F1 race format tweaks, other changes still possible for 2021

Image by Andy Hone/LAT

F1 race format tweaks, other changes still possible for 2021

Formula 1

F1 race format tweaks, other changes still possible for 2021


The FIA has revealed a number of areas it is investigating making changes to Formula 1 in the 2021 regulations, including the race weekend format.

2021 will see an overhaul in terms of technical regulations, while a cost cap will also be introduced as F1 aims to make the 2021 cars more raceable as well as aesthetically pleasing, provide a more competitive grid and make teams financially viable. FIA president Jean Todt confirmed at Silverstone that a return to refueling is being analyzed — something RACER understands is a source of major focus ahead of October — and head of single-seater technical matters Nikolas Tombazis has outlined a number of other potential changes being looked at.

“Items under investigation that we are still looking at over the next few months, we’re looking to reduce certain electronics on the car and certain driver aids,” Tombazis said. “That is quite a sensitive subject of course and we are working on it to make sure we avoid any unwanted consequences.

“We are discussing reducing car-to-pit telemetry and thus we would like to leave the drivers alone during the race to handle all the technical aspects of the car. There would still be radio communication with any strategy or safety information, but there wouldn’t be the, ‘Your temperatures are too high, do that and this,’ that would be something we would prefer the on-board system of the car and the driver to have full responsibility for and not have that continuous assistance by an engineer and the pit wall.

“We are looking at some further standard components and whether there could be cost benefits for further such components. We are simplifying the lower part of the chassis. We want to make sure we have structures under the chassis that protect the chassis from curbs and damage. It’s also an area which is quite difficult to regulate for the permitted deflection so we are working on that.

Working rendering of a 2021 F1 car.

“We are considering perhaps having some further personnel reduction during race weekends, and last but not least — and that could be another book on its own — we are looking at race weekend formats and that is a discussion that is heating up and getting quite interesting.”

It is understood any changes to the race weekend format will focus on improving the sporting spectacle, and are likely to retain a three-day weekend of track action but reduce the workload on the teams in order to increase the potential for additional races on the calendar.