New-look cars and $175m cost cap introduced as F1 unveils 2021 regulations
New-look cars and a $175million cost cap for teams are among the key new 2021 regulations unveiled by Formula One bosses.
The changes, which have been subject to two years of negotiations, were announced by F1 CEO Chase Carey, managing director Ross Brawn and FIA president Jean Todt on Thursday, having been "unanimously" approved by the World Motor Sport Council.
Brawn said: "I think it is a turning point in Formula One. It is to change the foundation of F1 via the cost control, the governance, bringing the teams closer together and providing sustainable competition.
"And when they get closer together, we need cars that can race each other, because the cars we have now are terrible in that respect."
The new F1 cars will allow for closer racing with more chance of overtaking, as well as having a fresh look. Cars in 2019 lose over 40 per cent of downforce in dirty air when drivers are running closely behind rivals, which drops to between five and 10 per cent in the 2021 machines.
Cars will be slightly heavier and around three seconds per lap slower as a result of the design alterations, which include simplified front wings, bigger rear wings, increased underbody aerodynamics and low-profile tyres with 18-inch rims.
Teams will be subject to a fully enforceable cost cap for the first time, with the level set at $175m per year for anything that covers on-track performance in a bid to level the playing field.
That figure is based on a 21-race calendar, though the maximum number of events has increased to 25. If that happens, the cap will rise by $1m for every additional grand prix added to the schedule.
Todt conceded the figure, which does not include driver salaries, a team's top three top executive salaries and all marketing costs, was "still high, but a first step".
Brawn insisted the cap would be rigidly enforced, saying: "There are serious penalties. If you breach these, you will be losing your championship.
"It is absolutely essential for the future of F1 that we control spending."
There are further changes to technical regulations which will limit the number of car upgrades during race weekends and the amount of in-season aero upgrades, with the aim to reduce the "costly development arms race".
The amount of available wind tunnel tests have been reduced and the format of race weekends will be condensed. Driver media duties will move from Thursday to Friday and parc ferme conditions will be applied from the start of FP3, not qualifying.
Mercedes and Red Bull have previously indicated opposition to the new rules, as have Ferrari, who hold the right to veto, but Todt said: "It is a very special day for our sport.
"It is a major change - for the first time we have addressed the technical, sporting and financial aspects all at once.
"The goal is to have a closer championship and more unpredictable racing on track. The 2021 regulations have been a truly collaborative effort and I believe this to be a great achievement."
A statement from F1 added: "These agreements are in an advanced stage with the teams."