Jun.9 (GMM) A war is brewing over the proposed rules for 2021.
Firstly, the $175 million budget cap does not include driver, engine, travel and marketing costs.
“If we count that, we are back at 250 million,” said Renault’s Cyril Abiteboul.
Tellingly, Mercedes’ Toto Wolff does not mind the $175m figure, and he thinks his team can even hang onto its huge workforce.
“We could use some of our people for external projects, for example in the wind tunnel which we already rent to customers,” he said.
Also controversial is the proposed new ‘parc ferme’ rule, with cars essentially unable to be changed from Friday all the way to Sunday.
“If we cannot even change the setup, that goes too far,” one team boss said.
Wolff confirmed to Bild newspaper: “It will not create more unpredictability, rather the contrary. The teams will do even more to make the cars more reliable.”
Ross Brawn, Liberty Media’s sporting boss, admitted that the technical regulations for the basic concept of the 2021 car are also causing waves.
“There is a lot of resistance,” he told Auto Motor und Sport.
“We let the teams participate in the development process of this concept, so we don’t understand why they didn’t raise the alarm earlier.”
The teams are alarmed that the 2021 cars feature too many standard parts, too little technical freedom, and will be too heavy and unattractive.
“It’s standard cars through the back door,” one engineer said.
“The cars will all look the same and will only be distinguished by the colour.”
Ferrari’s Mattia Binotto confirms: “We cannot differentiate ourselves enough.”
To ease the rising discontent, it emerges that F1 CEO Chase Carey has agreed to delay the finalisation of the 2021 rules until October.
“The situation has calmed down,” Binotto said.
It is believed the teams will sign a letter declaring that they will participate in the process of improving the proposed 2021 rules for the new October deadline.
Max Verstappen thinks this is the wrong way.
“There is so much politics in this,” the Red Bull driver is quoted by the Dutch publication Formule 1.
“How can it be fixed? There should be one person from the FIA or FOM who says ‘These are the rules’.
“At a certain point someone should say ‘These are the rules and we will keep them for ten years’. I think that if we had not changed the rules with the front wing and so on, we would already be closer together,” Verstappen added.
F1 Changes Starting in 2021 - After many months of discussions and deliberations, Formula 1’s ten teams have now agreed to the terms of the “Concorde Agreement” that binds them to the world championship for another five years.
This agreement is a contract between Formula 1, the FIA governing body and the teams which wish to compete in the F1 World Championship from 2021 to 2025 and defines how F1’s television revenues and prize money will be distributed.
Formula 1 bosses have been keen to build a strong foundation on which to secure the long-term future for the championship. As such a revolutionary new budget cap will be introduced next year, along with new technical regulations and a new set of sporting rules coming in 2022.
The Covid-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for everyone in 2020, and has served as another reminder that something needed to change. Once the championship restarted, so too could the commercial agreement talks.
By changing the way the prize money is distributed, it was inevitable that some teams would be happy – as they would receive a greater share – and others less so, as they would have a smaller slice.
But ultimately, as they have increasingly done in recent months, all the stakeholders found a way to come together and compromise on the document, which they agreed to in time for the early deadline of August 18th – which brought a small financial incentive.
With the 10 teams signed up for the next five years, and the regulations and cost cap defined, Formula 1 can finally embark on a new era. The new agreement also squashes any speculation that teams like Mercedes or Haas might not be around for the long term.
The hope now is that all F1 teams can develop themselves into robust operations financially while also closing the pack in terms of competitiveness that can in turn improve the racing spectacle.
Roll on 2021!