Ecclestone, Todt given mandate on F1’s future

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The FIA World Motor Sport Council met this week and made a few changes to Formula 1. A few changes to the calendar, a few changes to the tire choices on race weekends in 2016, Ferrari supply of engines to Toro Rosso and, perhaps the biggest announcement, Bernie Ecclestone and Jean Todt have been given a mandate regarding key decisions about the sport’s future. Below are the announcements:

FIA Press Release

The World Motor Sport Council approved, by a near unanimous number (just one vote against), a mandate for the FIA President, Jean Todt and the Representative of the Commercial Rights Holder, Bernie Ecclestone to make recommendations and decisions regarding a number of pressing issues in Formula One such as governance, Power Units and cost reduction. Mr Todt and Mr Ecclestone expressed their intention to establish conclusions on these matters by 31 January, 2016.

The World Motor Sport Council also approved a number of changes to the F1 Technical and Sporting Regulations.

Technical

The number of power unit tokens allowed for in-season development will be allocated as follows over the coming seasons:

–        2016 – 32

–        2017 – 25

–        2018 – 20

–        2019 – 15

Any new Power Unit manufacturer will be allocated 15 tokens in their first year, and 32 in their second.

The padded areas around the driver’s head have been increased in thickness for improved safety.

Sporting

Changes have been approved by the World Motor Sport Council in regard to the way that tyres are used by teams in order to encourage differing race strategies in 2016. These include:

–        The tyre supplier will now provide three dry-weather compounds instead of two

–        Of the 13 sets of dry tyres available to each driver, the tyre supplier will choose two for the race (only one of which must be used in the race), and one set (the softest available) that may only be used in Q3. Each driver may then choose their remaining ten sets from the three available compounds

–        Unless intermediate or wet-weather tyres have been used, a driver must use at least two different specifications of dry-weather tyres – at least one of these must be the one chosen by the tyre supplier.

In the event of a Virtual Safety Car (VSC), DRS will now be re-enabled immediately after the VSC period. Furthermore, the VSC may also be used in practice sessions to reduce the amount of time lost during a stoppage.

Power Units homologated in previous seasons may now be re-homologated. Previously no manufacturer could supply more than one specification of PU. The World Motor Sport Council was also advised that the FIA had agreed for Ferrari to supply a fourth customer team with a 2015-specification Power Unit in 2016.

The maximum number of Championship events in a season has been increased to 21 (from 20). The calendar for the 2016 FIA Formula One World Championship has been confirmed:

20 MarchMelbourneAustralia
3 AprilBahrainBahrain
17 AprilShanghaiChina
1 MaySochiRussia
15 MayBarcelonaSpain
29 MayMonte CarloMonaco
12 JuneMontrealCanada
19 JuneBakuAzerbaijan*
3 JulySpielbergAustria
10 JulySilverstoneUnited Kingdom
24 JulyBudapestHungary
31 JulyHockenheimGermany
28 AugustSpa-FrancorchampsBelgium
4 SeptemberMonzaItaly
18 SeptemberSingaporeSingapore
2 OctoberSepangMalaysia
9 OctoberSuzukaJapan
23 OctoberAustinUSA**
30 OctoberMexico CityMexico
13 NovemberSao PaoloBrazil
27 NovemberAbu DhabiUnited Arab Emirates

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Tom Firth

Interesting that COTA remains subject to a promoter/ASN agreement.

Paul KieferJr

I’m not surprised that much, given the bloodbath we took during that hurricane and the screwball decision Governor Abbot made regarding the reimbursement from the METF.

Tom Firth

Not surprised, though interested as to what will happen.

Bacon Wrapped Sushi

Cool beans with the three dry compounds. The token drop-off is pretty steep, but I wonder if that won’t change yet again. Good rule on the VSC and DRS.

Still doesn’t fix the problem of being unable to attack due to tire degradation from following too close so I feel like nothing will really change come race weekend. Still predicting Mercedes 1-2 for the majority of 2016.

I guess I’m still confused. So are the “changes” in 2017 still coming?

Andreas Möller

Very interesting… the mandate for Todt/BE to make recommendations and decisions on governance, power units and cost reduction – that must be for the 2017 onwards engine situation. It will be very interesting to see what comes out of that.

Tommy Mac

There is 2 big things in these rulings The power given back to FIAFOM this should negate the StratGroup etc when they cannot agree. And the sleeper is this little gem Power Units homologated in previous seasons may now be re-homologated. Previously no manufacturer could supply more than one specification of PU. To say that can be open to interpretation would be an understatement, but is what RBR needed to have to develop, and probably why they even ran the Renault upgraded engine as that is now a 2015 homologated engine well the bottom end is all they basically need,… Read more »

Andreas Möller

Indeed – we could expect some heavy arguments on what that ruling actually means. Some say (and I tend to agree) that it merely means that a power unit manufacturer can now offer two specs of PU (last year’s and the current one), to allow for the Ferrari – Toro Rosso deal. This view is of course supported by the other ruling that allows Ferrari to supply a fourth team. But does this mean that RBR can now develop their own PU, using the 2015 Renault bottom end? That’s certainly up for debate. Naturally, Renault could take advantage of the… Read more »

Paul KieferJr

Now that Jean and Bernie have been given the green light, I wonder how this is all going to work out.

jakobusvdl

So the other 2015 spec Ferrari P.U goes to Toro Rosso? The tyre change means that each driver could use up to three compounds? But has to use at least two? I’m confused as to how that will make for better racing. And there will be a set of soft tyres for qualifying, that could be okay, if it means there are no comprises with the qualifying set up. On the tokens, that should allow the other suppliers the chance to makeup ground in Mercedes, provided there are some rules of diminishing returns with these P.U ‘s. But its not… Read more »

Tom Firth

General consensus is that yes, Toro Rosso will receive that Ferrari unit, though unless I’ve missed it in the past 24 hours, Toro Rosso have yet to confirm it.

As for Tokens, its progress in that it delays the percentage of change allowed effectively by a year from the original proposals from 2014.

jakobusvdl

Fair point about the tokens, hopefully that concession lets all the manufacturers get up to be competitive with Mercedes (and not break their customers in the process)

Tom Firth

As for Tyres, you should probably read this because i’m still as confused as everyone else – http://beta.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/122116/gp-tyre-choices-to-be-kept-secret

Or rather this – http://f1pressarea.pirelli.com/wp-content/files/pdf/28163.pdf

Andreas Möller

On the tokens, that was what I suspected (re the delay), but hadn’t confirmed since I hadn’t looked up the original proposed development scheme. Of course, this does not help with cost reduction (the original idea was to run at least two seasons with frozen engines, to make up for some of the initial development costs). But the really big change is that these tokens can now be spent in-season throughout – so what was originally a loophole due to poorly written regulations has now been cemented.

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