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Will the new regulations 'fix' Formula 1?

Will the new regulations 'fix' Formula 1?



Will the new regulations 'fix' Formula 1?

Will the new regulations 'fix' Formula 1?

The FIA World Motorsport Council has approved the regulation changes for 2020, '21 and '22, but will the sport be better for them?

Assessing whether such changes will have a positive or negative impact, you first need to determine what the problems are with the existing product.

In F1, there are three key issues that stand out above the rest - first, the sport is extremely and unsustainably expensive to enter; secondly, without a major rule shake-up every few years there is little to no hope of a 'small team' challenging for titles; and finally, overtaking is far too difficult.

The issue of overtaking has been long talked about and, with the 2021 aerodynamic changes now pushed back to 2022, this problem should hopefully be reduced. Time will tell, of course.

Until this week, though, the other two issues remained a problem.

When talk of a cost-cap emerged in 2010, three new teams joined the grid - Hispania [HRT], Lotus and Virgin Racing. Even Mercedes, following its purchase of Brawn GP, joined the championship at this point.

The failure of F1 to deliver on the promise of a cost cap at that time resulted in the three newcomers remaining glued to the back of the pack, before all dropped out of the sport through financial difficulties.

The confirmation of the $145million cost cap for 2021 could convince other teams to join the grid. The cap will be reduced to $140m for 2022 and $135m for 2023-25, with the hope of further reductions thereafter.

There may not be an immediate uptake, but for 2022 when the new aerodynamic regulations are introduced and the chance of fighting for meaningful points positions is a realistic proposition, then interest could spike.

The most important change, however, is the introduction of a sliding scale for aerodynamic development.

Basically, the more successful a team is in one season, the less wind-tunnel and computer-aided design [CAD] hours they will be permitted the following season.

While some will see this as a penalty for being successful, the thinking is it will prevent a sustained period of dominance such as that currently enjoyed by Mercedes, as these periods often lead to a decline in viewing numbers.

The added bonus is that, if more cars are capable of winning races, the driver becomes the star.

Of course, there is a trade-off in these changes.

Less aerodynamically complex cars will likely result in slower lap-times - something fans have previously been unhappy with.

Easier overtakes could be viewed similarly to the introduction of DRS, where passes using the system were initially judged to be improper moves, although it is now widely accepted.

A decrease in expenditure could potentially result in lower sponsorship figures and release value from the sport.

These are all very nit-picky details and, to all intents and purposes, the changes appear to have been well thought through.

But will the changes fix Formula 1? Was it even broken to begin with? Those are questions for fans to decide for themselves, but on paper, for me, yes.

The changes have certainly gone a long way to what will hopefully be a better championship and an improved spectacle.

Before you go...

McLaren Group records £175million revenue drop

Eight-race 2020 European calendar revealed


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