FIA spins its wheels with even more F1 regulations

The World Motor Sport Council of the FIA has approved yet another array of restrictions on Formula One development in a bid to further reduce costs in the top-level racing series. Following the imposition of a 10-year freeze on engine development and restrictions on aerodynamic testing, the new regulations cover a broad spectrum of areas, including design, manufacturing, testing, development of suspension, brakes and hydraulics, bodywork, weight distribution, on-track testing and personnel. More details are expected to be revealed after discussions take place with the teams at a meeting scheduled for mid-January.

Although the stated aim of the tighter regulations is to reduce enormous costs of operating a Formula One racing team, the restrictions put F1 in danger of losing its status as the pinnacle of motor racing and further reduce the already-debatable benefit F1 development has on production road cars.

As this writer expressed in a recent discussion with an FIA official, the goal of reducing costs would be better served if the FIA took a page out of the playbooks of other top-level sports: In order to cap spending in the sport, actually cap spending. The FIA should impose a cap on spending, not unlike a major-league salary cap, rather than searching for more round-about ways of restricting development in which the engineers will invariably find new loop-holes.

[Source: AutoWeek]

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