Austrian GP 2022
At the F1 commission meeting in Spielberg, those responsible for the dominant class laid some important groundwork for the future. The budget cap has to be raised slightly due to inflation. After the summer break, the implementation of the new rules of bouncing will be postponed for the Spa Race.
On the Friday (8 July) before the Austrian Grand Prix, those responsible in the FIA met with the F1 owners and ten team owners for a regular meeting of the F1 Commission. Several important topics were on the agenda. Above all, the controversy over raising the budget limit has been hotly debated in the paddock in recent weeks.
Now it has been agreed to increase the spending limit slightly. A majority decision was taken to increase the budget cap to 3.1 percent, to prevent some teams from exceeding the allowed limit due to rapidly rising inflation. This means that each team is allowed to spend US$4.3 million more this season than originally planned. Depending on the rate of inflation, the next year will have money on top of it. 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 calculation base is then $135 million plus the 2022 inflation surcharge, that is, $139.3 million.
This was not enough for the big teams, but too much for the smaller ones. McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl praised it: “We can live with the solution.” A team does not. However, Alpine’s veto was not enough to reverse the inflation surcharge. The other three fanatics Haas, Alfa Sauber and Williams bowed out. One can assume that there was slight pressure from the engine manufacturers. For them, the rule is a disadvantage. They only have money that they have. Still, they wanted to get the cow out of the snow. Otherwise, if half the teams exceeded the cost limit, there would have been many penalties and lawsuits.
Bouncing Instructions Only at the 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 that jump too high are threatened with disqualification. The world federation wanted to force teams to convert cars in a way that would reduce the stress on drivers.
Since it was not possible to agree on fixed threshold 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 will be controlled more strictly. The world federation now wants to give the teams a little more time, in order to adapt the cars to the new specifications. Racing at Spa-Francorchamps will result in consequences if the values are not followed only after the summer break. By the time of the French GP, all teams will have to install their vertical accelerometers in the same place in the car to make it easier for the FIA to measure.
Further changes to the technical regulations for 2023 have been announced to bring the bouncing problem under control. Also, there will be slight adjustments to the format of Race Weekend in the coming season. The aim is to shorten pars firm time after qualifying so that mechanics can finish work earlier in the evening.
Bahrain Test just before the start of the season
Test drives in the coming season were also discussed. The rules have to be rewritten so that only four days pass between the test and the first race. To our knowledge, the three-day test drive will take place in Bahrain in 2023 and the first race of the season will be held at the same venue soon after.
Engine regulations for 2026 were also on the agenda. The FIA said in a statement that now the full package is about to be adopted. Porsche and Audi are already eagerly awaiting the official approval of the rules so that they can confirm their entry and start their programs.
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