The Formula 1 Commission met on February 21, 2023, in London, to discuss and approve key regulatory changes for the upcoming 2023 season. Chaired by Formula 1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali and newly-appointed FIA Single-Seater Director Nikolas Tombazis, the meeting discussed several crucial changes that will impact the sport significantly.
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One of the major changes approved by the Commission was the introduction of a new wet weather tyre specification. Pirelli has successfully tested a new tyre construction that performs much better than the previous specification and does not require the use of tyre blankets. The F1 Commission approved this change to the tyre specification, and the new construction will be available from the 2023 FIA Formula 1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. The FIA is grateful for the offers of support made by the teams for the wet weather package project, and a Technical Directive is being prepared to allow teams to do such work outside the Aerodynamic Testing Restriction (ATR) limits and outside the cost cap. Track testing will be planned for the second or third quarter of 2023.
In addition to the tyre specification, the Commission also approved the proposal to relax the regulation of radio messages to and from the Drivers at all times during a Competition. This will allow for better communication between the teams and the drivers, leading to improved on-track performance.
Furthermore, the Commission approved a revised Parc Fermé request acceptance policy for events that include a Sprint session. This policy will allow for a greater scope to change components that are prone to getting damaged, and greater use of self-declared Parc Fermé forms. This will apply for the whole Parc Fermé period from when the car leaves for Qualifying on Friday to when the car starts the race. The policy will be implemented via a Technical Directive, and it is aimed at reducing the excessive workload on FIA technical staff and scrutineers during events that include a Sprint session.
The FIA also confirmed various updates and changes to circuits for the coming season. Significant changes have been made to the Saudi Arabia circuit to improve visibility on corner entry wherever possible. Azerbaijan and Miami tracks will be completely resurfaced, and the space between the pit stop positions has increased by 1.5m at Zandvoort. Qatar will see a new pit building and paddock infrastructure built, while DRS zones have been analyzed for 2022, and some changes made for 2023 in order to facilitate overtaking or make it harder in certain circuits where it was deemed not to be enough of a challenge.
Minor amendments to the 2023 Sporting, Technical, and Financial Regulations were unanimously approved. These included the introduction of a winter shutdown period for both Competitors and PU Manufacturers, wording to ensure that shorter races have reduced points even if they don’t finish with a suspended race and wording to allow easier access to the factories for the FIA auditing team, in order to police the adherence of the teams and PU Manufacturers to the Financial Regulations, and to the Operational limitations of the technical and Sporting Regulations. An increase of the cost cap adjustment for additional races above 21 was also agreed from 1.2M$ to 1.8M$ per race on the basis that the trend of the additional races being added to the calendar has been towards fly-aways, which are more expensive.
It should be noted that all regulatory changes are subject to approval by the World Motor Sport Council.
The Formula 1 Commission has approved several critical changes that will impact the sport significantly. The new wet weather tyre specification and relaxed regulations on radio messages will lead to better communication and improved on-track performance. The revised Parc Fermé request acceptance policy and updates to circuits will reduce the excessive workload on FIA technical