F1, teams endorse delaying 2021 regulation changes

Photo by: www.kymillman.com/f1

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

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I guess we will have to see what the 2019 aero changes accomplish. Maybe they think they can get there based on what they have seen in F2 without a major change to the chassis spec… not sure there is any hope for engine change anytime soon.


The only way to try and control costs of a new engine specification is to ban development (which is why the last V8s were less expensive), but then you will have power inequality again.

Perhaps they should stick with the current regulations now that the power units are closer, and reintroduce the limited development tokens?


Good call Dave. If Renault and Honda knew these current p.u’s were going to be used for four more seasons, but with restricted development after 2020, that might be incentive to spend to get on par with Mercedes and Ferrari in these next two seasons, so we’d be close to p.u parity from 2021 onwards.


Maybe they can transition to a model where they introduce changes from year to year, in smaller waves, to enable teams to not spend an arm and leg on the changes. I’m thinking something like they are doing next year with the wing changes. This will also let them react faster to a team running away with it for 4 years. But they need to get the teams out of the change process (except to take input… they shouldn’t be voting/veto’ing the changes)


Hi SubC, welcome back, I haven’t seen you posting for a while.
I’m not sure annual regulation changes would result in less cost.
As we’re seeing with the past two seasons and what is coming next season (Bernie’s big tyres and wings, then adding the halo, and next year a complete shift in the aero regulations), that is destroying the privateers – McLaren, Williams, F.I, and Sauber would be gone if Ferrari hadn’t bought into them.
I think some kind of regulation stability is necessary to stop the sport continuing to eat itself.


Yeah, F1 aren’t the only ones to take a holiday! LOL… What I mean is currently we seem to do these multi year agreements and then do a wholesale change. But of the sport got conditioned to smaller changes they wouldn’t need to do the whole sale changes. Other series seem to be able to manage this properly and in a way it seems to give teams their priority, development wise, for the year. If they made the changes standard, with a given baseline, then the privateers wouldn’t be hurt financially so bad. I don’t know the real answer, but… Read more »


Glad to see you are back, and ready to push hard for the remainder of the season ;-) I think a problem is that F1 has a habit of making a major regulation change, and then tinkering with those regulations if they don’t create close racing first time out. So the teams get the worse of both scenarios, funding a big change, then a series of smaller ones. Hopefully Ross Brawn and his technical team can come up with a plan that reduces costs for the teams, but keeps the technical challenge and fan interest high. Personally, I’d hate to… Read more »


With the way the formula has unfolded with only 4 engine suppliers, I think spec parts would be good, with caveats. First, engine… aren’t these at a set cost. Those costs could be lower if we had some standardized components. MGU-k for example. Is one manufacturers MGU-K that much better or worse. Make it standard. Fuel pumps, and some ancillaries. I don’t mean that you can only purchase one part number from a set manufacturer, but the design would be spec and you could source it wherever you choose (or from a standard supplier). Maybe have two or three spec… Read more »


But still no word on the cost cap, and redistribution of the prize money?
When did L.M say they were going to be in a position to lay out the whole 2021 structure and regulations, was it as soon as next month?


A couple of things to think about (and possibly discuss??)
On the cost of the hybrids.
With the three p.u limit, and the ‘supply cost deal’, these power units are now costing the teams no more than the previous V8’s.
On the relative performance of these p.u’s.
The top three teams are powered by different p.u’s. The p.u’s of the manufacturer teams, and the teams they supply are the same. But the top 3 are 1sec plus faster per lap, So it seems its not the p.u’s that are the difference between the top three and the rest.