New technical regulations on target for 2022

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BAHRAIN INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT, BAHRAIN - NOVEMBER 29: Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W11 EQ Performance, leads Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16 during the Bahrain GP at Bahrain International Circuit on Sunday November 29, 2020 in Sakhir, Bahrain. (Photo by Andy Hone / LAT Images)

When the technical regulations were originally set to change in 2021, they hadn’t counted on COVID-19. The virus impacted the sport in a large way, as it did many sports, and yet the series was able to stage a full season.

What it wasn’t willing to do was usher in a raft of technical changes amidst the challenges presented by COVID-19. To those ends, they delayed the regulation changes until 2022.

In recent weeks, there have been reports that some teams would like to delay those changes yet another season but according to Autosport, that isn’t going to happen. An F1 spokesperson said:

“Any suggestion the 2022 regulations will be delayed is wrong and has not been discussed.

“The new regulations are designed to improve competition on track and give our fans closer racing. This combined with the new financial regulations will improve F1 and create a healthier and stronger business model for the whole sport.”

The changes are to coincide with the financial regulations to make F1 more affordable and more competitive. That may be true but historically speaking, any time there has been a technical regulation change, it has cost a fortune in initial design. Now with a cost-cap, perhaps that can’t be the path forward.

For me, originally the cost-cap was slated to enter a year after the new technical regulations and my concern was that teams flush with cash would develop a new car with the new technical regulations with unlimited resources. When that was delayed, it placed the new car design behind the cost-cap regulations and this may tamper down on teams with deep pockets out-spending the smaller teams. Time will tell.

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