F1 teams can no longer use clever trick to keep new parts hidden

In an effort to make F1 more open to the media and fans, the FIA introduced new procedures last year to increase the transparency of the latest developments brought to each race.

As part of revised sporting regulations, teams now have to notify the FIA in advance of each grand prix weekend about any new “major aerodynamic and bodywork components and assemblies” that are intended to be run.

But as well as having to explain in writing what they have done, the regulations also force teams to display these parts prior to the start of first free practice for what has become known as a ‘show and tell’ session.

During a designated window ahead of FP1 on Friday, teams are supposed to make their cars available outside the designated garage area, where the media can get up close to see the new parts.

However, there were times during 2022 when teams pulled off a sly trick in trying to hold back showing off too much of their designs.

If the parts were fitted only to one car for first practice, then occasionally some squads would keep that car in the garage where items could not be spotted, and roll out the more standard version for public display.

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23, Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo C43, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60 in the pit lane

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Such a practice went against the intention of the regulations in getting the latest tech more on show, and the FIA has duly responded for the 2023 season.

In revised regulations published ahead of the first race in Bahrain, the FIA has made it clear that teams must display the latest parts on the car that is rolled out of the garage.

The new rules state: “If only one car will carry the major aerodynamic and bodywork components and assemblies that have not been run at a previous Competition or TCC [testing of current cars] and are intended to be run at the Competition, this car must be the one displayed to media.”

As well as the teams having to explain the developments on their cars, the FIA has also moved to ensure more visibility in terms of engine progress.

The sporting regulations now demand that each car manufacturer must hold a briefing once per year to talk about their engine.

“Each registered Power Unit Manufacturer must be available at one (1) Competition during the season to give a media presentation for a duration of at least 30 minutes,” states the rules.

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