FIA and Liberty Media split on Andretti, new FIA rules for testing and updates before Qatar.
Hey there, driver-of-the-day! 👋
First of all, welcome to the 319 of you who joined us in the last week. We’ve got a lot to cover today so we’d better get going.
🚗 Team Turbulence: Andretti’s potential entry has the paddock buzzing. Not everyone is thrilled about the idea of an 11th team. Are we set for more wheel-to-wheel action or gridlock?
🚀 Sargeant’s Surprise: Logan Sargeant may be the only driver still in the 2024 contract pit-stop, but news just in – he’s been handed a pleasant surprise.
⚫ Tire Twist in ’26: Feel that grip? It’s about to change! Discover why our rubber is getting a makeover in 2026 and what sets the new tires apart.
In today’s email:
- Pit Stop Talks – The latest buzz ahead of Qatar GP
- In-depth education- Here’s Your Checklist to Enter F1
- Fast Lane News – Kickstart your engines and keep pace with the latest F1 news
- The Qatar GP – Check out tires, strategy, weather & schedule
Lights out, and away we go!
Pit Stop Talks
🥵 Wing Designs Heat Up Qatar GP
There is a variety in design, but the main focus is downforce.
- New high-load wing design.
- Expected fast cornering due to strong downforce.
🔵 Red Bull
- Steep wing angle.
- Strong DRS effect but potential drag without DRS.
- RB19’s aerodynamics may counteract the drag.
- Relaxed wing angle.
- Aimed for higher top speeds.
- W14 car design addresses drag issues.
- “Cut” in wing’s endplate becoming popular.
- AlphaTauri started the trend, other teams following.
🌡️ Qatar’s Heat Challenges:
- Extreme heat affects cars and drivers.
- Cooling Focus: Engine and brake cooling is essential.
- Challenge: ensuring cooling doesn’t affect aerodynamics.
- Engine cover designs aim to minimize airflow disruption.
🤷♂️ Split Views on Andretti F1 Entry
FIA and FOM are at loggerheads over the potential entry of Andretti into Formula 1 in 2026. While the FIA seems to favor the entry, Liberty Media and existing F1 teams are reluctant to share prize money and are concerned about the devaluation of individual teams.
Between the Lines
- Teams are concerned primarily about economic impacts, especially how sharing prize money could affect them.
- The FIA has approved Andretti’s entry, but it clashes with Liberty Media’s indifference, setting up a possible political feud.
- Current teams largely oppose the expansion, seeing F1 as a franchise model with a set number of teams to keep value high.
🚨 RELATED: Rodin: F1 didn’t back up “rhetoric” on wanting something new from 11th team – Read more
The conflict between FIA and FOM is not just a simple debate; it’s a mesh of economic and political concerns. The existing teams see their participation as a valuable business asset and fear dilution of that value with another competitor. The Big Picture: The situation shines a spotlight on the tug-of-war between governance and commercial interests in F1.
I think F1, at the moment, the business is on fire, the sport has never been in a better place. I believe if it isn’t broken, you don’t need to fix it. So, I’m a strong believer that it’s working really well with 10 teams right now, and believe that’s the way it should stay.
Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton, seven-time F1 World Champion, has a different view. He’s in favor of Andretti joining. Hamilton feels there should be more cars on the grid and maybe even a seat for a female driver.
Ready to make everyone green with envy in Aston Martin gear, or maybe channel some Scuderia charisma a la Carlos Sainz?
Whatever your allegiance, the F1 Store is your pit stop for authentic merchandise that covers you from front wing to rear spoiler.
🎊Big Surprise for Logan Sargeant
Logan Sargeant was caught off guard by Williams’ announcement. Williams said they want Logan for next season in a video shared on the team’s social media channels.
Logan has very clear targets of what he has to hit before the end of the season, and we are working with him, we want him to succeed and we want him in the car next year. We will continue to work with Logan and invest in Logan, as we want him to succeed as the result of the journey he’s on. He’s on a journey with us as Williams. We have a young driver programme that we will continue to invest in
For Logan, who’s still waiting for his first point in F1, this was a big deal. He chats with James often but didn’t expect this kind of public support. Still, he knows he needs to step up his game.
I didn’t know that was coming. But at the end of the day, I have to just keep working hard, keep my head down, and try to be better. Japan, including the lap until the last corner in quali, was my best weekend to this point, 100%. I built it up nicely, did everything I needed to, I was just too heavy on the right foot in the last corner and that’s how quickly it can go wrong.”
Currently, Williams is sitting seventh in the Constructors’ Championship. Albon’s been the star player, bagging all 21 points for the team. And with six races left this season, all eyes are on what’s next. – Read more
🆕 FIA’s F1 Testing Rules Update
The FIA has updated its F1 Sporting Regulations, doubling the maximum distance allowed for Promotional Event (PE) runs from 200km to 400km. While these runs are supposed to be for promotional filming, they are often used by teams for additional on-track testing.
- The maximum PE distance for the season has been increased from 200km to 400km.
- Teams will be limited to 200km per PE day, forcing them to split the running into at least two days.
