Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff has said teams agreed to postpone 2021 regulations last week in order to strengthen the sport over the next 10 years, while Mercedes themselves remain unconfirmed in F1 beyond 2020.
All teams last week agreed to the delay, which pushes agreement on 2021 regulations beyond the normal deadline for presentation and approval by the World Motor Sport Council. Technical and sporting regulations are understood to be the sticking point, with further debate of the F1 budget cap removed from consideration before the next time the WMSC meets.
Toto Wolff has previously said he believes stable regulations will allow other teams to catch up to Mercedes and that radical changes to F1’s technical regulations would do nothing to equalise the sport.
Today, he has said the delay is motivated by trying to build a strong regulatory basis to keep Formula One as the pinnacle of motorsport – expanding and improving the show for fans, while driving genuine competition.
“Last week, the ten F1 teams met with the FIA and Formula 1. We agreed to postpone the presentation of the 2021 regulations until October, giving us all more time to work on them to achieve our shared goals.
“Formula One is the undisputed pinnacle of motorsports; every weekend, millions of fans around the globe share our excitement about racing. We want to use the unique opportunity of the 2021 regulations to make the series even more exciting for the fans, to make the racing more competitive and to grow the sport globally.”
He said that the aim with 2021 regulations is to build up the sport for the next decade, despite no new power unit manufacturers having committed to join F1 and Mercedes themselves remaining uncommitted beyond the end of the 2020 season. Indeed, Wolff’s own contract as team boss expires before then, placing him in-line for a role with Liberty.
“Finding the right compromise between the various stakeholders is not easy, but we’re united in our passion for racing and our will to define a set of rules that will see Formula One thrive in the next decade.”
The FIA International Sporting Code dictates the regulatory process, and specifies a timeframe of not less than 18 months before effective date for regulation changes that are ‘likely to have a substantial impact on the technical design of the automobile and/or the balance of performance between automobiles.’
The regulations were due to be presented to the FIA World Motorsport Council meeting on Friday for ratification – the last such opportunity before the cut-off – but the FIA requested a delay to finalise various aspects, in particular the post-2020 technical regulations.
The regulations are now due to be tabled at the next WMSC meeting, currently scheduled for 4 October.