- Top view of F1 2021 car [Copyright: FIA]

List of F1 2021 changes in technical, sporting and financial regulations

2w ago


The 2021 F1 regulations - technical, sporting and financial - were presented in a press conference during US GP at Circuit of the Americas.

After years of discussions and deliberations, the 2021 F1 regulations were finally revealed to the public in a press conference which was broadcasted live to the fans all over the world, with technical, sporting and financial details showcased.

In terms of F1 technical regulations, the key points to be seen in 2021 are as follows:

F1 2021 Aerodynamic Components:

Aims of Aerodynamic Regulations: Wake performance – close racing, Simplification of the car, De-sensitisation of certain areas – leading to lower performance differentials

Simpler front wing with weaker vortices – less able to control front wheel wake

No barge boards

Ground effect car – long diffuser under side pod

Certain prescribed components in areas of great sensitivity

Aerodynamic Regulations – philosophical points

The legality volumes are much more CAD-based

Coordinate system introduced into the regulations (X, Y, Z)

Scanning equipment to facilitate policing and comparison to the CAD geometry

All aerodynamically relevant areas are covered by Article 3 (e.g. brake ducts, suspension fairings, etc.)

Aerodynamic Regulations – visual differentiation

We can foresee visual differentiation in the following areas: Nose, Front wing and endplates, Engine intake, Sidepod intake shape, Sidepod coke shape & Engine cover spine, Brake ducts, Rear wing and endplates

The areas that have been restricted (namely under-chassis devices, barge boards, diffuser and rear wing endplate complexities) are the areas that we know are important to protect the essence of the research that has been carried out

Mass (Weight)

Increase of minimum mass from 743Kg to 768Kg.

Main contributors: Bigger wheels, Tyre mass, Power Unit (+5), Certain standard or prescribed parts, Safety components

Power Unit

Generally-speaking, a carry-over of the current status quo

Some cost reduction via: Increased weight, Material restrictions (commercially available), Non exclusivity for ES cells and Turbocharger supplier, Standard HP fuel pump

Obligation for equal spec between manufacturers and customer teams

Fuel & Engine Oil

Strong desire to increase environmental relevance of F1 fuels: For 2021: doubling of renewable content of fuel to 20%, For 2022 onwards: commitment to further increase these numbers – road map must be defined with PU manufacturers and Fuel suppliers

Fuel System

For legality & policing: Standard high pressure and primer pumps, Standard piping, Standard flow meter (FFM) – as now, Standard damper, Prescribed collector & certain internal components

Transmission System

Analysis showed considerable savings can be obtained if Gearbox R&D costs are eliminated: this is obtained through configuration freezing for a certain period.

In order to not “lock-in” a performance differential for a team, gearbox dimensions have been defined in a more restrictive manner

One complete re-design allowed in a 5-year cycle

Driveshaft geometrical simplification for cost reasons

Suspension, Steering, Wheels & Tyres

Simplification of suspension Ø Ban of Hydraulic suspension

Simpler inboard systems (springs, dampers) and banning of inerters

Kinematic restrictions to resolve poorly regulated area outside of the wheel

Separation of suspension structures and their fairings Ø Larger wheels (18”) with standard supply

Retaining of tyre blankets at least for 2021 and 2022 (but lower cost)

Prescribed design hubs, nuts, wheel retention

Brake System

Bigger disks (from 278mm to 330mm)

Simpler disk geometry: fewer and larger diameter holes

Postponement of standard supply –not until 2023

Chassis & homologation

Larger internal cockpit dimensions to not penalise tall drivers

Increased side beam dimensions for side impact safety

Prescribed front floor structure to protect chassis on kerbs but also to stop teams from seeking an unfair advantage (flexyfloors)

Combination of Articles 16, 17, 18 into a single Article for the homologation (Article 13)

Safety Improvements

Better debris containment in the event of an accident: Research to contain debris by adding a rubber membrane within some components, Work to prevent whole front wing detaching from the car, Tethering of some rear components

Increased frontal energy absorption (longer nose)

Increased side chassis strength & new more comprehensive side impact structure

Improved headrest & its attachment to the chassis

Consequential increase of wheel tethers due to larger wheel mass


Comprehensive re-write of materials’ regulations for primarily clarity and cost reasons

Cost reduction primarily achieved for metallic materials

Composite materials: largely status quo

Concept that materials must be commercially available

Components’ Classification Introduction of 5 categories of component classification for cost reasons

Listed Team Components (LTC): components made by each team

Standard Supply Components (SSC): single supplier via tender process

Prescribed Design Components (PDC): prescribed design – free supply

Transferable Components (TRC): components that may be transferred from one team to another

Open Source Components (OSC): components where designs are openly available to competitors

Detailed table of classification of components in Article 17

F1 2021 Sporting Regulations:

Reorganisation of Articles for clarity and consistency

Conceptually much closer to 2019 Sporting Regulations

Some key changes: Increase of number of races (maximum) to 25, Compression of weekend format (from 4 days to 3 days), Introduction of the “Reference Specification” for cost reasons, Power Unit dyno limitations, Reduction of Wind Tunnel and CFD simulations (ATR)

F1 2021 Financial Regulations:

Objectives: To promote the competitive balance and thesporting fairness of the Championship, To ensure the long-term financial stability and sustainability of the F1 Teams while preserving the unique technology and engineering challenge of F1

Main Guiding Principles: Cost Cap level set at a level that facilitate reduction in performance differentials maintaining unique technology and engineering challenge of F1, Ensure freedom to spend for the F1 Teams within Cost Cap limit, Ensure transparency, fairness and equality of treatment amongst all competitors, Ensure realistic implementation timescale to enable F1 Teams to adjust operating structures and reporting processes, Reference to internationally recognized accounting, auditing standards and best practices

Cost Cap level set at 175 M$ for 21 races, +/- 1 M$ for each race above or below 21

Consistency with Technical and Sporting Regulations

Relevant costs for Cost Cap purpose determined after calculation of cost exclusion and cost adjustments

Most relevant exclusions refer to: Marketing costs Depreciation and amortization, Drivers costs Non F1 activities costs, Heritage Assets costs FIA entry fee and drivers’ super-license costs, Year end bonuses Three highest Paid Persons costs

Most relevant adjustments refer to: Related parties transactions Supply of Transferrable components, Research & Development Capital expenditures (36 M$ in four years)

Implementation timeline is planned as follows: Until December 2019: Finalization of FIA F1 Financial Regulations framework (ie. Guidance, Implementation procedures, Templates), June 30, 2020: Option to submit 2019 financial data on a voluntary basis even if not specifically provided for by the FIA F1 Financial Regulations (Voluntary dry-run), March 31, 2021: Voluntary submission of 2020 financial data without application of any financial or sporting penalties (Soft Implementation as provided by FIA F1 Financial Regulations), March 31,2022: Mandatory submission of 2021 financial data with application of financial and sporting penalties in case of procedural and/or financial (minor/material) breaches (First year Implementation)

[Image courtesy: F1 Website] [Note: This story was written by me on FormulaRapida.net]

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Comments (7)
  • What are the odds, that the big teams will enlarge their budget for 2020 to get as big a head start as possible?

    19 days ago
  • I think he means that instead of the regulation changes focusing on lower lap times in isolation, like the most recent changes, they are more focused on cars actually being able to drive on the same track together.

    20 days ago