The FIA now has additional flexibility for approving a 2020 Formula 1 calendar after a number of sporting regulations were changed.
A meeting of the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) approved the changes that will allow the FIA and Formula 1 to modify this year’s calendar without the need for a vote. But other regulation changes have also been opened up, with approval now only needed from 60% of the teams – instead of unanimity – before WMSC ratification “so as to increase flexibility during this difficult period”.
Those articles largely relate to the way a race weekend is structured, including – but not limited to – the timing and length of free practice sessions, curfew regulations, tire supply, scrutineering and parc ferme.
The changes would allow the FIA and F1 to approve potential calendar solutions such as a two-day race weekend in order to fit in more races once it is possible for sport to resume.
The need for only a majority consent also extends to the 21-day mandatory shutdown regulations, which may be extended while there are major restrictions on travel in Europe. Power unit manufacturers are also now required to observe the shutdown.
Another calendar change relates to the post-season test that traditionally takes place in Abu Dhabi after the final race of the year. Where previously a three-day test was permitted that would involved tire testing, this year a one-day Young Driver Test must start no more than 48 hours after the final event, but teams can run two cars at the same time rather than the usual one.
The meeting of the WMSC also ratified the previously-reported banning on aerodynamic development of the 2022 cars until 2021, and issued clarification that Mercedes’ innovative Dual Axis Steering (DAS) system will still be illegal in 2021 despite the current chassis being used for a further season.
A tweak to power unit regulations this year has been made in response to the likelihood of fewer races. A driver will only be permitted to use two of any component if there are 14 or fewer rounds, while if the calendar drops to 11 or below, the energy store and control electronics will be required to do the full season, with the remaining components staying at two of each.
All of the changes were approved by e-vote.