The top management of Formula 1, together with the teams, met before the start of FP1 in what is known as the F1 Commission for various important decisions and, above all, the vote on the issue relating to the tyre warmers for 2024.
The discussions, for the most part, will continue in the months to come, but the foundations have already been laid for important changes and confirmations.
The debut of dry tires without tyre-warmers has been postponed; new tests next year
The F1 Commission spoke this morning, and the decision was not to proceed with the abolition of electric blankets next year.
Mario Isola had anticipated that, after the Barcelona and Silverstone tests, Pirelli would make available to all the data on which a decision would then have to be made, not based on sensations, but on concrete facts.
The work will not be shelved, but further tests will be carried out next year as well, with the confirmed intention of abolishing tyre warmers for an increasingly sustainable F1.
The decision regards the rubber of dry tyres since the Full Wet already no longer foresees the use of tyre warmers, and this will also be valid for the Intermediates next year. This decision confirms the current situation also for 2024, continuing the collaboration between F1 and Pirelli for this change in the near future.
Budget Cap and Power Unit: Discussions will continue over the coming months with the intention of meeting the team’s requests
Two very important topics of discussion, but on which no votes or imminent decisions were foreseen, were the issues relating to engines and the budget cap ceiling.
Regarding the Power Units, in recent weeks, Alpine has made it clear that it is not very satisfied with the work done by the other engine makers(in particular Ferrari and Mercedes, but also Honda), which through the work of improving the reliability and optimizing the components and parameters developed up to the day of the ‘development block’ managed to unlock further potential, increased the gap between the various PUs.
It should be remembered, for example, that Ferrari had to progressively lower the potential of its PUs during 2022, and this year has returned to increasing the HP available. So no horses were added, but they were unlocked.
The teams have not found an agreement, and there are not many ‘votes’ in favour of equalizing the levels of the Power Units.
However, Alpine’s request will be taken into consideration, and an attempt will be made to help the French engineer and try to ensure that even in Viry-Chatillon, they can unlock some of the potential of their units without revolutionizing the rules.
The “smaller” teams, including Williams but also Alpine, have been asking for more freedom in terms of investment in structures for months, so as to be able to approach the level of the Top Teams in that area too.
In fact, infrastructures are, to date, placed within the Budget Cap, and each investment is limited by this expenditure ceiling.
All of F1 is in agreement to discuss solutions such as the exemption of some of these expenses or the raising of the Budget Cap ceiling, but at the moment – even if we want to find an agreement – a solution has not yet been found, and therefore the discussions will proceed in the months to come.
2024 Testing dates decided, F1’s long-term aim is to reduce the size and weight of the cars
Drivers, team principals and engineers: all complained about the size and weight of the cars of today, but also of tomorrow. In 2026, with the new, therefore heavier, batteries.
The weight issue has therefore become a subject of great discussion, almost a priority at the moment, and the teams are looking for a solution to try to take ‘a step back’ and reduce the size and weight of the cars of the future.
This will have an impact on the drivers, who have to drive these very heavy machines, but also on the show as it should also encourage action on the track and therefore overtaking.
The 2024 calendar was already confirmed a few weeks ago, but today the testing days for next season have been made official.
Just like this year, from February 21-23, F1 pre-season testing will take place in Bahrain before the first round of the season.
Translation: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang