The FIA World Motorsport Council, at its meeting in Manila, has published the first official look at what we can expect for the future of the FIA WEC’s top category from 2020/2021 onward.
While more details are set to be released next week in the build-up to the Le Mans 24 Hours, the announcements from the meeting give a glimpse into what has been described as “ongoing discussions” on the 2020-21 technical regulations.
For the new regulations, there’s a targeted budget of one-quarter of current LMP1 budgets, and freedom of design for brands based on a ‘hypercar’ concept. Cost reduction is set to be maintained in no small part via restrictions to aero development, with a particular focus on the underside of the new cars.
RACER understands that the wider proposals currently include a restriction to a single hybrid system, likely driving through the front wheels, with a proposed 5Mj max. Also likely is a proposal that manufacturer power units (the engine plus hybrid system) must be available to non-factory entrants in the top class.
For this, it appears that the LMP1 moniker is set to be abandoned, though at this stage what the category’s new name will be is not yet clear. This was hinted at by FIA President Jean Todt in a recent media roundtable: When asked about LMP1’s future in the WEC, Todt said, “At the moment LMP1 is the top category. In the future we will still have a top category, but it’s not a given that it will remain the same.”
Sources have also suggested to RACER that an outline brief may be provided on the 2024 set of regulations, too, which look set to accommodate zero-emission tech including hydrogen fuel.
With there being an apparent appetite for a global formula, allowing factories to compete at the top of both the WEC and IMSA under common regulations, it remains to be seen how, or indeed if, next week’s announcements make strides to achieve that.
The WMSC has also approved a plan to encourage the participation of female drivers in the WEC, details of which are also expected to be revealed next week in the ACO’s Le Mans press conference.