- This change comes amid observations that teams are using PE runs for extra on-track testing, especially for ‘shakedowns’ before official testing.
- Teams will have to be more strategic in planning their PE days given the per-day distance cap.
On the surface, this change appears to give teams more room for promotional activities. It’s more likely an acknowledgment of the “open secret” that these runs are utilized for testing as much as, if not more than, promotional activities.
The new limit means that teams now have more sanctioned distance to run their cars, but the stipulation of splitting the running into at least two days suggests the FIA wants to ensure that the time is used judiciously.
Major Tire Change in 2026?
What We’re Hearing
- Plans are in motion to change F1 tires by 2026.
- The FIA is thinking about moving away from the 18-inch wheels.
- The goal is to reduce the weight of F1 cars by approximately 50 kg.
- Proposed adjustments include shrinking the wheelbase and width.
- While the 13-inch wheels from 2021 are not expected to return, 16-inch wheels are up for consideration.
Why does it matter?
- Speed & Performance: Lighter cars can achieve faster straight-line speeds.
- Cornering Grip: Changes might compromise the car’s grip around corners, affecting race strategies.
- Race Dynamics: These changes could make races more unpredictable and exciting for fans.
- Team Strategies: Teams will need to recalibrate their designs and game plans.
- Evolution in F1: Reflects F1’s ongoing efforts to optimize performance and safety.
F1 chiefs are exploring ways to reduce car weight. However, some technical experts believe teams should have more autonomy in this area. – Read more
It isn’t super trivial to get the weight moving in the other direction, but it is particularly tricky to dream up technical rules that are going to make the car much lighter. The way to make it lighter, I think, is to lower the weight limit and make it our problem. If cars are over the limit, then it forces us all to make some fairly difficult decisions about what we put in our cars and what we don’t.
👩⚖️ Grosjean Sues Andretti After Losing IndyCar Spot
Andretti has been making headlines lately, especially with their FIA-approved entry into F1. Well, they’re making headlines again, but it’s not so positive this time.
Romain Grosjean is taking Andretti to court. Yup, another legal drama in the 2023 IndyCar season.
What we’re hearing
- Rumors had been swirling that Grosjean would lose his IndyCar spot with Andretti Autosport in 2024. Neither party spoke about it until now.
- Word on the street is Andretti might cut down their Indy team from four cars to three next season. Either way, it seems Grosjean won’t be driving for them.
- Grosjean’s pretty upset about the whole situation. He announced he’s starting legal proceedings to challenge the decision about his spot on the team.
F1 Checklist for New Teams
Over the years, 171 teams have raced in Formula 1. Only Ferrari has been there since the very first race in 1950. Now, with F1’s rising global popularity, more teams want in. Andretti seems to be on track to join in 2024. So, what’s in store for new teams looking to join?
How to become an F1 team?
First, you must apply to the FIA and cough up a $200 million entry fee (although there were rumors to raise it to $1 billion).
This application must be between October 21 and November 1 for the next season. If they give you the green light, you must design a car that fits FIA’s standards and choose two drivers for your team.
Fast Lane News
💸 How Adrian Newey’s F1 brilliance almost made Aston Martin go broke. – Read more
🔵 Red Bull’s Helmut Marko confirms Liam Lawson will be a full-time Formula 1 driver in 2025. –Read more
💰Rodin Cars wanted to buy AlphaTauri, but couldn’t handle the high price. – Read more
⚡ Students created a fully electric F1-style car. – Read more
💪🏼 Wolff involved in every Mercedes F1 meeting despite injury layoff – Read more
THE 2023 QATAR GP
🇶🇦 Scheduled 6-8 October
Lusail International Circuit
1️⃣ Circuit length: 5.418km
2️⃣ Number of laps: 57
3️⃣ Lap record: /
4️⃣ Corners & DRS: 16 corners with 1 DRS zone
Qatar GP Quick Info
⚪C1: P Zero White (hard)
🟡 C2: P Zero Yellow (medium)
🔴 C3: P Zero Red (soft)
🤯Track is a tire shredder ➡️ Expect heavy wear even with harder compounds
Note: These were the same choices as the last race in Japan.
Lusail Circuit Upgrades:
🛣️ Fresh asphalt
🏍️ Bigger and more pit garages, designed first for MotoGP.
🎥 New race control and media center.
🏆Lewis Hamilton took the trophy in the only Qatar Grand Prix to date.
Strategy in 2022
📊 Some started on softs, others on mediums last time
✋ Pit stops ranged from one to three.
🏆 Hamilton’s winning strategy: Two stints on medium, one on hard.
⬇️ Aim for medium-high downforce.
🌀 Grip is key for all those corners.
🚫 Main straight doesn’t like too much drag.
🕗 Qualifying & Grand Prix: 20:00 local time.
🕓 Saturday: Sprint Shootout at 16:00, Sprint race at 20:30.
🚨 Note: No support races so other cars won’t rub the track in.
🏜️ Keep an eye out for sand! It sometimes blows onto the track from the desert.
🛣️ New asphalt might change things up.
🔥 Hot, hot, hot! Expect temps over 40°C leading up to the race.
Due to later session times, there might be a bigger temperature range