Reigning F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton greets fans on stage during an F1 live event in Melbourne before the season-opener was called off. Image Credit: AFP

Paris: In the wake of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the World Motor Sport Council has approved, via e-vote, a series of changes to the 2020 and 2021 Formula 1 regulations.

The first eight of 22 scheduled races this year have been called off, with the season-opening Australian Grand Prix and the showpiece Monaco GP cancelled altogether.

Earlier this month, F1, the FIA and all 10 teams unanimously agreed to delay the introduction of the 2021 regulations by a year to 2022. The WMSC has now rubber-stamped the move, allowing the relevant regulations to be adjusted.

“There will be further measures introduced, such as approving the carryover of the 2020 cars’ survival cell - with no changes allowed - and “certain other components” to 2021 to keep costs down. Mercedes’ innovative dual axis steering system will be outlawed from next year,” Formula 1 said in a statement.

The WMSC also approved a series of other changes, including the addition of Article 1.3 to the Sporting Regulations, which means the governing body can now change certain articles with 60 per cent support of the teams - rather than requiring unanimity.

The FIA says this will enable greater flexibility to react to the challenges the world is currently facing. Among the articles which are impacted by this change are the rules dictating free practice, tyre, parc ferme and the starting procedure.

Meanwhile, the WMSC approved the decision to allow the FIA and F1 to change the calendar without a vote among teams. This will allow for a streamlined process to reshuffle the calendar when it becomes appropriate to go racing again.