FIA unveils cost cutting reforms
(GMM) As expected in Monaco on Friday, the FIA's World Motor Sport Council rubber-stamped a raft of cost-saving measures for formula one.
For next year, the engine rev limit will drop to 18,000 rpm, and engine life will double by the imposition of a cap of the use of 20 engines per team per season.
However, contrary to reports, the new one engine per three races rule will remain in place, despite suggestions it might be expanded to four races.
The cost of customer engines to independent teams, however, will be slashed in half, and all in-season testing, as well as the use of full-scale wind tunnels, has been banned.
Moreover, factories must close for six weeks per year. "It is expected that these changes for 2009 will save the manufacturer teams approximately 30 per cent of their budgets compared to 2008, while the savings for independent teams will be even greater," the FIA said.
In 2010, customer engines will cost independent teams less than 5m euros per season.
Meanwhile, all teams will use the same transmission in 2011 "subject to confirmation of practicability", and the development of some chassis components will be homologated for an entire season.
The FIA said FOTA is "considering proposals for a standard KERS system" for 2010.
Radio and telemetry systems will be standardized, tire warmers banned, and - significantly - in-race refueling not allowed.
Market research will be carried out for the possible reduction of race distances, and the same is true for Bernie Ecclestone's 'medals' proposal, as well as possible changes to the qualifying format.
"These proposed changes have the unanimous agreement of the formula one teams, who have played a major role in their development," the FIA acknowledged.
Also at the meeting, Renault was given the green light to make several improvements to its engine for 2009.
Full Press Release
The World Motor Sport Council met in Monaco on 12 December 2008. The following decisions were taken:
FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
The following measures to reduce costs in Formula One have been agreed by the World Motor Sport Council. These proposed changes have the unanimous agreement of the Formula One teams, who have played a major role in their development. The FIA is grateful to the Formula One Teams’ Association (FOTA) and its Chairman Luca di Montezemolo for their incisive contribution.
• 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.
• No in-season testing except during race weekend during scheduled practice.
• No wind tunnel exceeding 60% scale and 50 meters/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.
• Factory closures for six weeks per year, to accord with local laws.
• Manpower to be reduced by means of a number of measures, including sharing information on tires and fuel to eliminate the need for “spotters”.
• 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.
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.
• 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.
• Standardized radio and telemetry systems.
• Ban on tire warmers.
• Ban on mechanical purging of tires.
• Ban on refueling.
• Possible reduction in race distance or duration (proposal to follow market research).
• Further restrictions on aerodynamic research.
• Ban on tire 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. Full details will be available shortly on www.fia.com.
WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
As already announced, the 2010 World Rally Car will be S2000 based. However, the removable kit, already adopted by the WMSC, will be redefined with no electronic benefits, or similar upgrades, to ensure cost reductions. The new S2000-based World Rally Car will only be permitted for use on World Rally Championship events.
The FIA Production Car World Rally Championship will be retained for Group N cars, including the existing S2000 car.
The FIA is in exclusive negotiations with Ralliart Italy to supply and service Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution cars for the Pirelli Star Drivers to contest the designated 2009 and 2010 FIA World Rally Championship events.
The date of the Zimbabwe Rally, part of the 2009 African Rally Championship, has been changed to 28-30 August.
The date of the UAE Desert Challenge, part of the 2009 FIA Cross Country Rallies World Cup, has been changed to 23-27 March.
The date of the Transiberico Rally, part of the 2009 FIA Cross Country Rallies World Cup, has been changed to 15-21 June.
WORLD TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP
The FIA World Touring Car Championship will change its qualifying format next season to adopt a system similar to Formula One.
The 30-minute session will be split into two parts: Q1 and Q2. All competitors will take part in the 20-minute Q1; at the end of this period they will return to the pits for a five-minute pause.
Only the drivers who have set the ten fastest laps in Q1 will participate in the 10-minute Q2. Their times in Q2 will determine the first ten grid positions for Race 1.
The grid positions from 11th downwards will be determined by the lap times set during Q1.
Q1 and Q2 will be extended to 30 and 15 minutes respectively in the events held on street circuits, for a total qualifying duration of 45 minutes.
The grid for the Race 2 remains based on Race 1 results, with the top eight drivers classified placed in reverse order.
The date of the Dubai round of the 2009 FIA GT3 European Championship has been changed to 14 November.
FORMULA TWO CHAMPIONSHIP
The World Motor Sport Council ratified the sporting and technical regulations for the 2009 FIA Formula Two Championship. The calendar of events is as follows:
* Subject to the authorization of the ASN
Total has won the tender to be the single fuel supplier to the FIA GT Championship in 2009 and 2010.
Tillotson has won the tender to be the single carburetor supplier to the 2009 CIK-FIA championships (Category KF3).
Vega has won the tender to be the single tire supplier to the 2009 CIK-FIA championships (Category KF3).
Dunlop has won the tender to be the single tire supplier to the 2009 CIK-FIA championships (Categories KF2, KZ1, KZ2)
The WMSC approved calendars for a number of international series and national championships with foreign events, including the Formula 3 Euro Series, DTM, Superleague Formula, and Formula BMW Europe.