With all the talk of driver changes, team changes, Force India’s salvation, prize money, team points and more, one story that is a major issue is the revamp of the engine regulations for 2021.
According to reports, F1 is now considering delaying that engine regulation changes it has been working toward for 2021. F1’s chief technical boss, Ross Brawn, says it may be good to delay the changes.
Red Bull’s Christian Horner explains the lack of any new manufacturer interest is reason enough for delaying.
“There’s no new manufacturers coming in, these regulations are impossible for a new manufacturer, should they come in,” he said.
“I think that rather than making a half-hearted change and getting it half right, I think it’s better to take a little bit more time to really consider what is the right engine for Formula 1 moving forward.
“If that needs a bit more time, or a couple more years to achieve that, then that’s the sensible approach.”
“I can’t see anything changing before the 2023 season, to be honest with you.”
News reports have all pointed toward regulations changes for 2021 intended to lure in new manufacturers and during negotiations, there were a few companies involved who are not currently in F1. Even so, while I understand the series would like to see new manufacturers, it has been my understanding that the changes were also intended to improve the racing, reduce the cost of engine and engine development and seek more sound and competitive parity.
Sauber boss Fred Vasseur says the delay would help because they are already intending to complete a full chassis regulation change so adding the cost of a new engine would be even more expensive.
“It would be a mistake to postpone one for one year,” he said. “It makes absolutely no sense to design a completely new car, and after one year you have to design a new chassis because the engine is different.
“Or we postpone for two or three seasons and get a new engine in 2023 or 2024. [I think] 2022 makes no sense.”
As I said last year, this regulation change discussion is a seriously critical issue and at some level represents the struggle over power and control of the sport. Threats early on from Ferrari and Mercedes may still be in place but the fact is, blaming a lack of new manufacturer interest for a delay in any meaningful regulation changes is frustrating from a fan’s perspective. It would be nice to see new engine makers but the real goal should be a serious change in the cars and engines to produce better racing at a more affordable price.
Most reports I’ve read are generic in the sense that they merely suggest that there are no new engine manufacturers interested so might as well stick with what we’ve got. This is a finger in the eye of fans who have been saying what F1 has isn’t compelling and it needs to change. It also suggests that F1 has possibly caved to team pressure who are using one of, what I’ve called, the three trump cards in F1: Safety, sustainability or cost. In this case, cost.
Hat Tip: Autosport