FIA doubles cost cap allowance for 2023’s sprint races, no replacement for China

The FIA logo. February 2008. Credit: Alamy
The FIA logo. February 2008. Credit: Alamy

Confirming six sprint races for the 2023 season, the FIA also announced an increase in the cost cap for the teams to cover the extra running.

The World Motor Sport Council met in Bologna on Wednesday, ratifying several changes for the 2023 Formula 1 championship.

One of those was for the number of sprint races to double to six with Baku, Spa, Qatar and Austin experiencing the format for the first time.

The Red Bull Ring will also have a sprint race, as will Interlagos, the Sao Paulo circuit have produced arguably the best sprint weekends both in 2021 when Lewis Hamilton came from 20th on the sprint grid to finish fifth, and this season with Kevin Magnussen starting on pole with George Russell winning the event.

But in order to deal with the extra running, and potentially extra crashes – just ask Alpine – the teams have been given leeway with the budget cap.

Last season each team received an additional $150,000 allowance in the budget cap, as well as a further $100k per car if they suffered accident damage.

Next year that number will be up to $300k per sprint race weekend, although the accident damage stays the same.

“The World Council also approved several updates and clarifications to the 2023 and 2024 Financial Regulations, including an increase of the forfeit allowance amount for each Sprint session from $150k to $300k from 2023 onwards, and the elimination of any subsequent adjustment for accident damage sustained during the Sprint sessions,” read the FIA statement.

FIA ratify changes to roll hoops

Changes for the cars’ roll hoops in the wake of Zhou Guanyu’s horrific British Grand Prix crash were also ratified, although those are for the 2024 season.

Zhou was flipped at the start of the Silverstone event, his roll hoop scraping across the tarmac before he hurtled through the gravel.

There, his roll hoop dug into the gravel and flipped him over the tyre barrier with his Alfa Romeo coming to a rest between that barrier and the catch fencing.

Zhou was fortunate to escape without serious injury.

The FIA said: “A significant increase in the required strength of Roll Hoops was approved for 2024 as part of the continual commitment to improving safety standards in the sport.

“These updates mean that test loads are applied more horizontally to require better fixing of the roll hoop to the chassis structure.

FIA drops Covid vaccination requirement

The FIA has announced that it will relax Formula 1’s Covid protocols for the 2023 season with people entering the paddock no longer required to be vaccinated.

“The FIA continues to evolve the COVID-19 protocol in line with the changes in the status of the global pandemic. Accordingly, it is proposed to relax the Covid-19 protocol for Formula 1 2023 season,” read the statement.

“In summary, the key changes to the protocol are: Attendees that are not ‘fit to attend’ (i.e. those having Covid-19 symptoms or a confirmed Covid-19 infection) will not be authorized to enter ‘high density’ areas.

“No requirement for attendees to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to enter high-density areas. The FIA will no longer organise on-site testing facilities but will inform stakeholders about test facilities available locally to venues.”

No mention of a posssible replacement for China

There was, however, no mention of what race – if any – would replace the Chinese Grand Prix.

Formula 1 announced last week that the 2023 Chinese Grand Prix had once again been scrapped in light of the country’s zero-Covid policies.

While it was suggested Portimao or Turkey could fill the spot for round four dated for April 16, the WMSC ratified a calendar without anything on that date thus reducing the season to 23 races.

The calendar:
05/03/2023 Grand Prix of Bahrain
19/03/2023 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia
02/04/2023 Grand Prix of Australia
30/04/2023 Grand Prix of Azerbaijan
07/05/2023 Grand Prix of Miami
21/05/2023 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna
28/05/2023 Grand Prix of Monaco
04/06/2023 Grand Prix of Spain
18/06/2023 Grand Prix of Canada
02/07/2023 Grand Prix of Austria
09/07/2023 Grand Prix of United Kingdom
23/07/2023 Grand Prix of Hungary
30/07/2023 Grand Prix of Belgium
27/08/2023 Grand Prix of Netherlands
03/09/2023 Grand Prix of Italy
17/09/2023 Grand Prix of Singapore
24/09/2023 Grand Prix of Japan
08/10/2023 Grand Prix of Qatar
22/10/2023 Grand Prix of the USA
29/10/2023 Grand Prix of Mexico
05/11/2023 Grand Prix of Brazil
18/11/2023 Grand Prix of Las Vegas
26/11/2023 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi

Read more: George Russell’s 2023 seat-fitting offers first glimpse of revised roll hoop

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