Cost cap, double points for Abu Dhabi part of new FIA regulation changes

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A meeting of the F1 Strategy Group and Formula One Commission today in Paris has yielded approval of several new regulation changes, most of which will take effect in 2014.

But perhaps the biggest change of all won’t come until 2015, when a budget cap will be instituted. A working group made up of representatives from the FIA, the commercial rights holder and F1 teams, will be created to finalize regulations on the cap by the end of next June.

Former FIA president Max Mosley attempted to put in a cap several years ago, but the plan was dropped amid opposition from the teams.

In regards to the short term, approval has been given for double points for drivers and constructors at the final round of the F1 season from 2014 onwards.

Per the FIA’s release on the regulations, this is being carried out to “maximize focus on the Championship until the end of the campaign.” As a result, the winner of the season-ending Grand Prix will receive a total of 50 points, second place receiving 36 points, third place receiving 30 points, and so on across the remainder of the Top 10.

Also among the changes are the institution of permanent numbers for drivers, who will be asked to choose between No. 2 and No. 99 for their F1 careers.

The No. 1 will continue to be reserved for the World Champion if he decides to use it, and should two drivers choose the same number, priority will be given to the driver that did best in the prior year’s championship.

Tire manufacturer Pirelli has been allowed to stage a three-day test session for all F1 squads on Dec. 17-19 in Bahrain. The Commission agreed to change the sporting regulations on safety grounds in order to set up the session. Six teams have already RSVP’d: Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari, Force India, McLaren and Toro Rosso.

Finally, a five-second penalty for “minor infringements” was agreed upon, although the exact form of the penalty still needs to be discussed with F1 teams so a new regulation can be introduced in time for 2014.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).