How new rules have changed the face of F1’s development war (2023)

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The scale of these changesmeant that F1’s traditionaldevelopment battle is no longer the one-horse race that it's been in recent years. Teams are having to find incremental performance gains from a host of different avenues this year.

F1had essentially become one dominated by aerodynamic endeavour, with brakes, tyres, suspension and setup well-honed and understood after years of the same regulatory framework.

Instead, they’re now presenting intriguing, diversionary development strands, both at and away from the race track, asthe knowledge that teams had accrued over the course of the last decadeor more hasbeen completely eroded.

This has required the teams to not only redesign parts to comply with the new regulations but also search for ways to improve their performance based on the new parameters and how they interact with each other.

How new rules have changed the face of F1’s development war (1)

2022 brake disc dimension

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

How new rules have changed the face of F1’s development war (2)

Tyres dimension comparison

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

One example is thebrake assembly,whichhas been altered significantly not only in order to fall in line with the switch to 18” wheel rims, but also as a consequence of some of the tricks teams had used in the past being taken away from them.

(Video) The biggest technical rule changes in Formula 1 history

Previously they’d found ways to balance the design of the assembly, with the primary function of cooling the brake components, with aerodynamic assistance and transferring heat to the tyre via the wheel rim.

The regulations have been devised in such a way that the ancillary functions now take much more of a backseat. But that’s not to say the teams aren’t devising ways to bridge the gap.

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How new rules have changed the face of F1’s development war (3)
How new rules have changed the face of F1’s development war (4)

For example, both Red Bull teams and McLaren have taken to enclosing the now larger brake discs in order to better manage the dispersion of heat within the assembly and how this is transferred to the wheel rim and tyre.

Meanwhile, several teams have also returned to the more traditional front mounted position for their caliper. It had previously been moved to a more rearward position to facilitate the use of aerodynamic channels to divert air out through the feel case.

In Alpine’s case, whilst wrapping its caliper with a carbon fibre duct to supply cool air to the component, it has also opted to include teardrop-shaped outlets. These provide some of the heat created by the brake disc drillings a route in which to take in order that it doesn’t create heat soak.

This will undoubtedly be an area where the teams continue to search for performance though, as it’s a sensitive junction at which several parameters can be affected.

But, with the limitations posed by the regulations and specification wheel rims and wheel covers, there’s clearly a more finite curve.

How new rules have changed the face of F1’s development war (5)

Pirelli tyres

Photo by: Motorsport Images

The introduction of a larger wheel rim and lower profile tyre has long been on the agenda for the sport, with the outgoing 13” wheel diameter considered a relic of the past given the ongoing trend to increase wheel rim sizes on road cars.

Whilst teams and drivers had a taste of what was to come when they tested the product on mule cars during testing last season, they’re still on a steep learning curve when it comes to finding performance.

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It’s a quest that is difficult due to the small quantity of data points at hand, with feedback from the drivers a critical factor in unlocking performance in these early stages.

Thechange in operating parameters for the tyres are also having an impact, with Pirelli reducing the maximum temperatures of the tyre blankets, from 100Cto 70C for 2022.They arealso holding the minimum inflation pressures relatively high at each event, so far.

Coupled with the physical changes to the tyre, these have an impact on the temperature curve, with teams having to adjust to how the tread and bulk temperatures are affected and what effect this has on performance and degradation.

Furthermore, the dynamic behaviour of the tyre has been altered, which not only affects how the aerodynamicists model the tyres, it also requires the driver to alter their style in accordance with how the tyre migrates under the various loads and stresses it will endure during the course of a lap.

How new rules have changed the face of F1’s development war (6)

Red Bull Racing RB18 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

Managing these loads and stresses has been made more difficult in 2022, as aspects of the suspension’s design that had become a staple over the last few years, including hydraulic elements and inerters, have been ruled out.

A reduction in these compliance tools is also worsened by the need to run the car as stiff as possible in order to take advantage of the switch to a more underbody-dominant aero platform.

The requirement to run these cars as low and as stiff as possible lends itself to the parts needing to be able to withstand more stress, whilst the budget cap has also pushed teams towards building parts that are more resilient in order that their lifespan is increased.

