Unanimous agreement to postpone new F1 cars for 2021 – but not budget cap

2021 F1 season

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The FIA, Formula 1 and teams have unanimously agreed to delay part of Formula 1’s radical new rules package which was due for introduction next year.

Sweeping changes to the technical regulations, intended to drastically overhaul the aerodynamics and create cars which can race much closer together, will not arrive until the 2022 F1 season.

Teams have agreed to use their 2020 chassis for the 2021 season. Other components may be frozen between the two seasons as a further cost-saving measure.

Delaying the technical changes will allow teams to make considerable cost savings following the severe disruption to the start of this year’s championship. The first seven race dates of the season have all been cancelled, though the sport intends to reschedule as many as possible.

But while the new cars will not arrive next year, the sport intends to press ahead with its new financial regulations, also known as the budget cap. This will limit each team’s spending to a maximum of $175 million, with some exceptions, from next year.

The agreement is awaiting final approval from the FIA World Motor Sports Council, but is expected to be ratified.

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The FIA issued a statement detailing the planned rules changes.

“Following unanimous agreement between the FIA, Formula 1 and all teams, the implementation of the Technical Regulations due to take effect from the 2021 season will be postponed until 2022,” it said.

“All parties further discussed the current situation of the 2020 championship and how the sport will react to the ongoing challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to the currently volatile financial situation this has created, it has been agreed that teams will use their 2020 chassis for 2021, with the potential freezing of further components to be discussed in due course.

“The introduction and implementation of the Financial Regulations will go ahead as planned in 2021, and discussions remain ongoing between the FIA, Formula 1 and all teams regarding further ways to make significant cost savings.

“All teams expressed their support for the FIA and Formula 1 in their ongoing efforts to restructure the 2020 calendar as the global situation regarding Covid-19 develops.

“All of these commitments will be referred to the relevant governing structures for final ratification.”

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66 comments on “Unanimous agreement to postpone new F1 cars for 2021 – but not budget cap”

  1. Corona virus, why exactly are you doing all these!

    1. @lems Blame China.

        1. Unpleasant comments.

      1. Blame every single country who allowed the wildlife trade to continue and turned a blind eye, as well as all those who kept these governments in power.
        I suspect you’re in that guilty group?

        1. That’s BS. Those animals in the markets are all from within China or from Southeast Asia. They’re not importing Canadian bats to eat. :rolleyes:

          1. Which country are you from Jason?

  2. Where’s all this common sense appeared from? I often thought what it would take for everyone to come together and make decisions for the good of all. A pandemic it turns out.

    1. Trying telling that the my empty toilet roll holder

    2. There is no buggeration coming from Bernie. He was always guaranteed to create friction, just for the hell of it. There’s still time for Ross Brawn to flex his muscles.

  3. They could hold a “superseason” or something like that until let’s say September 2021 and then have enough time to prepare for the new regulations, with enough test days in January and February 2022.

    1. I mentioned earlier that I quite like the idea of a super season, but it seems that most contributors here do not like the idea. @f1mre
      Maybe make it a 20/21 super season with sub-titles (not ‘subtitles’) per region.

    2. @f1mre @coldfly – with the regs moved out to 2022, a super season that incorporates Imre’s idea of culminating earlier by a month or two in 2021 definitely sounds appealing.

      I think Liberty might not be too enthralled with only one season in two years, but they might quickly start warming up to the idea if we can’t get racing by summer. And yes @coldfly, then Liberty can definitely spice up the show by having smaller titles to break up the otherwise long racing year.

    3. I think if they can do at least 5 races this year, imo that’s enough for a separate championship. It doesn’t really advantage or disadvantage anyone, so why not?
      If they can only do a handful, they should do them as non-championship races rather than add them to next year’s championship imo.

      1. they can do at least 5 races this year, imo that’s enough for a separate championship.

        Contractually they need at least 8 races for an F1 Championship, @krommenaas.

        1. Oh okay, I didn’t know that.
          They’re never going to get to 8. And many races will be uncertain until the last moment because of new outbreaks popping up. Perhaps a super season IS the best option then; you can at least be reasonably sure that you’ll have enough races by the end of 2020.

  4. For once common sense prevails.

    Just on a side note what does this mean for DAS? Now that 2021 regulations have been pushed ahead for a year will Mercs(if its deemed legal) use it for 2021 season?

    1. +1 — that’s my question as well. I think the argument could be made, since the teams have agreed to use their 2020 chassis for 2021. That is, of course, if it is deemed legal after protests from RBR

    2. yes. Since the technical regulations of this year will count and they are supposed to use the same chassis, the rule forbidding this (which is part of the new technical regulations) will therefore also not be implemented yet.
      Would not make sense if it was forbidden, because then MErcedes would have to make a new chassis, as only team.

      1. @bascb – yeah, that’s a reasonable explanation.

      2. I imagine Mercedes can remove it if needed in anticipation of a successful protest

      3. DAS removal would require a total chassis redesign?

      4. Another interesting thing to watch for(if its deemed legal) will be both rivals of Mercedes who might pursue similar designs in 2021 season further pushing the development cost of their respective cars.

  5. Lewis’ chances of breaking Schumacher’s title record just went way up.

    Who knows what 2021 was going to bring. Merc may have been way off the pace with the new rules -not unlike McLaren and Ferrari were under the 2009 changes. I have a feeling Merc stopped dev on the 2019 car very early last summer due to their massive early season advantage. 2020 car was/is going to be very very fast and 2021 sounds like it will be an evolution.

    1. And Lewis got older each year, he is 35 now, next 2021 he will be 36. Vettel is no exception.

      No Athlete can perform on the top forever as its nature of aging. I doubt it. Lelerc and Max or even Alex will soon catch up.

  6. I would say that the best thing to do is to reduce F1 to a two-day format for 2020, with one 2-hour practice session on Saturday morning, then followed by qualifying, and the race on Sunday. Then hold almost like a sprint championship, and try to get at least 15 rounds on the F1 season, which I would argue is an ample amount of races to have a reasonable WDC and WCC winner. Then continue with 2021 as if it is a normal F1 season, but with basically very similar cars to 2020. I would allow teams to maybe develop their cars from winter, but in-season development for 2021 should be severely restricted.

  7. Very good decision, and very nice to see this decision being made early.

    Even nicer that the budget cap remains in place for 2021.

  8. Well done, smart decision.

    And I really hope this can be proven to be correct:

    Delaying the technical changes will allow teams to make considerable cost savings

    Freeing up staff to work on healthcare-related projects like we saw yesterday might be another way to boost revenue and maybe spin off part of your excess workforce in a new business. Mercedes High-tech Medical Equipments.

  9. Cristiano Ferreira
    19th March 2020, 17:04

    I’ll repeat what i said here, later in another post regarding this issue:

    One way to make everyone start more or less the same in terms of pace was if FIA made mandatory that the teams must race with spec chassis. The same for everyone. “Here, we have this spec chassis for every one of you to race with for one year. After that one year each one of you are free to develop it the way you like”
    With that in mind every team has the chance to study the spec chassis for one year and see where it could evolve and each one will bring solutions of their own.

    Another question is… what is going to happen with the DAS once they homologate the 2020 cars to race in 2021? I read somewhere that if things goes this way they (FIA, Liberty) would block new chassis and only aerodinamics upgrades were going to be allowed.

    Thing is, this would suits Mercedes even more, because i think that not every chassis can install DAS that easily, when the Mercedes one was designed around it. Am I wrong?

    Note: When i said about spec chassis, i was referring to the new one planned to launch in 2021.
    With that FIA would make the teams race with the spec chassis that has low costs compared to the ones the teams are currently developing, thus providing an equal pace among them, while they study it to bring forward their own designs for 2022.

