates, RaceFans has learned that two joint presentations were presented by F1’s governing body, the FIA, and Liberty during overlapping sessions convened today. The first was aimed at the 10 team bosses present in Strategy Group session and the other at the F1 Commission, which comprises race promoters, sponsors and trade partners in addition to all team executives.
According to sources with knowledge of the meetings, the presentations were comprehensive and well received by the respective audiences, with the mood in the sessions being described as “positive”.
The individual presentations covered the post-2020 regulations (sporting, technical and engine), a revised regulatory framework, a more equitable revenue structure, and proposals for financial controls aimed at levelling the competitive environment for independent teams and to encourage newcomers to enter the sport.
The latest package was based on feedback received and research undertaken since the first such presentations was presented to teams during last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix weekend, with today’s meetings timed to fall ahead of this weekend’s race on the desert island.
During the past 12 months the FIA and Liberty have held a series of individual and group meetings with the all sport’s players, and today’s presentation points were honed by the discussions.
The overall package is aimed at making F1 more affordable for teams and fans while delivering an improved on-track show through the reduction of unnecessary costs and elimination of technologies that impede close racing.
“Liberty is fully aware that it will be impossible to make everyone happy, so their strategy is one of making as few people as possible unhappy,” is how a team boss described Liberty’s approach, adding that “tailoring a total package that finds favour with 10 teams who each have vastly different business models means it is inevitable some teams will get hurt more than others.”
Although both Ferrari and Mercedes recently toned down suggestions that they could exit the sport should the post-2020 landscape does not suit their respective objectives, the threat of losing two major teams would have informed Liberty’s proposals. It is believed certain concessions have been made to appease them.
As the meetings were informative by design rather than being regulatory no votes were cast, nor had provisions been made for a ballot process.
However, during the business sessions of both meetings a series of votes were held to approve a number of minor regulations changes scheduled for 2020 introduction. RaceFans understands that changes to ‘oil burn’ and fuel flow regulations, plus to brake duct and front wing designs, were amongst the items approved. These now require ratification by the WMSC for implementation in 2020.
A series of follow-up meetings aimed at formalising the post-2020 landscape are scheduled between now and the end of June.
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