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Formula One Introduces Radical Cost-Cutting Plans

Posted in Newsworthy, Racing, Supercars by Vito Rispo | December 13th, 2008 | 1 Response |

This may be the beginning of a new era for Formula 1. On Friday, sport officials announced a package of major rule changes that may end up lopping off $1 billion dollars in collective team spending a year. The rules are mostly restrictions on testing, aerodynamic research, and engine performance. But FIA president Max Mosley says the fans won’t notice a difference, “What’s significant about these changes is when you walk down the pit lane, or you sit in the grandstand or watch television, you will notice no difference at all. It will be Formula One as we all know it but clearly much less expensive.”

Teams should save about 30% of their budget, with independent teams saving even more, almost half, which is always a good thing for competition. All in-season testing is now banned, except whats done during scheduled practice on a grand prix weekend. Engine life is to be doubled. Teams will have to start sharing information about fuel and tires and tactics like that, among other things. The complete list is included in the official FIA statement below.

Everyone admits these cost cutting measures are necessary, but let’s hope they don’t go overboard with standardized drivetrains or anything too drastic. The whole point of Formula 1 is that it’s extravagant; it’s the ultimate, with the best technology and the best drivers and the best engineers. That sort of insane wealth gives it the feel and the look of Formula 1. Without excess, I might as well watch Nascar.

The official statement and new rules:


The following measures to reduce costs in Formula One have been agreed by the World Motor Sport Council. These proposed changes have the unanimous agreement of the Formula One teams, who have played a major role in their development. The FIA is grateful to the Formula One Teams’ Association (FOTA) and its Chairman Luca di Montezemolo for their incisive contribution.



• Engine life to be doubled. Each driver will use a maximum of eight engines for the season plus four for testing (thus 20 per team).

• Limit of 18,000 rpm.

• No internal re-tuning. Adjustment to trumpets and injectors only.

• The three-race rule voted on 5 November remains in force.

• Cost of engines to independent teams will be approximately 50% of 2008 prices.

• Unanimous agreement was reached on a list of proposed changes to the Renault engine for 2009; all other engines will remain unchanged. Comparative testing will not be necessary.


• No in-season testing except during race weekend during scheduled practice.

Aerodynamic research

• No wind tunnel exceeding 60% scale and 50 metres/sec to be used after 1 January 2009.

• A formula to balance wind tunnel-based research against CFD research, if agreed between the teams, will be proposed to the FIA.

Factory activity

• Factory closures for six weeks per year, to accord with local laws.

Race weekend

• Manpower to be reduced by means of a number of measures, including sharing information on tyres and fuel to eliminate the need for “spotters”.

Sporting spectacle

• Market research is being conducted to gauge the public reaction to a number of new ideas, including possible changes to qualifying and a proposal for the substitution of medals for points for the drivers. Proposals will be submitted to the FIA when the results of the market research are known.

Note: It is estimated that these changes for 2009 will save the manufacturer teams approximately 30% of their budgets compared to 2008, while the savings for independent teams will be even greater.


Power train

• Engines will be available to the independent teams for less than €5 million per team per season. These will either come from an independent supplier or be supplied by the manufacturer teams backed by guarantees of continuity. If an independent supplier, the deal will be signed no later than 20 December 2008.

• This same engine will continue to be used in 2011 and 2012 (thus no new engine for 2011).

• Subject to confirmation of practicability, the same transmission will be used by all teams.


• A list of all elements of the chassis will be prepared and a decision taken in respect of each element as to whether or not it will remain a performance differentiator (competitive element).

• Some elements which remain performance differentiators will be homologated for the season.

• Some elements will remain performance differentiators, but use inexpensive materials.

• Elements which are not performance differentiators will be prescriptive and be obtained or manufactured in the most economical possible way.

Race weekend

• Standardised radio and telemetry systems.

• Ban on tyre warmers.

• Ban on mechanical purging of tyres.

• Ban on refueling.

• Possible reduction in race distance or duration (proposal to follow market research).

Factory activity

• Further restrictions on aerodynamic research.

• Ban on tyre force rigs (other than vertical force rigs).

• Full analysis of factory facilities with a view to proposing further restrictions on facilities.

Longer term

The FIA and FOTA will study the possibility of an entirely new power train for 2013 based on energy efficiency (obtaining more work from less energy consumed). Rules to be framed so as to ensure that research and development of such a power train would make a real contribution to energy-efficient road transport.

An enhanced Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) system is likely to be a very significant element of an energy-efficient power train in the future. In the short term, KERS is part of the 2009 regulations, but is not compulsory. For 2010 FOTA is considering proposals for a standard KERS system. The FIA awaits proposals.

A number of further amendments were adopted for the 2009 and 2010 Sporting and Technical Regulations. Full details will be available shortly on www.fia.com.

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One Response

  1. biswajyoti mukherjee says:

    this is maximum. it will convert f1 2 f0. also medals sud nt b introduced.dats all.