The FIA recently held its first F1 commission meeting, where the sport’s CEO, Stefano Domenicali, and the FIA’s new single-seater director, Nikolas Tombazis, made some important changes to the cost cap and other aspects of the series. This is massive news, as some of these changes will greatly affect how teams manage their finances in the 2023 F1 season.
The cost cap was the first and most significant change. The overall budget cap has dropped to $135 million for the upcoming season. However, this cost cap only applies to 21 races. An additional amount per race will be permitted for the team.
Since the 2023 F1 calendar has 23 races, this will enable the additional amount rule. Hence, it has been agreed that the cost cap per race will rise from $1.2 million to $1.8 million. This higher cost cap will be applied to races like the Las Vegas and Qatar GP.
The base cost cap will fall to $135m (£111m) this year, but teams are allowed a number of exceptions. The cap has been relaxed to take into account the 2023 F1 calendar featuring more than 21 races.
— RBR News 🇳🇱🇲🇽 (@redbulletin) February 21, 2023
The points system for shortened races has also been changed to avoid the confusion that arose in the 2022 F1 Japanese GP, where Verstappen was given full points despite racing for only 28 laps. Additionally, the sport, teams, and power unit manufacturers have also agreed upon a winter shutdown period. However, the FIA will still be able to access team factories and check financial, technical, and sporting regulations.
🚨 Exclusive words from an F1 team worker on the winter shutdown:
“The majority of employees are not happy. We now are forced to take 3 days off work at Christmas, so we lose the flexibility of taking these days off elsewhere through the year.”
Continued in next tweet. https://t.co/eQP3FkhOLc
— Formula News Live (@FormulaNewsLive) February 21, 2023
Certain circuits like those in Jeddah, Baku, Bahrain, Melbourne, and Miami will also undergo several changes. The Jeddah circuit will drastically change to ensure better safety. The Baku and Miami street circuits will be fully resurfaced. The Lusail circuit that hosts Qatar GP will get a new pit building and paddock infrastructure. DRS detection and activation zones will be altered in Bahrain, Jeddah, Melbourne, Baku, and Miami circuits to ensure better racing.
Since the 2023 F1 season will have six sprint races, the FIA will ease some of the parc fermé rules and will allow teams to change certain parts without imposing a penalty.
⚠️ | The F1 Commission, alongside the increase in the cost cap, have also agreed to these changes for 2023:
I. Introduce of new wet weather tyres from Imola onwards:
Higher performance than the 2022 spec – this tyre also does not require the use of tyre blankets. pic.twitter.com/3AeU9fU4Lx
— RBR News 🇳🇱🇲🇽 (@redbulletin) February 21, 2023
Another major change is the introduction of a new wet-weather tire. F1 wants to gradually remove the use of tire blankets. Hence, they are in constant talks with Pirelli to develop new tire compounds. The Italian tiremakers have come up with a new wet tire that will not require tire blankets and will offer much better performance than the previous version. This new wet-weather tire will be available from the 2023 F1 Emilia Romagna GP.
Lastly, the FIA has relieved some of the restrictions and regulations regarding radio communications between teams and drivers throughout a race weekend.
F1 Twitterverse reacts to sport’s new cost cap and other changes ahead of the 2023 season
The changes were heavily discussed by thousands of fans on Twitter. Several of them mentioned Spain’s circuit and how the FIA did not make any changes to it. This was because several cars suffered quite a lot in the Spanish GP due to the brutal chicanes in sector 3.
People also made humorous memes about Red Bull spending their cost cap on catering and eating, which was a nod to the team’s excuse when they were found guilty of breaching the cost cap in 2021. Others were also happy to see the introduction of a new wet-weather tire.
“Can’t wait to see how these relaxed radio communications go this year”
Can’t wait to see how these relaxed radio communications go this year pic.twitter.com/Ib0Nw7JNix
— f1capper (@f1capper) February 21, 2023
“No Spain change????”
No Spain change????
— amit🥚 (@amit_zigi) February 21, 2023
“I thought the Spain chicane was being removed?”
I thought the Spain chicane was being removed?
— jack 🇬🇧 (@jackatron33) February 21, 2023
“Redbull after hearing about the new cost cap”
redbull after hearing about the new cost cap pic.twitter.com/rPxOPF9wPU
— tompi (@naiscoconut) February 21, 2023
“Big changes right before the season start, if it’s for the ’23 one. That budget cap one in particular is a bit odd, especially at this stage.”
Big changes right before the season start, if it’s for the ’23 one. That budget cap one in particular is a bit odd, especially at this stage.
— Simon Dau (@there_is_no_if) February 21, 2023
“Are these like last minute or discussed last year already?”
Are these like last minute or discussed last year already?
— LockDawn – Dawn Emmett (@da_emmett) February 22, 2023
“Will be interesting to see how the new wet tire plays in. Always thought wet race issues revolved more around spray than anything”
Will be interesting to see how the new wet tire plays in. Always thought wet race issues revolved more around spray than anything
— The Apex F1 (@TheApexF1news) February 21, 2023