New F1 rules for 2021 approved unanimously

2021 F1 rules

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Formula 1 and the FIA’s plan to overhaul the sport’s rules in 2021 has been approved unanimously by the FIA World Motor Sport Council.

The package of revised sporting and technical regulations, plus the entirely new financial regulations, was voted on earlier this week.

Liberty Media, which purchased the sport in 2016, sees this as its first opportunity to make sweeping changes to the sport, as its commercial agreements with the 10 teams expire at the end of the 2020 F1 season.

“The unanimous approval of the rules by the World Motor Sports Council is a watershed moment and will allow us to deliver more wheel-to-wheel racing for all our fans,” said F1’s CEO Chase Carey, who said the sport had previously introduced “random and knee-jerk changes” to its regulations.

A key element of its plan are the all-new financial regulations. These impost a spending limit of $175 million per season upon teams, with exceptions for driver salaries, three top team member salaries, marketing and hospitality, and other major expenses.

The goal of the financial regulations is to drive down costs for competitors. It is intended to go hand in hand with new commercial agreements with the teams which will restructure the sport’s prize money structure. Those agreements are separate to the sport’s rules and regulations.

The new rules for the 2021 F1 season will also impose extensive new restrictions on car design which are intended to improve how closely cars can race together. The changes are the product of extensive research by F1 and the FIA into how to alter the turbulence generate by F1 cars and reduce how sensitive they are to running in disturbed air. This has led to the simplification of surface wings and legalisation of long Venturi tunnels beneath the car to generate downforce via the ‘ground-effect’.

Other technical changes previously announced by the sport include a move to 18-inch wheels. However earlier proposals to simplify the power unit specification by removing the MGU-H, introduce standard gearboxes and brakes, reintroduce in-race refuelling and forbid teams from using tyre warmers, were all shelved during the negotiations over F1’s biggest rules change in a generation.

Image: Formula 1

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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10 comments on “New F1 rules for 2021 approved unanimously”

  1. That is good news. Hoping for improved racing and seeing what engineers find workaround to new regulations.

  2. Watching it Live on Youtube

  3. The new rules do seem to be working. We now hear the race commentators saying “Punching a hole in the air”, which I think is what the original intent of the open wheel format was. So a leading car has lots of drag while the cars behind have the benefit of “the hole in the air” to help them catch the leading car. It suggests to me the current rules are working.
    I like the idea of Venturi tunnels. I’m not sure if going up onto a kerb will result in loss of downforce or not.

  4. If the cars look like that i’m happy

  5. Looks good. Not as big an overhaul as once predicted but good steps nonetheless.

    A part of me wishes they’d be more ambitious with the budget cap restrictions and maybe make engines lean slightly away from being hybrids and more towards naturally aspirated features. They should definitely address the issue with grid penalties and components limits. Apart from that, very positive and the car looks great.

  6. Approved unanimously by the WSMC does not mean that all teams approved the new rules.

    Only Ferrari is involved as a representative for all manufacturers.

  7. Overall a very positive step. I would like to see them get rid of tire warmers to make out-laps more challenging but I understand they had to compromise. I’m looking forward to 2021!

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