FIA puts roadblock on F1’s sprint race expansion

Formula 1’s plans to increase the number of sprint races to six in 2023 hit a roadblock on Tuesday when the FIA blocked the vote going through, sources have revealed.

FIA puts roadblock on F1’s sprint race expansion

Following a meeting of the F1 Commission in London, plans by F1 owner Liberty Media to increase the number of sprint events met little resistance from teams.

But, when the matter came down to getting the majority support it needed, the unanimous backing from the competitors and FOM was not enough to push the matter through as the FIA did not support the plan in its current guise.

For the sprint expansion to get put in to regulations for 2023, it needed what is known as a ‘simple majority’ of 25 votes from the 30 on offer between the teams (10), the FIA (10) and FOM (10).

With only the teams and F1 in agreement, the FIA’s resistance meant the proposal failed for now.

Sources have indicated that FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, who chaired the meeting, told participants that he was only willing to go ahead with having more sprints if a financial contribution was made to the governing body.

While his stance prompted some anger within the room – with one source suggesting it was motivated by ‘greed’ – the FIA did later agree that it would investigate exactly what impact the extra sprints have on its personnel before reconsidering the matter.

In a statement issued by the FIA after the meeting, the governing body said: “With the first of three sprint events of the 2022 season popular with fans and stakeholders last weekend at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Formula 1 and the teams were supportive of an extension to six sprint events for the 2023 season, running with the same format as in 2022. 

“While supporting the principle of an increased number of sprint events, the FIA is still evaluating the impact of this proposal on its trackside operations and personnel, and will provide its feedback to the Commission.” 

Talks also took place about the latest on the 2026 engine rules, but one of the initial issues that emerged is about ensuring that a proposed reduction in power does not make F1 cars too slow.

The current turbo hybrids are among the most powerful in F1 history, but the tweaks for 2026 – which include losing the MGU-H – could see horsepower figures drop.

With F1’s 2022 generation of cars being heavy and quite draggy, there are worries that straight line speeds could suffer if the powerunits do not produce as much performance. F1 teams have therefore been asked to go away and look at how best to ensure the cars deliver what is needed.

The FIA has outlined proposals that it wants the cars to be able to produce so they can complement the changes to the engines.

These are, according to the FIA, to maintain and improve on recent lessons learned about close racing and cars being able to follow each other, make the cars smaller and lighter, increase the amount of standard or sustainable parts and continue innovation on safety, moving towards active and connected safety systems.

The F1 Commission unanimously approved an update to the 2023 Technical Regulations that will make the use of helmet cameras mandatory, and it will reduce the tyre allocation over a race weekend from the current 13 sets down to 11.

The meeting also covered the impact that rising costs and inflation were having on teams as they battled the cost cap. 

It was agreed that F1’s Financial Working Group will be asked to discuss the matter and come up with a proposal that can help ease any problems over both the short and long term.

The F1 teams also discussed the latest on the 2022 calendar, but it is understood that no final decision has yet been taken about which event will replace the cancelled Russian Grand Prix.

While Qatar had emerged as the early front-runner to get the slot, concerns about the extreme temperatures at that time of the year, and logistics as the country prepares for the football World Cup, has quelled some of the momentum behind the event happening.

Instead, as first reported by Autosport, one idea that is gaining traction is for Singapore to host back-to-back events, which would be logistically quite straightforward.

shares
comments
Alonso: Points haul from first four races of F1 season ‘painful’
Previous article

Alonso: Points haul from first four races of F1 season ‘painful’

Next article

How much does an F1 car weigh in 2022 and what's included in the limit?

How much does an F1 car weigh in 2022 and what's included in the limit?
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats Plus

How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats

The 2022 Formula 1 season will be remembered as a record book rewriting Max Verstappen masterclass, a completely different challenge to his maiden world championship last year, and a clear sign he is still raising his own level. But where does it stack up against the all-time great F1 campaigns?

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022