Mattia Binotto, Toto Wolff Bahrain International Circuit, 2019

Ferrari and Mercedes agree to delay 2021 rules sign-off

2021 F1 season

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Leading Formula 1 teams Ferrari and Mercedes have agreed to delay formal approval of new regulations for the 2021 season by four months.

As RaceFans revealed on Sunday, moves are afoot to postpone the formal sign-off of sweeping changes to the sport from Friday’s meeting of the World Motor Sport Council to October, amid concerns more work is needed on the detail of the regulations, in particularly the technical rules.

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto said the current draft of the regulations was still “green” and more time was needed to refine them.

“They are suggesting that on the principle of the objectives we are all on the same page,” he said. “But the time is running out, or the time was running out, and I think that we are late on the milestones.

“The regulations have just been published a few days ago, [they are] really green, not much of enough to be voted. So I think to postpone everything was the proper and right decision.”

Under FIA rules, as there is no regulatory structure in place for the 2021 season yet, the new regulations must be in place by the end of this month. The unanimous agreement of all 10 teams, plus the FIA and FOM, is needed for them to be delayed.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said he accepted the reasons for a delay but not all the teams have agreed to it yet.

“I think there are some teams that are not yet prepared to sign it,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans. “They want to tweak it.

“We have signed the document, we have told the FIA we are fine and that we support an extension of the deadline under the International Sporting Code, which normally is 18 months prior to regulatory change.”

Read the latest edition of Dieter Rencken’s RacingLines column today for more on the changes coming to F1 in 2021 and why some teams are against delaying the sign-off of the new rules.

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 25 comments on “Ferrari and Mercedes agree to delay 2021 rules sign-off”

    1. I’d be surprised if the rules aren’t delayed even further still after this farce

    2. Not entirely surprising, considering these are the only 2 teams (well, maybe also with RBR), who can afford (financially and technically) any delay to sign-off.

      Though I think F1 needs just to move the switch to no earlier than 2022.

      1. @dallein but can it be done @dieterrencken? Can they run without an agreement for 2021?

        1. I didn’t mean they should postpone without any agreement. It must be an agreement, maybe for an extension of existing one, or for new (or transitional) financial rules, but with technical postponed.

          Anything can be done. All depends on the willingness of parties involved.

      2. @dallein, it sounds as if all of the teams agree that a delay is needed to finalise the technical and sporting regulations, which are incomplete, so that is ultimately something they agree on. It’s just that the threat of not agreeing to the extension is the measure that some teams are using to force the budget cap rules to be written first, with the technical and sporting regulations following on afterwards.

        The BBC have suggested that there is something of a split amongst the teams – Alfa Romeo, McLaren, Racing Point, Renault and Williams seem to be pushing back against the idea of any postponement, with the other half of the grid either not objecting to a delay or pushing for that delay to take place. They’ve not been explicitly named so far, but the implication is that Red Bull is either neutral or in favour of a delay.

    3. Someone once said a good dictatorship is better than a democracy. I think they may be right.

      1. No, dictatorship is never better.

        1. Yeah I wonder which dictator said that. BE? Better for who? The dictator?

          1. Bernie Eccelstone

      2. Never thought I’d miss Bernie, but now I think he just may be irreplaceable.

        1. Lol conveniently forgetting that the issues Liberty and Brawn inherited and are now trying to sort were due to BE’s idea of F1, particularly his last 10 years of money grab.

    4. Who wants to bet that whenever this happens, 2030 or whenever, they will still have the DRS in the regs. And probably the same engines with more RPM and more standard parts. What a joke.

      1. If they have drs in 2021 I will consider that a massive disappointment, but I’m quite confident it won’t be there as has already been implied in recent months.

        1. DRS zone lengths are already variable, so they can have drs and cut the zone length down to zero if they find it unnecessary.

          1. @megatron Point being the new gen cars will have no trouble following each other so an opening rear wing will be totally unnecessary.

            1. There is no on track proof that the “new gen” cars will have no problem following each other.

    5. This is becoming like Brexit – well meant and for the best, but too many egos squabbling over details while the public suffer.

      1. Why is the public suffering? There will still be a new F1 chapter for 2021 even if the final official rules have been put off.

        1. Because the ‘racing’ is currently dire and losing viewers by the thousands!

          1. Well the ridiculous tires have a lot to do with that, and we are talking about their negotiations for beyond this year. And what evidence do you have that they are ‘losing viewers by the thousands?’

          2. Spectator numbers are at an all time high, tv numbers are down only because of the pay wall. TV numbers are rising in the US since there is more access thru espn. Stop lying to justify your nonsense.

    6. This is a joke! Never allow competitors to have a thought in the rules- F1 is a joke doing this FFS

      1. Ya right, why let the ones spending all that money to entertain us have a say? Wouldn’t want them to be happy and enthusiastic about being in the entity of F1 after all. Better they be forced into things they don’t want to do and then leave, right?

      2. @garns Seriously? F1 teams should have no say in changing the technical regulations?

        1. @robbie @f1osaurus
          Yes for sure!!!
          Guys there is a BIG difference between teams having a say in what the technical regulations of F1 should be as apposed to having a say & vote in the actual rules!

          F1 cars are only I guess behind NASA or a war plane in their technical advancement (maybe more than war planes as some are very old in design), so these F1 engineers are amongst the best on the planet. I have no issue in these guys and girls saying to the FIA what works. My issue is that the teams, but not all of them, vote on the rules.
          Yes listen to what they have to say but to let them vote on the rules is a joke- each just has their own interest at heart.

          I found your comment interesting Robbie- “Better they be forced into things they don’t want to do and then leave, right?” Well yes, let them leave- while Mercs and Ferrari have so much say (then influence their suppliers to vote their way) 2 companies run F1, not Liberty, not FIA. Make F1 cheaper on entry and ongoing cost (remove the over-technical PU, it is a masterpiece of an engine but how many common punters see or enjoy this? few…. and reduce aero). Both massive cost.

          If barriers to entry were much better we don’t care or allow a big few teams to dictate. Porsche and others may come in – it would be great.

          But back to my original comment (I only make soccer analogies as most on this site knows soccer it seems) do Man U or Liverpool dictate the rules of their sport………………… or is it a condition of entry and they comply?

          Listen to the F1 experts (aka the teams) but don’t let them vote, as they are all selfish!!

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