We mentioned this concern on our pre-season testing review podcast here. Racing Point’s Andrew Green will not be alone in his concern about in-season development of their car. The fact is, this will be true for big and little teams alike. Regardless if the top teams have the cash to develop or not, just how much they invest in the 2020 car is yet to be seen. Green said:
“We’ve got an upgrade coming for Melbourne, which hopefully will be significant going by the numbers – it’s looking pretty good – but beyond that it’s going to be really difficult,” Green told The Race.
“Transitioning into 2021 has already started, we’re already well into car design and chassis design for 2021. And that 2021 resource [pull] is only growing, it’s not getting any smaller.
“It’s going to become really tough in a few months time to see where the resource can be ut on this car, it’s where we’re going to struggle, being the size of team we are.
“There’s certain things we have to get on with, otherwise we’re just not going to be racing next year.”
This is the real crux of the matter with a transition year. Small teams lack the budget to develop aggressively in a season when their resources are being spent on next year’s car already. Some fo this normally happens but the 20201 regulation changes are very significant and this has prompted earlier-than-usual development.
Where the teams start on the grid, compared to rivals, in Australia will be a real indicator of where they may end up if they lack to cash or desire to aggressively develop the 2020 chassis. This doesn’t bode well, particularly, for Haas F1 who’s owner has already said that the first few races will dictate if they stay in Formula for 2020. He knows his team lacks resources to simultaneously develop two cars comfortably. He also knows that if he doesn’t and the car doesn’t look good in Australia, he’ll spend an entire 2020 season spending money for naught.
Williams F1 is feeling more positive about where they are in 2020 but they too would find it difficult to develop the 2020 car as well as start work on the 2021 car. IT is a conundrum that teams will either get on top of or we could be relegating the 2020 season to an also-ran all the way to November and a seventh title for Lewis Hamilton. I hope I am wrong because the fans deserve more than a “phoning-it-in” season.
Hat Tip: The Race