The final 2022 FIA meeting took place yesterday in Bologna in occasion of the FIA Annual General Assembly Week. The gathering, chaired by FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem, was introduced by summary of all the achievements secured by the new governance in their first year in charge:
"As 2022 draws to a close, I am proud of how the WMSC has tackled the challenges we faced. We had to deal with the 2021 Abu Dhabi Report and the Ukrainian crisis during the first three months of my mandate. We worked hard to restructure the FIA, including the appointment of our first CEO, and we worked in a transparent way in order to significantly reduce our operating deficit.
"With the support of Council Members, we approved the F1 Power Unit Regulations for 2026 – a major technical landmark for the sport which led to entry of Audi in to Formula 1. We also completed our first successful year of Financial Regulations in F1 and the first phase of our Race Direction Development Programme," opened Ben Sulayem, thanking all the Council Members for the "commitment and invaluable cooperation" shown in 2022.
Many topics were covered dusting the assembly, starting from modifications to the Technical Regulations. After the shocking collision at Silverstone where Zhou Guanyu's car had flipped and flown over the barriers, an investigation had been launched to look into the causes and ensure that it won't happen again.
Among the measures advised for in the resulting report, an important increase in the required strength for the Roll Hoops from 2024 and onwards, the structure in charge of adsorbing the impact strength over the driver's head, with test loads to be applied in a more horizontal way, in order to better secure the titanium component to the rest of the chassis.
Another important talking point had been sprint races, with the announcement that the number of events for 2023 had been increased to six and will feature in new, exciting locations. Following up on the struggle to make ends meets with the budget cap and the increased number of sprint events, an issue brought up by a number of Team Principals, including Zak Brown, at the beginning of the year, the FIA approved modifications to the Financial Regulations for 2023 and 2024.
Such upgrades involved a double up of the allowance granted for every Sprint session, from 150k$ to 300k$, and the removal of the additionary adjustments that had been needed in the season to cover for damages substained during accidents in Sprint sessions.
Lastly, a change in the Covid protocol was announced for the upcoming season. In spite of the 2023 Chinese GP being cancelled for reasons related to the pandemic, the FIA announced an overall relaxation of the rules and the protocols concerning the illness.
People with a positive test or showcasing Covid-like symptoms will be able to enter the track perimeter, but will have to steer off the 'high density' zones, where crowds could gather. Attendees will be allowed to visit such areas even without the formerly required proof of vaccination against Covid, and the Federation won't organise on-site testing spots, but will recommend local providers.