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FIA votes to delay introduction of next generation F4 car

by Craig Woollard

The FIA Single-Seater Commission has announced that the introduction of the second generation Formula 4 car will be delayed by 10 months, as it evaluates cost-cutting measures.

New halo-shod cars were scheduled to be introduced at the start of 2021, following seven years of use for the existing homologation standard for the category.

That has now been pushed back to November of the same year after a World Motor Sport Council vote, in an attempt to cut costs at the lower end of the motorsport ladder.

“The Council was informed that an ongoing evaluation of global cost-cutting measures for single-seater categories is being undertaken by the Commission,” read a statement put out by the FIA after the vote.

“A delay to the introduction of the second generation FIA Formula 4 car from 1 January 2021 to 1 November 2021 was approved, again to reduce costs.”

While this move guarantees the sole use of first generation FIA F4 cars through 2021, the announcement has no mention on if the ‘transition period’ that allows F4 championships to use the current cars until the end of 2023 will be extended.

During that time, the homologation of both cars will be valid, and series using the older cars would not be discriminated against in the FIA superlicence points system.

Last year the first halo-shod F4 car, which also had hybrid power, was raced in the inaugural FIA Motorsport Games F4 Cup. It was designed by Hong Kong-based team KCMG, and the cars were centrally ran by top Formula 3 team Hitech GP.

Further cost-cutting calls from national sporting authorities and the FIA are expected as the economic fallout of the global coronavirus pandemic becomes clear, as well as regulatory changes that will directly impact junior single-seaters.

One talking point already is a recommendation in the FIA’s recently circulated ‘Return to Motorsport’ document stating that support series should be dropped from race meetings to ‘mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission’.