The FIA has taken unprecedented steps with backing from Formula 1 chiefs to change its governing procedures to help the sport prepare for the 2020 season shake-up amid the coronavirus pandemic.

With the opening eight F1 races already postponed or cancelled due to coronavirus measures, F1 is adjusting its arrangements for the 2020 season with the hope the campaign can get underway at some stage this summer.

F1 CEO Chase Carey is aiming to put on 15 to 18 races, while racing into January 2021 remains an option if needed to complete the season.

With frequent adjustments to the F1 rules and regulations expected over the coming weeks, the FIA has loosened its procedures to allow a swifter response to the changes triggered by coronavirus measures.

The majority of F1 rule changes which usually need granting by its World Motor Sport Council, including calendar tweaks and technical regulation alterations, will be now be given the go ahead by FIA President Jean Todt.

Todt will work in consultation with his Deputy President for Sport, Graham Stoker, the Secretary General for Sport, Peter Bayer, and the President of F1’s Sporting Commission, Stefano Domenicali.

Certain changes will require a majority of 60% support from teams and subsequent approval from the World Motor Sport Council.

Changes to the 2020 rules have already been approved to give the FIA and F1 flexibility to react to the coronavirus crisis when putting together the race calendar “that best safeguards the commercial value of the championship and contains costs as much as possible”.

Key changes include:

  • Permission to change the 2020 race calendar without a vote
  • Changes to testing
  • Power Unit manufacturing shutdown
  • Adjusting the number of Power Unit elements permitted according to the number of races
  • The banning of aerodynamic development for 2022 during the 2020 season

In effect, the FIA has permitted F1 organisers to redraw its 2020 race calendar with the minimum of eight races required to complete a full world championship season. All teams will be permitted to run a maximum of two cars during the post-season young driver test held 48 hours after the last event of the season.

The three-week shutdown taken between March and April has been extended to Power Unit manufacturers (Mercedes, Ferrari, Honda and Renault) at its separate plants.

If the number of races in 2020 drops to 14 or fewer, each driver can only use two of each power unit elements across the season. If the race number drop to 11 or fewer, only two engines, two MGU-Hs, two turbochargers, two MGU-Ks and one energy stores are allowed for the season. Any driver who exceeds the Power Unit elements permitted will receive subsequent grid penalties.

The FIA is currently discussing the homologation of the 2020 survival cell for the 2021 season as part of the static technical regulations following the delay to the rules overhaul until 2022.

Dual-Axis Steering systems (DAS) will also not be allowed from 2021, after Mercedes’ debuted its version of the device during this year’s pre-season testing.

The 2020 F1 season is provisionally set to start on June 14 at the Canadian Grand Prix.

 

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