This, along with the weight increases associated with the larger wheels and tyres, the addition of the wheel covers, tethers for the rear wing, a front anti-intrusion panel and more rigorous tests for the front and rear crash structures, has all led to an increase in the cars’ weight.

As a consequence, the FIA upped the minimum weight to 795kg for 2022, with a further 3kg offered as light relief just ahead of the season opener, along with the ability to add stays to the rear section of the floor.

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Without these extra stays, the teams struggling the most with porpoising would have suffered somewhat of a headache had they not been allowed, as the floor flexing was clearly worrisome when it came to reliability.

How new rules have changed the face of F1’s development war (7)

Red Bull Racing RB18 floor detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The introduction of the stays offered some respite for those that were struggling with the flexing issues but also offered everyone a means to offset the load imparted on the floor, resulting in teams being able to redesign their floor for aerodynamic gains, whilst also offering a means for them to save weight.

It’s understood that some teams will save several kilos in this regard as fresh parts are brought to the forthcoming races.

There’s also a trend appearing that’s seen teams sacrificing looks in order to reduce weight, as the cars are left with more and more carbon fibre exposed.

Teams have been doing this for a number of years, in fairness, but this year it seems to have been taken more seriously as the teams continue to look for ways to save even a few grams, in a bid to beat the bloat.

How new rules have changed the face of F1’s development war (8)
How new rules have changed the face of F1’s development war (9)

Williams’ latest makeover, in Melbourne, consisted of paint being stripped from their front and rear wing, a section on the nose tip and two lines extruding up the side of the nose from it, the outer, ramped section of the sidepod, a portion of the chassis that blends into the halo mounting and a large section of the engine cover, including the mini shark fin.

Williams is not on its own either though, as Aston Martin and McLaren had already stripped paint from its engine cover. Red Bull and Mercedes lost paint from its front wing and most, if not all, have adjusted their livery in some way to help reduce weight where they can.

No silver bullets

In the past, large scale changes to the regulations have often led to an early development battle where a standout solution has been devised that requires immediate adoption.

The framing of the new regulations appears to have prevented this, with teams more concerned about resolving any inherent behavioural issues, such as porpoising, in order to find performance, rather than looking for a bag of magic beans.

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Standing still, in development terms, has always been seen as a weakness in the past too, with ongoing development seen as a way of progressing the project forward at a more rapid rate, even if that means a few missteps along the way.

However, with such a steep learning curve on how these cars extract performance and the budget cap and sliding scale resource restrictions creating a very different outlook on how teams go about their development, standing still could be the new going forward, especially if performance is unlocked that a competitor doesn’t happen on with their own car.

Meanwhile, the calendar is also having a bearing on the teams’ decisions when it comes to development, as the Spanish Grand Prix has traditionally served as the first major developmental waypoint, due to the logistical efforts required to deliver larger parts to flyaway races.

However, with Barcelona now sixth in the queue, rather than fifth, you might have expected teams to have arranged for updates to arrive at Imola, given it’s the first European round of the season.

Introducing any major updates might be considered foolhardy though, as Imola is a Sprint weekend, which means that the teams only have a single practice session on the Friday.

Teams will prefer to spend their time honing their set-up during that one hour window, rather than plough time into evaluating and understanding a vast array of new components in a condensed time frame.


(Video) Everything You Need To Know About The 2022 F1 Car


How have the F1 regulations changed? ›

The key changes are: A ground-effect floor. The 2022 car has two long underfloor tunnels which create a 'ground effect' - meaning there is more suction under the car to pull it to the tarmac, while also ensuring more of the downforce is generated from under the car.

Why did F1 rules change? ›

The primary reasons behind rule changes have traditionally been to do with safety. As each decade has passed the FIA have made more and more changes in the regulations so that better facilities and equipment are available in the event of an accident at race meetings.

When was the last regulation change in F1? ›

The FIA has finalised the rule changes for the 2023 Formula 1 season designed to reduce porpoising and bouncing, but has reduced one key element of the plan.

What are the rules of Formula 1? ›

Rules of Formula 1

Teams may use no more than four total drivers in races throughout the season. The race must last no longer than two hours unless there is a race suspension. In the case of a suspension, extra time equal to the length of the suspension is added to the maximum race time, up to a total of three hours.

