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 …
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 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
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 ?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ?