Decision on 2017 F1 rules delayed due to meeting absentees

A vote to approve changes to engine regulations for 2017, in an attempt to make the F1 show more appealing and competitive, could not take place at a key meeting held at Biggin Hill on Tuesday. Too few members of the F1 Commission, which includes FOM, FIA, teams, sponsors and promoters, were able to attend the meeting and agree a sign off, and therefore no ruling on the matter could be sanctioned.

The decision on an array of changes to the current regulations will now be made by e-vote, and will take place in the next few days, with a decision hopefully on the table by the end of the week. If this cannot be achieved, then the deadline set for the end of this month, to get approval for further changes in 2017, is unlikely to be met.

The key issues still to be discussed are:

  • Power unit global draft agreement 2017 and 2018
  • Fuel specifications
  • 2017 bodywork regulations
  • Increase in race fuel consumption for 2017
  • Tyre testing
  • Limiting the number of measurements on the cars
  • Driver head protection

In terms of changes to the cars themselves, there will be no let up on the notion agreed earlier this year of making machines up to five seconds a lap quicker, as there were not enough votes cast in favour of dropping this idea. That will still go ahead in 2017 as planned, which means the move to see bigger, wider cars on track will become a reality next year. That will be a disappointment to the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS team who were eager to see that suggestion quashed.

Speaking to, Mercedes Team Boss, Toto Wolff said he did not see the need to shake things up, “After three grand prix weekends so far in 2016, we have seen that performance between the teams is converging to create great racing. Whether we have the reactivity as a group to recognise that and consider retaining a regulatory framework that is working well remains to be seen.”

The key area that needs attention from the Strategy Group and F1 Commission concerns amendments to the engine rules, in order to lower costs and close up performance levels between teams and manufacturers. Agreement on how this can be achieved however, appears to have come to a standstill. Reducing the engine allowance to three per year is one suggestion the group appear to be united on, but an overall solution is yet to be agreed. Majority support is required in order to get the regulations changed, and at the moment this has not been forthcoming. All hope of a resolution now rests with the outcome of the e-vote.