The FIA has released details of the F1 Commission meet from Spa-Francorchamps related to tyre blankets, power unit, 2026 cars and more.
The FIA released details of the F1 Commission meet which took place at Spa-Francorchamps which has to be ratified by the World Motor Sport Council. The biggest decision is postponement of removal of tyre blankets for dry tyres.
With Pirelli still testing the slick tyres without tyre blankets, there is still some changes that it is to be done and it is better to postpone the idea and retain using tyre blanket in 2024. It is still not fixed to happen in 2025 but will be done following tests and discussions.
Another big topic of discussion was the power unit equalisation where Alpine raised a query about its power unit lacking behind Mercedes, Ferrari and Honda under the current regulation where they can’t do anything to develop and bridge the gap.
The FIA in its analysis has found a notable gap with one power unit but haven’t named them. The governing body has asked the Power Unit Committee to share proposals on how to bridge this gap without hampering the performance of other manufacturers.
There was also discussions around the standing starts situation especially towards the end of the races, but the ideas did not meet any approval. However, the final decision hasn’t been taken as such but Race Directors’ discretion remains paramount in this.
There were also discussions on the 2026 car along with Financial Regulations, Technical Regulations and Sporting Regulations. The FIA confirmed the 2024 pre-season testing to take place in Bahrain on February 21-23.
Here’s what the FIA said –
Removal of tyre blankets for dry tyres: “Consistent with the future environmental and cost saving objectives of the sport, an option to remove the use of tyre blankets has been under consideration, and the 2023 Pirelli tyre testing campaign has focused almost entirely on this objective, with expanded test days dedicated no-blankets testing. Pirelli reported on the outcome of this test campaign to the F1 Commission.
“The results of the testing undertaken so far show that the change can be implemented to the requested target specifications for 2024, however it has been decided to postpone the introduction of a tyre blanket ban for dry tyres in 2024 and to continue this discussion and further testing into 2025. Further analysis will continue for other potential future changes to the regulations that can improve the environmental sustainability of the sport.”
Power Unit Equalisation: “In relation to Power Units, at the start of this regulations cycle it was agreed with the Power Unit Manufacturers that there would be a possibility for adjustment of PU performance from 2023 onwards in order to avoid a significant performance difference being locked in for an extended period.
“The FIA has been analysing the PU Performance of the cars during the first half of 2023, and concluded that there is one such notable performance gap between competitors. On the basis of the commitment of the PU Manufacturers, and of the performance differences reported above, the F1 Commission discussed ways to remedy this discrepancy. The Power Unit Manufacturers represented at the Commission agreed to give a mandate to the Power Unit Advisory Committee to consider this topic and bring proposals back to the Commission.”
Updates to the Technical and Sporting Regulations: “Minor updates to the 2023 and 2024 Technical Regulations were approved by the Commission. The Commission approved the formalisation of an updated procedure for standing starts, whereby at the discretion of the Race Director, the safety car may either stay in the pit lane, or extinguish its orange lights and pull to the side of the track, letting all cars that are eligible to take the standing start overtake it.
“Additionally, following the FIA and Formula 1’s consultation with the drivers, the Commission discussed the topic of standing restarts close to the end of race. Current practice is to always restart the race from a standing grid start, provided track conditions are suitable, however the concept of a fixed point in races after which any resumption would be done with a rolling start, and whether there should be a limit on the total number of standing restarts there can be in a race were considered.
“The ideas presented did not receive sufficient support from Commission members to be taken further at this stage, however the group reaffirmed that the final decision on this topic always remains at the discretion of the Race Director based on the specific conditions of each restart.
2026 Car Update: “The FIA presented an update regarding the ongoing work on the 2026 Formula 1 car specifications. While the core targets have remained unchanged, there has been constructive dialogue in the relevant Advisory Committees between the FIA, FOM and the teams that continues to shape the direction of the future regulations. Significant progress has been made on this project that is ongoing, and the FIA is currently analysing the most effective ways to achieve a significant reduction in the size and weight of the cars, as well as improving the energy management.
Financial Regulations: “Regarding Capital Expenditure, the Commission discussed the aim of closing an inherent discrepancy between teams with different levels of infrastructure within the framework of the Financial Regulations. Work in the Financial Advisory Committee will continue on this topic in the coming months.”
2024 Pre-Season Testing: “The Commission gave approval for 2024 pre-season testing to take place outside of Europe, fewer than ten days before the first race of the season. Testing will therefore be from 21-23 February in Bahrain.”
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