    1. I’ll be polite and say that’s not a good idea.

      F1 is not a spec series and should never become one, not even for this. That’s like saying football should use smaller balls and sticks to hit it with. There are already enough spec series. If teams don’t make their own cars there’s no point having an F1 championship at all. Because it’ll be something else.

      1. Cristiano Ferreira
        19th March 2020, 21:42

        Did you understand what i said @selbbin?

        Its not to turn F1 into a spec series, but to level everyone for one season for the sake of finances that are already being hurt because all that mess with Covid-19 and the cancelled races.

        After one season with everyone using spec chassis, then FIA will allow them to develop it the way they like, bit it new chassis or improvements over the already existing ones.

        Everyone would benefit from that and could allocate their resources better for the R&D for the next season.

        1. Cristiano Ferreira
          19th March 2020, 21:43

          *be it new chassis…

        2. What’s the point? They already have a car.

        3. Aside from it being a good or bad idea, it does not get after your stated goal of reduced costs. They already have cars, that money has been spent. Now they have to develop a spec chassis? Build one? Buy one? Integrate it with their systems? It doesn’t make sense as a one-off. And few seem to want it as a long-term change.

  10. Extremely disappointing news, but I guess it’s the most sensible decision though.

  11. Oh good, so the top 3 teams get another 2 seasons (2020 and 2021) to dominate and also get more time to put their vast teams to work on their cars for the new rule set 2022, probably making sure they hit the ground ahead of the rest then too. Sounds great.

    1. This.

    2. @geemac are those teams necessarily able to mobilise those resources though?

      If you look at Ferrari right now, those resources are unusable – their staff are mostly in self-isolation and they’ve been forced to shut down their facilities. Your team can be as big as you like – if they’re locked away at home or unable to produce anything because the factory is shut, you’re not getting anything useful out of them.

    3. Do you really think the other teams care if Mercedes, redbull and Ferrari keep on winning for 2 more years? Or do you think they are more interested in f1 surviving? How many people are gonna be buying cars this year? You think McLaren, Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault want to be spending huge sums on new cars for 21 when they dont even know what the impact will be on their own business? You think William’s, racing point/aston martin, haas want to be spending huge sums of money when they are gonna be facing huge loses in money from f1 this year? This isnt about making sure the big teams keep on winning it is about making sure f1 can survive.

    4. @geemac yup
      short term good for small teams, long run bad, they had very little time for the 2021 rules, now they have too much time, big teams will benefit from having no cap this year.
      another year of no real racing.

  12. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
    19th March 2020, 17:44

    I said that (postpone the 2021 cars and use this year ones until next season) 2 weeks ago and some people here bashed me as nonsense. Now FIA has implemented that. How ironic.

    1. Don’t worry about it. In the far past people have been burned, tortured, threatened, killed just by speaking their mind.

      Just like this go-seb thing… Where is my torch???? ¶:-)

    2. @omarr-pepper I feel for you. good prediction. sad news though, this is really bad for us.

  13. So we’ll have two seasons with the same cars? I honestly don’t like that. So whoever wins the first season will win the next. Maybe 2021 is cancelled all together?

    1. Sorry, I made a mistake.
      Maybe it’s a better idea to cancel 2020 altogether and use the 2020 chassis for 2021.

    2. That will probably happen at some point, or at least there will be less than ten races.
      <1.5 seasons with the same cars.

  14. Other teams will have time to implement DAS into their own chassis for 2021.

    1. But it’s been outlawed for 2021.

      1. Its been outlawed under the regs change which is now 2022

  15. If this is case I hope the whole season is just cancelled. Just push everything back one year

  16. I won’t repeat all the argumentation on why I disagree with this decision here, rather I’ll just mention one thing FIA must do. If they won’t apply strict financial restrictions on teams which already exceed the planned budget cap, and that is for the reminder of this year, we won’t get the levelled playing field or any of this sort for 2022 and the smaller teams will leave the sport either way. It surely won’t be easy to negotiate and put into effect, but if they managed to postpone the radical reshuffle of the sport, they should manage also this.

    1. @pironitheprovocateur – that is a good concern.

