FIA insists processes must be followed amid F1 reform calls

The FIA has insisted that Formula 1’s rules processes must be followed to the letter, amid a wave of recent high-profile calls for change.

The Medical Car at the back of the grid for the start

There has been increased scrutiny in recent weeks on the FIA’s structures and regulations that F1 operates under.

This has included scepticism over potential new team entrants, unease over some of the aspects of the planned 2026 regulations and opinions on future engine regulations surrounding the move to fully sustainable fuels.

Furthermore, this week F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said it was his view that any cost cap breaches should be treated with sporting sanctions rather than financial penalties.

"I would like the penalty to be sporting in case of infringement, it is something we asked for very clearly," Domenicali told Autosport.

"There are three regulations to be respected: sporting, technical and financial. Any infractions must be punished with sporting measures. You can't go in other directions."

But, just as the FIA is not allowed to get involved in commercial matters in F1 under anti-cartel legislation, it holds the position as the authority on regulatory matters.

So, in the wake of these recent remarks suggesting change, the FIA issued a statement on Thursday declaring that it would not break procedure when it came to potential changes in the future – be they related to regulations or sanctions.

The statement said: "The FIA notes that comments regarding changes to the framing of current and future Formula 1 regulations have recently appeared in the media.

"The FIA stresses that while it welcomes opinions from stakeholders, the regulatory powers over all FIA championships - including the FIA Formula 1 world championship - are vested in the FIA.

"Any technical, sporting or financial sanctions and/or amendments to such regulations will follow due process."

FIA flag

FIA flag

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The governance of F1 is laid down in the Concorde Agreement, where a strict protocol is in place for any revisions to be made to grand prix racing’s regulations.

Rule changes first need to be discussed and approved at the F1 Commission, which is made up of teams, the FIA and FOM (Formula One Management).

Changes to the sporting or technical regulations for the following season made before the end of April can be approved by a simple majority of five teams voting in favour, along with the FIA and FOM.

Revisions for the current season or the following campaign, if made after April, require a super majority of eight teams as well as the support of the FIA and FOM.

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In terms of the financial regulations, a simple majority is needed for votes that are taken prior to the end of September of the preceding year the regulation comes into force. If the change comes after the end of September, then it requires the super majority.

Once the F1 Commission has approved any rule changes, then these still need to be ratified by the FIA's World Motor Sport Council before becoming official in the regulations.

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