What rules changed in F1 2022? ›

  • Frozen power units. ...
  • A return to a two-part pre-season test. ...
  • A tightening of aerodynamic testing restrictions. ...
  • A lower budget cap level. ...
  • A new weekend format. ...
  • Mandatory practice outings for rookies. ...
  • New tyre regulations.
31 Jan 2022

How has F1 improved safety? ›

Since 1981, Formula 1 cars' design centered around an integral survival cell enclosing the entirety of the driver's body, designed to withstand huge frontal, side-on, and rear impacts. It is typically constructed from 6mm of carbon fiber composite teamed with a layer of bulletproof kevlar.

Why was Vietnam removed from F1? ›

The Grand Prix was removed from the 2021 calendar because of the arrest of Hanoi People's Committee Chairman Nguyễn Đức Chung on corruption charges unrelated to the Grand Prix.

Did F1 break their own rules? ›

F1 race director Michael Masi BROKE his own rules in lapped car controversy that cost Lewis Hamilton in title fight. UNDER-FIRE race director Michael Masi appeared to break precedent with HIMSELF in his controversial safety car call at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Why Is No jewelry allowed in F1? ›

The FIA says the rules are in place to protect drivers in case of a crash. “The wearing of jewellery during the competition can hinder both medical interventions as well as subsequent diagnosis and treatment should it be required following an accident.

When did F1 become safer? ›

It would be another two decades before the safety car was seen on track again. The safety car was eventually officially introduced during the 1993 season at the Brazilian Grand Prix and the British Grand Prix.

How often do regulations change F1? ›

F1 regulations do change every year, but that doesn't mean that the whole car is different every year. Formula 1 cars have very specific regulations that are set by the FIA for each season. While some regulations will change yearly, some stay the same, so teams don't need to start fresh each season.

When did the F1 point system change? ›

In 2003, the FIA revised the structure to the top eight finishers of each race. The FIA extended the system again to include the first ten Grand Prix finishers in 2010. Each Grand Prix winner tallied 8 points from 1950 to 1960, 9 from 1961 to 1990, 10 between 1991 and 2009, and 25 since 2010.

Is alcohol allowed at F1? ›

– What is the scope of the regulations? - The presence of alcohol in a driver's body during an International Competition is prohibited. - The FIA and/or the Stewards on site can require a testing (random or targeted).

Can you drink in an F1 car? ›

Formula One drivers drink during races via a tube running from a bag of fluids attached to the side of the vehicle's cockpit up through the driver's helmet and into their mouth. The liquid flow is controlled via a button on the steering wheel of the vehicle.

Can drivers drink in F1? ›

Almost all Formula One drivers, can and do, drink when competing in a Grand Prix. They must drink to replenish the lost fluids in their bodies. Or else, with slower response times they risk a collision when racing. Drivers may even pass out due to extreme dehydration in hot conditions.

What are the new features of F1 2022? ›

There are some other fantastic other new features to F1 22 including the introduction of sprint races, the new cinematic formation laps, pit stops and safety car, the expanded and improved My Team and Career Mode (including two-player Career), Adaptive AI and much more.

What changed F1 2023? ›

Formula 1 cars will get larger mirrors to help with 'blind spots' from 2023 onwards to better help with visibility, among a series of other safety improvements. The changes were announced at the FIA World Motor Sport Council today in London, who met to discuss rule changes and clarifications for next season.

What happens if you dont pit in F1 2022? ›

If the driver doesn't need to pit, the time penalty will be added to their time at the end of the race. The drive-through penalty requires the driver to enter the pit lane, drive through it while obeying its speed limit, and exit without stopping.

Why is F1 safer now? ›

F1 Car Wheel Tethers

Another more modern safety feature is wheel tethers. The wheels of F1 cars are tethered to the vehicle with a set of steel cables. The FIA has recently changed the regulations to state that each wheel must be tethered to the car with no less than six steel cables.

How is F1 becoming more sustainable? ›

F1's offices are now using 100% renewable energy, with the company – like many F1 teams – earning the highest sustainability management accreditation (3*) awarded by the FIA, while F1's broadcast operations are working to source alternative biofuels to run in their generators where available in markets.

Are F1 cars safer now? ›

Formula 1 cars are safer than is generally thought. Many drivers have walked away unscathed from some very horrific accidents and crashes in recent years. A Formula 1 car can accelerate from a standstill to 100kph in 2.6 seconds and achieve top speeds in a few seconds more.

