That will change in Formula 1 in 2021
Formula 1 cars will largely remain the same in 2021. But there are quite a few changes in the regulations.
I.Formula 1 is experiencing years of upheaval again and again – most recently in 2014, for example, when the current 1.6-liter V6 turbo hybrid engines were introduced. Or 2017, when the cars got wider. One thing is already certain: 2021 will not be such a year. The budget ceiling will take effect from the coming season (see below), but this will probably only have an effect in the future. Because: The cars in 2021 should be largely the same as in 2020.
Mick Schumacher will make his F1 debut in 2021
© LAT / Haas
It gets more complicated with the chassis. That is divided into 77 components. 40 of them are homologated, so they must not be changed for the coming season. The remaining parts are given a value of one or two development tokens, depending on their importance. A team may only make changes to the chassis with a maximum value of two tokens.
These are the new rules for 2021
The Friday training sessions will be shortened from 90 to 60 minutes. Background: By 2021 there will be a record number of 23 races. The weekends should therefore be more compact. And: Because the women’s “W-Series” formula is part of the supporting program alongside Formula 2, Formula 3 and the Porsche Supercup, the Formula 1 makers need more free track time. For the veterans of the scene it hardly makes a difference. Newcomers like Mick Schumacher will miss the additional hour of training time.
Formula 1 cars are getting faster and faster. However, tire manufacturer Pirelli does not want to develop new tires for cost reasons. So the cars have to be braked. By trimming the underbody, ten percent of the downforce should be cut off. So far, the underbody in front of the rear wheels can be stretched to a maximum width of 1.60 meters. In 2021 a triangle will be cut in front of the rear axle so that the technicians cannot let off steam with slots, holes and wings. In this area, the engineers recently saved a lot of time on the racetrack.
In addition: the sub-floor may be less flexible. With a load of 500 Nm, it can bend a maximum of eight instead of the previous ten millimeters.
Mercedes has developed a system for 2020 that allows drivers to adjust the track of the tires by pushing and pulling the steering wheel. In a Formula 1 era when it is crucial to get the tires in the right working window and to keep them alive for as long as possible, that was an advantage. The system will be banned in 2021. So far no other racing team has copied it either.
+++ Cars are getting even heavier
Even now, the Formula 1 racers are heavier than ever at 746 kilograms. In 2021 they will gain three kilograms (749 kg). Reason: The power unit must then weigh at least 150 instead of the previous 145 kilograms. This is to prevent teams from building the drivetrain even more easily by using exotic and, above all, sinfully expensive materials.
Formula 1 cars have been made from carbon fiber since the 1980s. In 2021, however, natural fibers such as hemp, linen or bamboo will also be allowed. It cannot be ruled out that these materials will even become mandatory in the future. First, it underlines the environmental aspect that Formula 1 wants to emphasize. Second, natural fibers are not as sharp-edged after an accident. This reduces the risk of tire damage for pilots who drive over wreckage.
In 2021, only one new gasoline mixture is allowed. With this, Formula 1 wants to brake the expensive arms race in the gasoline sector. In addition, the share of biofuel in fuel is to increase from 5.75 to ten percent. The fuel consists of biowaste that cannot be used for human or animal consumption.
+++ budget ceiling
In 2021, the Formula 1 teams are allowed to spend a maximum of 145 million euros, in 2022 this will drop to 140 million euros and from 2023 to 2025 to 135 million euros. This applies to 21 World Championship races: one million euros are added or deducted for each run. Excluded are special items such as driver salaries (to be capped from 2023), three other salaries (e.g. for technology gurus), marketing activities (e.g. also operating old F1 cars), registration fees, initiatives to promote environmental protection and a few more.
The budget limit only applies to Formula 1 teams who design their cars entirely themselves. Those who buy parts can spend less. Nominal values were defined for this. Depending on how many parts a team purchases from other racing teams, their spending limit drops by these nominal values by up to 30 million euros. But you also save development costs.
+++ Less development time
Speaking of development: From 2021 the development time in the wind tunnel, simulator and on CFD computers will be further reduced. The world champion only gets 90% of the development time, the World Cup runner-up 92.5%, the third 95% and so on – up to the last World Cup winner who is granted 112.5% of the normal development time. This should bring the field closer together.
+++ Copying prohibited!
A new section in the rulebook is intended to ensure that there can be no more pink Mercedes. In other words: The copying of so-called listed parts, which each team has to design itself, is subject to closer limits. The teams are only allowed to collect information about the design of the competition during races or tests and only use perfectly normal photo or video recordings.