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FIA Confirms Cost-Saving 2008 F1 Regulations
Written by: RACER staff
Paris, France – 12/21/2005 The manufacturers' current spending levels in F1 are "unsustainable" in the long run, according to FIA president Max Mosley. (LAT Photo)
The FIA officially unveiled today the new 2008 regulations for Formula 1, aimed at radical cost-cutting in order to keep the sport accessible to independent teams. The governing body is targeting a yearly budget of circa $100m to be competitive at the pinnacle of motorsport in ’08, when the current Concorde Agreement expires, and criticized the manufacturer’s no-holds barrel approach.
"The real argument in Formula 1 is not about sports governance or even about how much money FOM gives the teams. It's all about costs,” FIA president Max Mosley stated.
“The World Championship must remain financially viable for independent teams. Against this, two (possibly three) manufacturers want to win by spending unlimited amounts of money. This approach has caused great damage to motor sport, most recently to IRL in America. We don't want it in F1.
“One manufacturer [believed to be Renault] is spending a sum greater than half its total annual dividend. This is unsustainable and sooner or later the shareholders will notice."
The new regulations will be available for download in the detail at the FIA’s official website.
Summary of the main changes in Formula 1’s 2008 regulations:
“- New technologies which give a team an advantage for one season but which are then adopted by all teams for subsequent seasons at significant expense will be banned after the end of the first season (Article 2.5).
Reason: To reduce costs. This allows a team which discovers a new technology to benefit from it, but prevents Formula One as a whole then spending money on the same technology only to leave all the teams in exactly the same (relative) positions as before.
- The rear wing is split in two.
Reason: Research indicates that this will produce a wake in which the car behind will perform much better, thus facilitating overtaking.
- Changes to the bodywork regulations to reduce downforce while maintaining drag levels so as to avoid an increase in cornering speeds over 2006 levels (Article 3).
- Changes to the bodywork regulations at the front of the car to make the car behave better in traffic (Article 3).
Reason: To facilitate overtaking.
- Limitations on possible “interesting” areas of aerodynamic research (Article 3).
Reason: To reduce costs.
- The minimum weight is reduced from 605 to 550kg (Article 4).
Reason: To eliminate the cost of purchasing 55kg of very expensive high density ballast for each car and transporting it all over the world. Cars will also be safer without this extra weight.
- Engine to be subject to a rev limit of 19,000 rpm, with a possible increase to 20,000 rpm in consultation with the competing teams (Article 5.1.3).
Reason: To reduce costs and to redirect engine research towards road-relevant technologies.
- A standard electronic control unit for engine and gearbox to be used at all times in Formula One (Article 8.2).
Reason: To reduce costs, eliminate driver aids such as traction control and allow the FIA to check engine use and testing mileage.
- Gear ratios to have a minimum thickness of 12mm (Article 9.3.3).
Reason: To reduce costs by making gearboxes more robust.
- Tire pressures may be adjusted by the driver while the car is moving (Article 12.5).
Reason: Safety, particularly during safety car periods.
- Maximum wheel diameter increased to 640mm front and 710mm rear, with maximum widths of 365mm front and 460mm rear (Article 12.4) with slick tyres.
Reason: To increase “mechanical” grip to compensate for reduced aerodynamic downforce to facilitate overtaking.
- Only permitted materials may be used to construct the car (Article 15.1).
Reason: To reduce costs.
- At least 5.75% (m/m) of fuel must be from biological sources (Article 19.4.5).
Reason: To keep ahead of developments in fuel for road cars.
From 2009 each team may make only two changes of bodywork after the start of the season (Article 3.15).
Reason: To reduce costs.
It is intended to allow systems for energy storage and recovery (hybrid systems) from 2009, provided this can be done without causing budgetary difficulties for any of the competing teams.”
Other changes to be submitted to approval by the World Motor Sport Council in March 2006 include:
- arrangements for a single tire supplier in 2008;
- three - event engines;
- four - event transmissions;
- weight penalties for early replacement of engine or gearbox; (instead of the 10-grid position penalties used this season).
- testing restrictions;
- a limit of two cars per team at an event;
- the date for the opening and closing of entries for 2008.
Finally, the FIA revealed that the current Concorde Agreement provisions which prevent teams selling components or complete chassis to other competitors will not be renewed - “an entirely free market” is the entity’s goal in this area.
It used to be "Well no wonder Ferrari wins, they spend $400mil/year!"
Now it's more like "if you want to have a snowflake's chance in Hell, you MUST spend at least $400 million."
It's the usual problem with a no-holds-barred series: it doesn't take long for people to figure out how to buy victories....at which point it becomes a spending war, the less-wealthy teams can't compete and drop out, and the whole series comes crashing down. Kudos to Max for trying to stop it. If he can make some changes that actually control costs while improving the spectacle, then I'm willing to forgive his recent record of incompetance.
At least 5.75% (m/m) of fuel must be from biological sources (Article 19.4.5).
That is a good one. Dahhh?? here is a hint: OIL IS A BIOLOGICAL source, Dead plant material. million year old dead plant material.
and when those pipelines from central Asia ever get built and conected, almost unlimited supply of usable & refinable light sweet crude Oil. Plus drilling off the Virginia and Carolina Coast lines. Heck more oil there then in the Gulf of Mex. Just that ppl dont want it in 'their' back yards.
Technolgy is dong a great job and I am sure will get better in cutting down emissions.
corn liquer does a good job fueling cars. A little technoglogy development and might be a great source too.
Meh, not running a third car on Friday would save some money, but screw over up-and-coming third drivers.
I'm thinking they could save a lot of money by moving all in-season testing to the thursday and friday before a race, at that circuit. No need to fund a separate testing team, and the race weekend would be more interesting for spectators because the teams would maximize their track time on those two days. Logistical nightmare to fit around all the support races, but it could really cut down the testing costs.
I would like to see them run a spec gas, preferably low octane unleaded. By mandating like 90 octane, it would really limit the CR and RPM and they would have to develop advanced engine mangement technologies that would be street car relavant. Also, how about a larger diameter wheel, so low profile tires like we use would force some suspension travel.