Why is F1 no longer in Germany? ›

The common view from media and fans is that the German Grand Prix has lost its place on the Formula 1 calendar due to the fact that the sport would much rather focus on the higher hosting fees made available by races in the Middle East or other similar locations.

Why is Ford no longer in F1? ›

They withdrew from F1 in 2004 because it cost too much money. Ford was once part of the F1 scene, though they have since moved on to racing events like the FIA World Endurance Championship, NASCAR, and Australia Supercars Championship because it's cheaper, they receive better publicity, and make a higher turnover.

Why was F1 stopped in India? ›

Formula One commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone expected India to host a Grand Prix within three years, aiming for locating at either Hyderabad or Mumbai. In the end these projects were never realised, possibly owing to anti-tobacco legislation, and a change in government policy.

Do all F1 drivers left foot brake? ›

Formula 1 drivers do drive with both feet. This driving technique is known as left-foot braking and is used by every F1 driver. This technique allows for better brake bias and control, affording the driver higher cornering speeds. Left-foot braking is a standard in F1.

What is banned in F1? ›

On the eve of the Australian Grand Prix, F1's drivers were issued a reminder by new FIA race director Niels Wittich that wearing jewellery when driving their cars in on-track sessions is banned.

Is music allowed in F1? ›

F1 drivers do not listen to music during a race. While it is not banned in the official rules, it is not done by any driver. In a sport as intense as F1, music would only distract the drivers and prevent them from receiving important information from their team.

Can F1 drivers wear wedding rings? ›

The rules state: “The wearing of jewellery in the form of body piercing or metal neck chains is prohibited during the competition and may therefore be checked before the start.”

Can you race in F1 if you wear glasses? ›

Formula 1 drivers can wear glasses. Most F1 drivers who need glasses choose to use contact lenses, but there are many drivers who have used glasses while racing. Some helmets are designed to accommodate glasses, and If they are designed well, it is not dangerous for F1 drivers to wear them.

Has F1 Safety Car ever crashed? ›

No. The safety car was only fully introduced in 1993, although the earliest use was in 1973 at the Canadian GP with some trials in 1992. The safety car has never “crashed” during a race they is footage floating around of it spinning during Thursday or Friday track inspections.

Are F1 cars faster than 20 years ago? ›

In a straight line they are nearly the same. But modern F1 cars can take a turn with insanely high speeds when compared to the previous generation. This is the reason for having quicker lap times even though the top speeds are almost the same.

Is the Safety Car faster than F1? ›

"The speed differences between the Safety Car and a Formula One car depend on the area of the track. On a regular lap, an F1 car will take Turn 3 in Canada at roughly 125 kph; under the SC, however, they do only 45 kph. "The difference in the hairpin (Turn 10) is roughly 15 kph (65kph vs 50kph under the SC).

What are the new F1 engine regulations? ›

The FIA's detailed breakdown of this framework confirms that F1 engines must be powered by “fully-sustainable” fuel, meaning “no new fossil carbon will enter the atmosphere from a Formula 1 car exhaust” from 2026 onwards.

Can you put 3 times in F1? ›

During a race, drivers will stop anywhere between 1-3 times, depending on strategy and/or damage sustained during the race. Sometimes it may be more than three, but this is extremely rare.

What did F1 change? ›

But why did F1 change engines? Formula One decided to change engines for various reasons, including; Becoming more environmentally friendly, increasing power output, and utilizing the most up-to-date technology.

Why did F1 change to ground effect? ›

Ground effect was one of the most revolutionary innovations in F1 in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It introduced a new way of understanding cars' aerodynamics, generating much more downforce and making them faster, although highly dangerous, and therefore was banned in 1983.

Who has most F1 points ever? ›

All-time top Formula 1 drivers 1950-2022, by number of championship points. As of October 2022, Lewis Hamilton had won the most championship points, amassing a total of 4345.5.

Can F1 points be taken away? ›

The points will be removed once the driver returns. No driver has so far reached the twelve point maximum. Romain Grosjean and Max Verstappen have been given the most penalty points by the stewards, with twenty one, but this counts expired points.

