After the LMP1-H class has dwindled in the last two years to mean that the only team in the class could be Toyota Gazoo Racing, if they choose to stay in the World Endurance Championship, it has been decided that as of the 2018 season the LMP1-H and LMP1-P classes will be combined.
Toyota have been looking for incentives to stay in the WEC after Porsche announced earlier this year that they would cut their LMP1 programme at the end of the season. With cost and competition being the main reasons that Toyota would leave, it looks like the WEC are putting steps into place to try and keep Toyota in the series. If Toyota leave there would be no more hybrid LMP1 cars. The WEC has plans to try and bring more manufacturers into the hybrid class when they redo the regulations in 2020.
As the hybrid engines can deploy more power than the non-hybrids, the non-hybrids will be allowed to use more fuel per lap whilst the fuel range on the hybrids will maintained. The advantage that the turbocharged engines recieved in 2014 due to the fuel-flow regulations will be removed for the ‘superseason’. This in in an attempt to bring the lap times together and make the non-hybrids on a competitive level with the LMP1-Hs.
Another element that has been banned in LMP1 for the 2018/19 is the use of flluidic switches to direct air flow around aerodynamic surfaces. The WMSC statement explains this as “in anticipation of potential complex and expensive developments in this area.”