Ideas for F1 cost cutting without killing the sport

This topic contains 24 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  Steven 3 years, 11 months ago.

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    I was reading F1 teams need to learn to manage their money, says BBC’s Gary Anderson (The Guardian) that Keith linked in today’s round up. It got me thinking, what suggestions can F1F members come up with to cut costs to the sport. I think this f1f forum as we have a number of intelligent supporters so this might actually come up with some good ideas.

    The idea must be limited to the following scope, otherwise it’ll get out of hand quickly:
    1. F1 designers should be free to be creative about their designs and no design should be standardised across all teams
    2. Ideas can only be implemented by way of a rule that the FIA can implement & police
    3. Ideas can only be limited to something that teams can control, e.g. No ideas around changing tracks, venues etc…
    4. Ideas should not create more costs in its implementation and policing than the cost saving made (to the best of your knowledge, lets face it, we’re not all privy to all costs) e.g. Banning of test teams using tyre warmers, the cost to have FIA officials at track would far outweigh the benefit the teams get from buying tyre warmers in the first place. I know this isn’t a great example but I couldn’t think of a good one :P
    5. Ideas should not favour one team over another, and a benefit should be seen for all teams.

    Lets get creative! :)



    I’ll post my first idea. In the spirit of Gary Anderson’s comments, I would not have a ring wing design locked in for 5 races. I would do the following:

    Teams can submit 3 car designs per year, a high downforce car, medium downforce car and low downforce car.
    Teams can only introduce 4 changes to their cars per season, at set points throughout the season, e.g. 1 every 5 races. The exception to this rule would be any safety issues could be addressed at any time, with FIA approval.

    Cost Savings/Benefits
    This will help immensely to reduce the costs of development throughout the year, but keep the creativity that I love in Formula 1 racing.
    The other added benefit of doing this, we’ll see some teams be better at high speed circuits compared to low speed, and it will mix it up a little and give teams a shot at getting points. It also creates a level of expectation from all fans as to what the teams will bring to the car every 5 races.



    I prefer Gary’s idea as it only limits certain components (like rear wings) not the whole car.

    But instead of having that component locked in for 5 races I would have it so the component must do at least 5 races throughout the season.


    Prisoner Monkeys

    I’d limit the number of part changes a team could make from race to race and over the course if a season. Say a car has 100 individual parts (that’s a simplification). The team would only be allowed to change 40% of the car, or 40 parts at a time. And over the course of the season, they would only be able to change 400 parts. Which parts they changed and when they changed those parts would be entirely up to them, but once they reached the limit, development would be frozen. I’d also look at a forced temporary development freeze and/or parts deduction for any changes that forced the stewards to rewrite the rules.

    This would allow teams the freedom to develop their cars as they liked, but would keep costs down and encourage the strategic introduction of upgrades whilst discouraging waste by deterring teams from developing expensive and impractical components that observe the letter, but not the spirit of the regulations.



    Although you say that it should be something the teams can control, the best way would be to arrange the season properly! Have Asian races at the start or at the end of the season, not both. Not flying off to Canada in the middle of the European season, etc.

    Although, realistically, I would be in favor of more parts being ‘frozen’, like Gary Anderson’s idea. I also think that you can’t freeze for five consecutive races – there’s no way teams would agree to do Monaco followed by Canada on the same rear wing, as with Monza and Singapore.


    Prisoner Monkeys

    The reason why the Asian races are split like that is because they compete with one another. Both Malaysia and Singapore have said they don’t want to be twinned with the other, because they draw on the same population centres for spectators. If they are together, they will compete for the sane audiences.


    Lucas Wilson


    “If they are together, they will compete for the SANE audiences”

    I lol’ed:-)



    What aboout making F1 a democracy in terms of the financial matters, with the sporting side still governed by whoever governs it now the FIA?

    Bernie can be a part of the democracy if needed, but I don’t think he should be above the teams like he is now in terms of his position.


    Prisoner Monkeys

    Haha, the teams can barely agree on anything. Look at the way they handled the off-throttle blown diffuser ban: they all agreed to, then immediately turned around and contrived excuses to ignore it. When the stewards agreed to allow them the concessions they asked for and when everyone got something different, they all accused each other of rorting the system as if they hadn’t all done it themselves.

    So giving the teams democratic control over the finances is asking for a disaster. When it comes to governance, they’re completely dysfunctional, and will break their word the moment they think they will get something out of it.



    And I’m a bit curious if banning antennaes on the car (specifically the data that can be transmitted by it) will make designers a bit less keen on pushing the limits, just like that reducing costs (unless the testing ban is lifted). Radio communication can only be made from the driver’s side with a walkie-talkie(-esque thingie?) stuck onto the inside of the helmet.

    Who wouldn’t like to go back to the era when drivers looked at their fuel indicator, perhaps a few heat and pressure sensors, and have their bottoms tell them about the rest of the data that can’t now be processed in Motorsport Valley (or Faenza and Maranello, or the pitwall) anymore, unless you’re at Silverstone?



    “Who wouldn’t like to go back to the era when drivers looked at their fuel indicator…”

    Me, for one. I’m sure many crashes have been averted by the team knowing a tyre was losing pressure or a brake disc was overheating.

    Besides, even if the teams don’t get it in real time they’ll just have it stored on the car and download it all when the car comes in.



    How about reducing the number of crew at each race? In particular I’d like to see the allowed number of crew members involved in a pitstop reduced quite substantially. Something closer to Indycar/GP2 would be ideal, maybe 8 people per stop.

    This would reduce costs with a smaller team at each race (unfair on a few mechanics perhaps), as well as making stops safer by increasing the time taken (giving more time for mistakes to be realised). I would also argue it would improve the racing – I’ve found the novelty of 2 second pitstops has worn off now. You could even introduce 2-tyre stops a la GP2.

    I’ve got another one that might be controversial – reduce the length of races from 300km to 250km. Or, even better, introduce variable lengths – so the “classics” like Monaco, Spa, Monza etc stay the same (or could even be lengthened – the Spa 500?) but your Koreas and Bahrains could be shortened to 250km. This would mean races typically lasting 75-100 minutes. Overall less mileage = less wear and tear on hardware. I realise this might be sacrilege for the purests ;) but I’ve found myself wishing for shorter races at several painful points this season!



    The problem with changing the length of the races is the change in points system that would be needed. It would be unfair to have 25 points for a win at Korea in under an hour but a win after three hours at Monaco still only gets 25 points? It’d need changing.

    I’m fine with 2-tyre pit stops, and they should also abolish that stupid top-10-start-on-the-same-tyre rule, and the use-both-compounds rule.



    We’ve had some really good ideas so far. Some ideas I haven’t even contemplated, like changing the race distance, which would have significant cost savings without damaging the sport irreparably.

    Another idea I had was to increase the life of the brakes by forcing teams to run with the same brake discs for multiple races, keep it safe by having a rule preventing discs from being undersized, so that we don’t see discs explode. I’m not sure how many brake discs the F1 cars go through, but I do know they struggle to make a race distance at the moment.



    I like the idea of rewarding rather than punishing. Reward teams that make longer use of engines, gearboxes, brakes … whatever. In the current situation the big teams are still capable of winning because of outspending the smaller ones. So let’s try give some reward to the smaller teams with points for example. If teams manage to use the same spec of brakes, gearboxes, etc. reward them with incremental points for each weekend.

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