Changes to the regulations by the FIA will lead to a further increase in grid penalties in 2024: but is it a good thing for F1?
After the recent changes to the FIA regulations, F1 teams may face an increase in grid penalties. The issue arises from the strictness of the Federation regarding the components available for each car.
Each car on the grid will be allocated 3 internal combustion engines (ICE), a hybrid and kinetic motor (MGU-H and MGU-K), and only one turbocharger. This confirms the new particular restriction regarding the engine components.
Now the problem is related to the record-breaking season about to begin. Last year, with the cancellation of the Imola Grand Prix, the calendar included “only” 22 races. But this year, 24 races are planned, with the confirmed presence of 6 Sprint Races.
Any failure will, therefore, almost certainly result in a penalty, considering that 24 events are quite a lot. Not only that: these disruptions to the standings will negatively impact the spectacle.
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The FIA has decided to limit the components for two main reasons that both concern sustainability. The main problem is financial sustainability. In the past, components could be changed without any limitation. However, at a certain point, the situation became unsustainable, and it was decided to limit replacements.
The other issue concerns environmental sustainability. F1 is already working towards achieving zero emissions by 2030. To reduce carbon dioxide emissions, one of the current measures involves limiting new components. Therefore, engine manufacturers are forced to work much more on reliability.
This could still force teams to never fully exploit individual engine components, leaving room for disappointment due to the failure to exploit the maximum potential. Plus, there’s the headache of grid penalties. It takes very little to break something, incur penalties, and see a ruined weekend because you’re forced to start from the back.
Imagine if a championship has yet to be decided, there’s only one race left, and one of the title-contending drivers is demoted due to the replacement of an engine component. Surely, it wouldn’t be a spectacle for the fans.