Mohammed Ben Sulayem missing from FIA meeting on new F1 rule changes

The FIA president was absent from the discussion in London with FIA F1 single-seater director Nikolas Tombazis taking his place. Ben Sulayem’s decision not to attend comes after the Emirati stepped back from the day-to–day running of F1 earlier this month.

The FIA stressed his decision to walk away was pre-planned as part of his manifesto pledge. However, the timing comes amid a series of controversies which had begun fracturing the relationship between the FIA and F1.

The Commission meeting was crucial in ensuring many of the updates for 2023 were agreed. The rules were “unanimously approved”, confirming increases to the cost cap due to an increase in the number of fly-away races.

A new winter shutdown, similar to the summer timeout has also been agreed for 2023. The FIA has also changed the wording around the scoring of points to avoid a repeat of the chaos as Max Verstappen won the title in Japan last season.

The Commission has approved a proposal to relax the regulation of radio messages to and from the drivers at all times. A new type of wet weather tyre will be introduced from the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

The compound is understood to be “more performant” which could finally stop race officials from holding massive delays during rain showers. The rubber does not require the use of tyre heating blankets in a major adoption for the sport.

Changes to sprint races will also be brought into effect after a rise from three to six events in 2023. Teams will be allowed greater freedoms to change components after the Saturday race with self-declared Parc Ferme forms.

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Circuit renovations have been made at five venues including “significant” updates in Saudi Arabia in a bid to improve visibility. Azerbaijan and Miami will be completely resurfaced while a pit building will be constructed in Qatar.

DRS rules will be tweaked at five tracks to allow for better overtaking or increase the challenge. Detection zones will be adjusted in Bahrain, Jeddah, Baku and Miami while there will be further changes in Australia.

Organisers have already confirmed their intention for a fourth activation zone in Melbourne in a bid to help their new layout put on a show.

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