F1's new 2021 regulations to include US$175m spending cap

Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF90 leads at the start of the race

Having spent more than two years analyzing the current state of competition in Formula One, the series, along with its governing body, the FIA, has announced sweeping changes to its regulations that will take effect with the 2021 season, coinciding with the introduction of a brand-new race vehicle.

A $175m cost-cap will also be introduced as a new addition to cut the amount of money teams spend over a season. However, it excludes marketing costs, the salaries of drivers, and of the top three personnel at any team.

At long last Formula 1 has finally released its regulations for the 2021 season and beyond, with the punters and better racing at the heart of the overhaul. "The goal has always been to improve the competition and action on the track and at the same time make the sport a healthier and attractive business for all".

The announcement was made at a special press conference at the US Grand Prix, after the FIA World Motor Sport Council unanimously approved the rules, and was presided over by FIA President Jean Todt, F1 CEO Chase Carey, F1 motorsport managing director Ross Brawn and FIA technical head of single-seaters Nikolas Tombazis.

The revamp follows two years of discussions between teams, governing body and US-based commercial rights holders Liberty Media and other stakeholders. What do you think - will the new F1 regulations spice up the racing? Brawn promised the key to winning under the new regulations will be quality, not quantity, of spend. The 2021 auto previewed here features a "wing-tipped" front wing that appears deeper and more substantial than the 2019 car's front aero element.

It will be some 25kg heavier, with simpler front wings, no bargeboards and bigger wheels.

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The new aerodynamics package will allow for a cleaner airflow behind a auto; the current F1 cars lose around 40 to 50 percent of their downforce when following in another car's wake but the 2021 cars will drop that to around 5 to 10 percent, making not only close battles easier but overtaking as well. The current cars lose 40 to 50 percent of their downforce when another auto follows closely and the vehicle behind rides in that dirty air.

The new cars for 2021 boast a new design philosophy and look. However, more so than the aesthetics, the changes are to create closer racing.

Up and coming drivers will also get more seat time, as all of the teams on the grid will have to run a driver with two Grands Prix' or less experience in at least two free practice sessions per season. The power units will remain unchanged.

"The cars are more spectacular now, and have been since 2017", he said referring to the introduction of the current record-breaking breed of F1 cars. And standardised parts, like fuel pumps; parts that have standard designs like for wheel covers; and restrictions on the number of times certain parts can be replaced, will be introduced.

The US$175 million spending cap, which covers the calendar year, relates only to vehicle performance, and excludes other expenditures such as marketing costs, driver salaries, and pay for each team's three top personnel.

While this new aesthetic is meant to enable closer racing, a $175 million (£135m) cost cap - written into a new F1 Financial Regulations document - is expected to really mix things up.

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