F1 braced for sprint race, engine freeze decisions

An engine freeze, the final 2021 calendar and a sprint race experiment will dominate talks between teams and the sport's chiefs in a meeting of the Formula 1 Commission today.

F1 braced for sprint race, engine freeze decisions

The meeting, which will be attended by F1 management, teams, and the FIA, is set to vote on a series of changes that could have huge ramifications for the sport over the next few years.

As Motorsport.com revealed yesterday, F1 is expected to tell teams that it has given approval for the Portuguese Grand Prix to go ahead on May 2.

The move, while finalising the opening stages of the season, will however require some extra commitment from teams because of quarantine restrictions in the United Kingdom.

Portugal is currently on the UK's 'red list' of countries where anyone returning needs to complete a 10-day hotel quarantine on arrival.

With elite sports having not been granted an exemption, it means F1 personnel are included on such a requirement, so any staff attending the Portuguese Grand Prix will be unable to return home prior to the following event in Spain.

Read Also:

One of the most interesting decisions that will be taken is whether or not to approve a proposal from F1 to trial Sprint Races at three grands prix this year.

F1 wants to run a Saturday 100-km sprint qualifying race at the Canadian, Italian and Brazilian Grands Prix this year to see if the change of format helps improve the weekend experience.

While a previous push to trial reverse grid races failed to get unanimous support, because Mercedes was wholly against the idea, there may be more backing for a sprint race format.

Furthermore, a new governance structure that has been introduced for 2021 as part of the new Concorde Agreement means that unanimous support is no longer needed. Now a 'super majority' of 28 votes out of the 30 available (F1, the FIA and teams have 10 each) will be enough to get it passed.

The most complicated discussions of the meeting, though, could revolve around the possibility of an engine freeze from 2022.

The proposal has been pushed hard by Red Bull, which wants a freeze in place so it can take over the Honda engine project from next year without the need for an expensive development budget.

But the move is not just about Red Bull, because F1 is clear that if a freeze is in place from 2022 onwards, then that will mean manufacturers can focus their efforts and budgets solely on a future powerplant that should come into play for 2025.

The situation is quite complicated though, because a push to use ever-greater sustainable fuels means that there could be the need for some engine developments in the short term.

Furthermore, there are some concerns that if one engine manufacturer finds itself on the back foot at the start of 2022, the lack of any development could leave them facing several years of struggle.

One idea being looked at, but not yet agreed, is for some form of equalisation structure to come into play – which will allow for all the power units to deliver roughly the same amount of performance.

This could be achieved through allowing an increased fuel flow for any engine that is down on power at the start of 2022.

But such a 'Balance of Performance' strategy for F1 risks opening a can of worms and has not so far had universal approval from all teams.

For the latest on the outcome of the F1 Commission decisions, follow Motorsport.com.

shares
comments

Related video

F1 drops rainbow branding in updated We Race As One initiative
Previous article

F1 drops rainbow branding in updated We Race As One initiative

Next article

Why F1 shouldn't be afraid of trying sprint races

Why F1 shouldn't be afraid of trying sprint races
Load comments
Why thrilling Jeddah F1 circuit needs to be safer Prime

Why thrilling Jeddah F1 circuit needs to be safer

OPINION: Saudi Arabia's new F1 circuit delivered a memorable first event, although not necessarily for all the right reasons. In the wake of the chaotic race, drivers voiced their concerns about the track but small changes could make significant improvements ahead of a return in four months.

The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain Prime

The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain

From ranking as one of the most impressive new teams to join the Formula 1 grid, Haas’s stock has plummeted along with its on-track performances over the past two seasons. Everything now hangs on whether its reforged alliance with Ferrari can deliver a better car – and whether its rookie drivers can set aside their quarrels. Oleg Karpov asks if any of these goals are achievable…

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race Prime

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race

OPINION: Max Verstappen has made the 2021 Formula 1 championship. He’s taken the fight to the all-conquering Mercedes squad and its dominant champion, produced driving displays few can match. But he’s been on a controversial course too, and finally crossed a particular line in Jeddah

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Prime

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Prime

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021