How the money will be saved – FIA FOTA deal

Current engines are here to stay till 2012, not this Honda though

Current engines are here to stay till 2012, not this Honda though

So, now we know what the “the most successful meeting on Formula 1 matters which any of the participants can remember” brought. Here is the list of agreed cost saving measures for 2009 season and those proposed for 2010 and beyond with few comments:



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.

I believe FIA and FOTA understand what they are talking about but I do have some questions here:

How is engine life doubled when it is still to last 3 instead of 2 races ?

How long the 20 engines season lasts ? Does it include the winter testing or not ? What are those 4 engines for testing for when testing during season is banned (see further below) ? Yes they will be allowed to test during race weekends but 4 engines per team can’t last for all 17 rounds of practice sessions.

And what happens if someone (driver or team) somehow manages to run out of the engines ? Will there be penalty or will that mean end of the season for that driver (team) ?


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

Not exactly good time to be signed as a test driver …

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.

So what will they do with all those full-size wind tunnels the teams pumped money into in recent years ?

Factory activity

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

Good news for the employees, those that will still keep their jobs of course

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”.

Have the teams also agreed on telling each other how much fuel their drivers are going to qualify with ? If so then why simply don’t they get rid of the race fuel qualifying ?

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.

This is welcome news. Frankly there has been more than enough changes to digest already for next year …

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.

Looks like the deadline for teams to sign up for the Cosworth engines has been extended by a week. Unless FIA and teams change their minds again current engines will be here to stay for 4 more seasons.


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).

Fine, but I do not like the suggestions about reducing the race distance. I hope that the market research will show that I am not alone … But with the refueling ban they would either have to cut the race distance or enlarge the fuel tanks in cars.

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. (These are not yet available on FIA website, the latest version of 2009 regulations is still from July 2008)

It looks like Mosley’s tactics finally got the teams thinking. But would any of this happen without Honda pulling out ?

14 Comments Post a Comment
  1. zblkhwkNo Gravatar says:

    Talk about upsetting the apple cart?

    No refueling? Does that take away pit stop strategy, and maybe pit stops? I thought they wanted to increase passing. Right now that’s the only place where passing actually takes place. I am sure this has something to do with side effects of KERS.

    I do not like getting rid of tire warmers. That has to significantly raise the risk to drivers on their first laps out if they do decide to pit for tires.

    Does the engine rule help Cosworth get back into the game?

    Nothing about the transmission?

    A lot to digest here. I guess we will wait to see how much sticks and what this all does. I am anxious to hear what the teams say.

    • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

      well this is what the teams has agreed on, proposed to FIA and got rubber stamped

      refueling is a bit controversial topic and after reading all sorts of opinions on different sites over past few months, the opinions are rather split. sure it will take some pit lane excitement away from races, but the cars would still go on changing tyres. ban on refueling would however remove one dangerous part of the F1 race and also force the drivers to fight for the positions on the race track

      tyre warmers were originally supposed to go after 2008 season but they are still allowed for 2009 after FIA backtracked. some argue that the first laps on cold tyres will be dangerous others argue that other racing series do not use tyre warmers and still are OK …

      transmission was mentioned for 2010:
      ” Subject to confirmation of practicability, the same transmission will be used by all teams.”

  2. vonKNo Gravatar says:

    If refueling is banned, do teams have to qualify with full race fuel?

    • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

      No one mentioned anything about qulaifying rules for 2010 other than that FIA will do market research to see if some of the ideas presented by FOTA would be welcomed by public. FOTA played around with that idea of qualifying shoot out so I believe that is what they are talking about

      but back to your question – there are probably 2 alternatives – race fuel qualifying – all with full fuel tank or lowe fuel – all going out only with as much fuel as they need to complete what they need to complete

      I think that following the refueling ban FIA will revert to minimum fuel qualifying runs otherwise the fuel tanks in cars would have to enlarged not only to accomodate full race load of fuel but also the fuel for qualifying

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  4. KotenokNo Gravatar says:

    Pfff…. I’m not commenting this time :(

  5. zblkhwkNo Gravatar says:

    Any idea what drove the removal of refueling? Was it the added danger due to KERS or that they could eliminate personnel for cost savings.

    Is this a 2009 rule change?

    • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

      refueling ban is to be implemented from 2010

      I think that is a combination of safety issues (remember all those flash fires in Hungary this year), cost saving (crew, all those high tech high speed refueling rigs flown around the world) and the racing spectacle (hope that when there will be less opportunity to capitalize on pit stop strategy the drivers would simply have to fight and overtake on the track)

      • KotenokNo Gravatar says:

        But I do not agree personallly to that rule, will this lay on massive response of the spectators opinion somehow? I wish the spectators has a chance to say what they wish to see and feel, the drivers also may want to say what they want through GPDA. Not only should FOTA and FIA decides the game rules.

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