Can F1 drivers smoke? ›

A healthy driver's heart rate is 45-50 BPM and when racing, it can even reach up to 200 BPM. So it's very important for drivers to have healthy diets, and certainly, smoking is a big no for them.

Should I wear earplugs at F1? ›


Since the sound on the track is louder than at an average music festival, a high degree of protection is important. Is this the first time you will go to a motor race, or do you only go occasionally? We recommend the Alpine WorkSafe ear plugs. These have a high degree of protection of 23 decibels.

Why do F1 drivers drink with a straw? ›

While during the race, the car has its drinks system, drivers need to be careful post-race as well. To avoid getting overhydrated, they use long twisted straws to stream fluid into their mouth. Notably, an F1 driver is likely to be dehydrated post race, making it necessary for them to rehydrate as quickly as possible.

Why do F1 drivers drink milk? ›

After his tragic death in 1954, the milk industry got back into the race by offering the winner a $400 bonus if they drank milk in Victory Lane. With such an incentive, the winning drivers began to comply and has made the practice an annual fixture at the event.

Do they put dry ice in F1 cars? ›

Do F1 cars use dry ice? When the F1 cars are in the pits, drivers can use cooling fans to keep themselves cool. These cooling fans are high-powered fans that utilize dry ice so that they may act like an air conditioning unit. However, these cooling fans are gone once the car leaves the garage.

Why do F1 drivers remove the steering wheel? ›

F1 has evolved so much that every detail is designed to keep the racer as safe as possible. Getting in and out of an F1 car is really difficult due to the lack of space in the cockpit, hence when drivers get out they first take their steering wheels off and then jump out, as it is more comfortable.

Are smoke bombs allowed in F1? ›

The smoke bombs are strictly forbidden during the weekend, but still some fans manage to bring the torches onto the track. Max Verstappen expresses his criticism after the session. In Q2, a red flag was raised after a fan threw an orange smoke bomb in the middle of the track while Alexander Albon was driving.

Do you have to put in F1 if it's wet? ›

F1 cars have to use at least two different tire compounds during a race, so it is mandatory to make a pit stop. However, if the race starts in wet, there is no need to make a pit stop. Cars can do the entire race on a single set of wet/intermediate tires.

Do F1 drivers get wet? ›

Formula 1 doesn't seem designed to race in the rain. The drivers get soaked in their open cars as they make their way around the slippery racing track. But, despite all of this, Formula 1 still races in the rain.

When did the F1 scoring system change? ›

Since the start of F1 in 1950, points have been awarded at the end of races with the collective totals determining the winner of the drivers' and constructors' titles. The points system has changed over the years with F1's current way of handing out points being in place since 2010.

Do F1 regulations change every year? ›

The frequency of changes is always heightened around the introduction of a major regulation shift, such as the one we've just had for 2022, which often results in amendments throughout the course of the year and for the following season.

What are the 2026 F1 engine rules? ›

The new rules raise the total power available from the electric motor from 120 kW (160 hp) in today's cars to 350 kW (470 hp). The engines will run on 100% sustainable fuels sourced from non-food plants, municipal waste, or carbon capture, meaning no new carbon dioxide will be added to the atmosphere by the engines.

What are the 2026 F1 rules? ›

The 2026 regulations will see the current Motor Generator Unit Heat, or MGU-H, element removed – while the power output on the power units' Energy Recovery Systems will be increased to 350 kilowatts.

What are the new F1 regulations 2026? ›

The four key pillars of the 2026 framework are: Maintaining the spectacle – the 2026 Power Unit will have similar performance to the current designs, utilising high-power, high-revving V6 internal combustion engines and avoiding excessive performance differentiation to allow for improved raceability.

Why are there so many regulations in F1? ›

Formula 1 has frequently changes engine sizes in “the formula”, and has had various other restrictions added as clever designers found advantages in things that were seen as unsafe and/or unfair to good competition.

Why cant F1 teams use the same car every year? ›

But they make enough parts to assemble 2-3 more cars other than the racing one. According to FIA regulations, it is unnecessary to change the cars every year, but the car is not in a position to use after a single session, and thus, the team makes changes every year for better speed and aerodynamics.

Can F1 teams use old cars? ›

Besides this, they are not allowed to use old chassis as each year regulations change on size, shape, and sometimes the function of certain parts.


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