The FIA’s Formula 1 Commission has announced a series of changes for 2024 and indicated more are under consideration.
Further changes are planned to the sprint race format. The series ran six sprint rounds in 2023, the most ever held in a single season since the format was introduced two years earlier.
In a change for 2023, both sprint qualifying and the sprint race were moved to Saturdays, with Friday’s qualifying session setting the grid for Sunday’s grand prix. However, some drivers and teams have criticised the impact of parc ferme regulations, which come into effect after the opening practice session on Fridays, which was blamed for Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc’s disqualifications from the United States Grand Prix after they were found to have suffered excessive wear on their cars’ floors after the grand prix.
Following a meeting of the F1 Commission, the FIA has announced that the sprint round format will be “updated” ahead of next season. The governing body say that sprint weekend schedules will be “rationalised” by better separating sprint sessions from those directly connected to the grand prix – however, no detail about this was provided. The six rounds that will be run to sprint regulations in 2024 will be confirmed following the completion of the current season.
The F1 Commission also highlighted other matters of discussion, including further development in their research into reducing the volume of spray produced by modern ground effect cars in wet conditions. After a test of experimental wheel arches at Silverstone following the British Grand Prix in July, the F1 Commission announced that a further test would be carried out early in 2024 to help inform future development of the FIA’s project to reduce wet weather spray.
The Alternative Tyre Allocation, which was tested at the Hungarian and Italian Grands Prix, will not be carried over into the 2024 regulations. Drivers will therefore continue to receive the standard allocation of 13 sets of dry tyres for every round of the 2024 championship.
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F1’s intention to ban the use of tyre warming blankets has also suffered another setback. A ban was proposed for 2024 but turned down by teams, and the Commission confirmed tyre blankets will be retained for 2025 as well.
Following the intense heat and discomfort drivers experienced during this year’s Qatar Grand Prix which led to may drivers receiving medical attention for potential dehydration, the F1 Commission approved an update to the technical regulations to allow an air scoop to channel more air into the cockpit to be fitted to cars in future. There will also be further analysis carried out to provide more effective cooling solutions for similarly extreme situations in future.
In additional moves for the 2024 season, a technical regulations amendment was approved with a view to limit the size and number of metal components used in the formation of car floors, which are subject to greater punishment under current ground effect regulations than previous generations of F1 cars. In regards to the budget cap, all activities focused on sustainability measures and the reduction of carbon footprint for teams will be excluded from each team’s budget cap.
Looking ahead to the introduction of the new power unit formula in 2026, the commission announced that an agreement was reached that will restrict teams from beginning developmental work on their 2026 cars until the beginning of 2025.
All measured agreed at the meeting must be formally approved by the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council, which will next meet ahead of the FIA’s prize giving gala in Baku in December.
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