      Maybe block aero upgrades for 2020, as an alternative? If we’re looking at at a half season (give or take a few), maybe let teams focus on the on-track racing and not bringing upgrades for an abbreviated season.

      Otherwise, your “budget cap for 2020” idea is a sound one – they were anyway intending on running a soft cap to get teams accustomed to how this would operate, so maybe they can roll that out.

      1. I agree that some sort of limitations would help to create a more level playing field, but I would argue against using aero updates for that. It’s the one area that teams play around with a lot and that seems to be the one that always needs it proving on track —and, not unimportantly, is very hard to get right for all the teams. Remember the whole Haas racing with two different cars case mid-season last year (Grosjean proved his worth there). That was quite interesting and entertaining to follow.

        1. Yeah, that’s a good counter-argument, Search.

  17. Colour me surprised (sarcasm). So another 2 years of the top three dukng it out and cant overtake with the rest of the field fighting for their designated scraps. Lol. What a sham.

    1. It’s not though is it, because you’re hardly going to see any races this season, if any.

  18. With this decision it’s more likely bow Williams, Haas and Renault will pull put for 2021 due to financial issues and nothing to show for their investment.

  19. >Merc may have been way off the pace with the new rules

    We can all dream. We can all have our dreams crushed when Merc runs away from everyone else.

    Seriously, I just can’t see any evidence yet that Merc will drop the ball on anything, esp with their resources. The cap may help a bit but there are too many loopholes, esp for a team that has a separate factory dedicated to their power units. The F1 power unit division can “borrow” developments from other teams that are working non F1 projects. I don’t think there is a way for the caps to account for that.

    1. Mercedes are not the only team making engines. Are expecting Honda, Ferrari and Renault to be sat on their bums for the next couple of years?. Engine development is not part of the cost control.

  20. Awful, awful news. In the short term it is good for smaller teams in the long run potentially catastrophic.
    the new rules were finalized not long ago, nobody had time to run away with it. now big teams are going to use 2020 and 2021 for 2022. the top 3 were already exploiting b teams cfd budget, now they’ll have the ability of using this year to bypass the cap.
    Some agreed by necessity the others for supremacy. Hopefully the fia steps in. f1’s interests are at stake, the fans aswell.

  21. If teams will be using 2020 chassis thru ‘21 … does that mean McLaren will have to wedge a Mercedes PU into a chassis designed for a Renault?

    1. This could be quite a big problem for them, with F1 cars being so precisely designed, it would be nearly impossible to remain competitive. My guess is they will negotiate with Renault and Mercedes to delay the PU swap by one year – assuming they haven’t already agreed to it.

  22. Incredible to see all the negativity from some, especially when quite some time ago it was suggested that the cap be applied a year earlier than the new technical regulations to prevent the big teams spending big on them before they came in.

    For those who are complaining about yet another year with no real racing – clearly you haven’t been watching F1 much. 2019 was one of the closest seasons there’s been for a while and there’s no reason to doubt that this year (now next year) would have been any different. The fact of the matter is that the really good drivers actually have the skills to race. Try actually watching a race and you’ll actually notice that.

    For those complaining that the big 3 will just get further ahead – really did you expect some magical change in 2021. The big three will remain the big three for quite some time until the rest of the teams actually start getting near the budget cap.

    For once F1 and the FIA have made a good clear and informed decision with all teams agreeing and you still want to complain? Sorry, I can’t agree that it’s anything but a good decision.

    1. It seems inevitable that more races will be affected. At some point, the budget cap as a tool to stop grid decay will become moot as teams run out of money so, although it was a disaster for initial development, a token system would much better suit the end-of-life for these cars.

    2. The bottom teams will be getting 2 years use out of the 2020 cars. If they can’t save money doing that, they shouldn’t be in F1. The majority of the moaning is coming from Williams, in fact, I think all of the moaning is coming from them. Williams have problems that need sorting from the top down, otherwise they will still be moaning in 10 years – if they survive that long.

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