Formula One’s new owners Liberty Media laid out their plans for the 2021 F1 season Friday in Bahrain. The sports Concorde agreement runs through the 2020 season after that it’s a free for all. Friday Liberty Media along with Chase Carey and Ross Brawn laid out their idea for the next agreement and how the sport will look.
Generally, F1 Concorde Agreements are convoluted messes that no one really knows what is going on we just know that everyone agreed to participate together for a certain time. It’s the NASCAR charter system, kind of. Liberty Media’s Concorde agreement is rather basic. For something that has been hyped up for awhile their proposals were rather lacking in luster and provided very little detail. But we’re here to break it down for you.
Formula 1’s proposals at a glance
Key strategic initiatives
Power units (PU)
• The PU must be cheaper, simpler, louder, have more power and reduce the necessity of grid penalties.
• It must remain road relevant, hybrid and allow manufacturers to build unique and original PU.
• New PU rules must be attractive for new entrants and Customer teams must have access to equivalent performance.
Translation: louder engines, cheaper engines, simpler engines. They described the V8 era but with a hybrid component which is problematic unless they put speakers on the cars to make engine noises like a Nissan Leaf. No more 3-hour spark plug changes, no more 2-hour exhaust fixes because you have to take off every component to get there. Reducing grid penalties so Honda doesn’t have a 75 grid spot penalty by Monaco.
F1 always wants new entrants and manufacturers and then decides to change the formula and everyone is like, Nah we’re good. In 2021 though they’re not going to do that. They’re going to welcome people to the sport like an expensive version of IndyCar.
• We believe how you spend the money must be more decisive and important than how much money you spend.
• While there will be some standardised elements, car differentiation must remain a core value
• Implement a cost cap that maintains Formula 1 position as the pinnacle of motorsport with a state-of-the-art technology.
Apparently spending $300M a year is unsustainable for some teams. New idea, reportedly cap spending at $150M and really make these team bosses make the most out of their resources. Included in that are standard items, think NASCAR splitters, spoilers and composite bodies. But also they expect teams to remain the upper echelon of motorsports with half the budget. Basically, it’s like when the pit wall asks for half a second a lap with the same car that they know can’t get that half a second.
Does the budget cap include driver salary? Because Lewis Hamilton makes up a 1/3 of that budget and that dude is not taking a pay cut. He’ll Matt Kenseth his way right out of the sport.
• The new revenue distribution criteria must be more balanced, based on meritocracy of the current performance and reward success for the teams and the Commercial Rights Holder.
• F1’s unique, historical franchise and value must and will still be recognised.
• Revenue support to both cars and engine suppliers.
Basically, this is like a mild “fuck you” to Ferrari. Revenue will be distributed to those that do well, the rest of you, looking at you Sauber. Tough shit, be better. F1’s unique, historical franchise and value being recognized is a little head scratching. Does this mean Ferrari will get more? GIVE US MORE INFORMATION. Shit, we sat around for months waiting for this and they gave us bullet points.
Sporting and technical rules & regulations
• We must make cars more raceable to increase overtaking opportunities.
• Engineering technology must remain a cornerstone but driver’s skill must be the predominant factor in the performance of the car.
• The cars must and will remain different from each other and maintain performance differentiators like aerodynamics, suspensions and PU performance. However, we believe areas not relevant to fans need to be standardised.
They’re saying they know the racing stinks. There is no overtaking, Australia would have been a 1-2-3 the way they started without the VSC. These high downforce cars are not creating great racing but hey, the lap times are faster. They want also want drivers to drive the cars which is an interesting concept.
• A simple and streamline structure between the teams, the FIA and Formula 1.
A streamlined structure will never happen. This is Formula 1 after all.
Ferrari is going to threaten to leave, again. Force India, Haas, Sauber and Toro Rosso will all be in favor of these proposals. Mercedes, Red Bull, and McLaren will likely join Ferrari in threatening to make sure not much changes in revenue.
Essentially nothing is going to change other than maybe the sound of the car.