The F1 Commission met again to decide the future of the competition and some interesting conclusions emerged and some movements that could be talked about in the coming weeks.
We start with the Sprint races. The unanimity on this issue was clear, with the teams voting in favor of an increase in the number of events, from three to six. So far so good, but the FIA has decided to put a brake on the issue and wants to better assess the impact of sprint races. This attitude of the FIA caused discomfort in the teams, as reported yesterday, so we may have here the first point of fracture between the teams and the FIA. The teams obviously want more Sprint races and there is no hiding that the money factor is at stake here. With Sprint races F1 can ask for more money from the promoters and the pie divided between the 10 structures grows. Even more, it could be a way to get around the budget cap by demanding more money, something the big teams wanted already. The fact that the FIA wants to re-evaluate and the reaction of the teams is something we should be aware of in the coming weeks.
On the Power Units side, there was no big news, still with Audi and Porsche lurking, but surprisingly, the chassis have already been discussed for 2026 and the current chassis problems were indeed pointed out. The size and weight of the cars of this new era are too much for racing single-seaters. The cars have provided good shows but the keenest fan can’t help but regret the way these cars tackle slow corners and higher correctors. The feeling of weight is noticeable, which has nothing to do with the spirit of F1. It is a good sign to see that there is a desire to reduce the weight of the cars. But it could just be a sign. After all, with batteries and new pilot protection systems, it doesn’t seem like a simple task to lower the weight of these machines from 800 kg. Trying to maintain this weight will not be bad, but here, we may be facing a promise that is difficult to fulfill, in an environment of budgetary limits.
Helmet cameras are a logical decision. The success was immediate and even makes some confusion for F1 to only now opt for this type of technology when other competitions (Indy for example) had already shown something similar for some time. It’s good for the show, fans like it, and it’s a relatively simple addition.
Finally, experimenting with tire reduction is a sign of things to come. Each car has 13 sets of tires at its disposal per weekend (between soft, medium and hard) and this number will be reduced to 11 in two races, in order to test how the teams adapt to this change. Firstly, the way in which these solutions are being implemented should be highlighted. F1 has learned that testing is the best solution and doesn’t mind testing during the season to see if the changes make sense. It was like that with Sprint and it seems that the method is here to stay. It’s much better than changing everything and then realizing halfway through that the change is wrong. As for reducing the number of tires, it makes sense in a context of greater sustainability. Of course, this will imply a more careful management of the weekend and is another strategic element. It’s certainly not the most exciting but F1 has to take steps towards sustainability and this idea makes sense.
F1 2022 has only four races, but F1 2023 and 2026 are already starting to be thought about. The competition has taken positive steps and it would be good to keep that course.