At the meeting of the F1 Commission in Spielberg, those responsible for the premier class laid some important groundwork for the future. The budget cap is to be raised slightly because of inflation. Application of the new bouncing rules will be postponed to the Spa race after the summer break.
On Friday (July 8th) before the Austrian Grand Prix, those responsible at the FIA met with the F1 bosses and the ten team bosses for the regular meeting of the F1 Commission. Several important topics were on the agenda. Above all, the dispute over raising the budget ceiling had led to heated discussions in the paddock in recent weeks.
Now it has been agreed to raise the spending limit slightly. In order to prevent some teams from overshooting the permitted limit due to the rapidly increasing inflation, a majority decision was taken to raise the budget cap by 3.1 percent. This means that each team is allowed to spend 4.3 million US dollars more this season than originally planned. Depending on the inflation rate, there will be money on top of that next year. The reference date is no longer in September 2022, but in April 2023. Anything above the three percent inflation rate is determined by the allowance. The basis for the calculation is then $135 million plus the 2022 inflation surcharge, i.e. $139.3 million.
It wasn't enough for the big teams, but too much for the small ones McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl praised: "We can live with the solution." A team doesn't. However, Alpine's veto was not enough to overturn the inflation surcharge. The other three hardliners Haas, Alfa Sauber and Williams buckled. One can assume that there was slight pressure from the engine manufacturers. For them, the rule is a disadvantage. They only have the money they have. Nevertheless, they wanted to get the cow off the ice. Otherwise there would have been many penalties and lawsuits if half of the teams had exceeded the cost cap.
Bouncing directive only in Spa
The new rules for bouncing have also been hotly debated in recent weeks. At the Canadian GP, the FIA published a technical directive according to which cars bouncing too much are threatened with disqualification. The world association wanted to force the teams to convert the cars in such a way that the stress on the drivers was reduced.
Because it was not possible to agree on fixed limit values, the application of the directive was initially postponed to the French GP. In addition, it was also announced that the flexibility of the underbody would be more strictly controlled. In order to adapt the cars to the new specifications, the world association now wants to give the teams a little more time. Only after the summer break at the race in Spa-Francorchamps will there be consequences if the values are not adhered to.Until the French GP, all the teams have to install their vertical acceleration sensors in the same place in the car to make it easier for the FIA to measure.
Further changes to the technical regulations have been announced for 2023 to get the bouncing problem under control receive. In addition, there will be slight adjustments to the format of the race weekends in the coming season. The parc fermé times after qualifying should be shortened so that the mechanics can finish work earlier in the evening.
Bahrain test right before the start of the season
The test drives in the coming season were also discussed. The regulations are to be rewritten so that only four days can elapse between the tests and the first race. According to our information, the three-day test drives will take place in Bahrain in 2023 and the first race of the season will be held at the same location immediately afterwards.
The engine regulations for 2026 were also on the agenda. In a statement, the FIA said that the complete package is now about to be adopted. Porsche and Audi are already eagerly awaiting the official nod to the rules so they can confirm their entry and begin their programs.