F1 budget cap reduced to $145M in 2021, with further cuts to come
Motorsports’ organizing body, the FIA, agreed Wednesday on a number of changes to Formula One affecting the series’ next three seasons.
Key among them is a further reduction in the budget cap to $145 million for the 2021 season, down from a previously agreed amount of $175 million, with more cuts to come in the 2022 ($140M) and 2023 ($135M) seasons.
The lower cap was proposed earlier in May by F1 organizers as a response to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic which has already seen sweeping rules aimed at improving competition and elevating the fan experience pushed back from 2021 to 2022.
The lower cap will lead to job cuts at some teams, with McLaren already announcing the first layoffs on Tuesday.
To further reduce costs for teams, some of which are struggling financially due to the delayed July start of the 2020 season, the FIA agreed to reductions in aerodynamic and power unit testing for 2020 and 2021.
The FIA also agreed to freezing a large list of components between the 2020 and 2021 seasons—including the chassis and gearbox. A token system will allow teams to make a limited number of modifications, such as McLaren needing to make changes to accommodate a switch to Mercedes-AMG power. Teams will also be limited on the number of power unit upgrades they can make in a season.
And finally for the cars, the minimum weight has been increased by three kilograms to 749 kg for the 2021 season. Part of the floor ahead of the rear tires will also need to be removed to reduce downforce, largely so a new tire compound doesn’t need to be developed ahead of a planned introduction of 18-inch tires (up from the current 13-inch tires) in the 2022 season.