Formula 1 is working on a solution to reduce splashing in rain races
The F1 committee met in Abu Dhabi for the last time in 2022. Among other things, it was decided that Formula 1 would look for solutions to reduce splashing in rain races, relax DRS rules for sprint races and discuss the intention to introduce tougher grid penalties to prevent strategic changes to the engine.
One of the first items on the F1 commission’s agenda was to find solutions to make racing in the rain better. So the FIA started a study to limit the spray of the new generation of cars. The board wants to look at a “standard body kit”, where “minimal bodywork” will be used over the tyres. This should not hinder the “unnecessary” pit stops.
In addition, the FIA is studying whether adding lights improves visibility and will only allow these parts to be installed before the start of a race or during a red flag due to weather conditions. The FIA plans to improve the offerings and expects to present more updates in 2023.
The F1 commission has also discussed adjusting grid penalties for changing engine parts. Teams have the maximum number of parts they can use each season. Once the team has a part outside Swimming pool will result in network penalty. The first grid penalties are the heaviest (ten places per event), after that they become more moderate (five places per event).
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This provides the opportunity for teams to make a strategic engine change at times, where the entire engine is replaced but the grid penalty for the driver involved isn’t too bad. The F1 Commission says the current system “does not deter teams sufficiently” to implement such a strategic engine change. The FIA now wants to take a closer look at these rules because they contradict the idea of the current rules, namely the economical use of engine parts.
In addition, the F1 Commission has looked into the DRS rules. It is now standard for drivers to be able to open the rear flaps to get a top speed higher than lap three for a Grand Prix or sprint, but if it is up to the F1 Commission, next year’s sprint races will be tested with DRS from round two. That will be tested in all six sprint races of 2023, and then a decision will be made for 2024.
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For weekends with sprint racing, the F1 commission has also looked at ways to streamline parc-fermé procedures. There should also be a streamlined damage system in these sprint races. Teams can now count on $150,000 in compensation, but starting in 2023 teams will receive $300,000 in compensation, within the budget cap, for these races. Compensation for minor and material damages will be cancelled.
Formula 1 plans to say goodbye to tire warmers from 2024. They can still be used next year, but with lower temperatures. This has already been tested in Mexico and the United States, which has led to concerns among drivers.
They fear more crashes if they are sent out onto the track with cold tyres. The FIA still plans to say goodbye to tire warming in 2024, but the final decision has been pushed back to July 2023 due to driver feedback.
All of these proposals from the F1 Commission have yet to be approved by the World Motor Sport Council.
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