Formula 1’s Managing Director Ross Brawn says he is ‘frustrated’ by the idea that the big regulation changes for 2021 could be delayed further.
Formula 1’s sweeping regulation changes for 2021 are due to be revealed on Thursday, pending sign-off from the World Motorsport Council. However, there have been indications that not everyone amongst the teams are onboard with the changes – mostly due to the proposed budget cap. Speaking at the team press conference in Mexico on Friday, Red Bull boss Christian Horner said: “I think with hindsight we would have been better bringing the cap in first for ’21 and then taking more time to develop these regulations and evolve them and bring them in in time for ’22, so that any development that the big teams undertake would be under the umbrella of the cap. I think it’s impossible to bring that cap forward to 2020 because you will never achieve agreement on it.”
The team’s argument is that the better resourced teams will be able to plough money into developing for the new regulations throughout 2020 to be prepared for 2021 – something that the smaller teams will be unable to do. By delayed the new regulations until 2022 and enforcing the budget cap in ’21, this situation would be nullified.
Racing Point’s Otmar Szfanauer agreed with Horner’s assessment as well, while Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said: “There are arguments that said ‘well, why don’t we put the cost cap forward, why don’t we implement it one year earlier and then start with the technical and sporting regulations in 2021’, but as Christian said, I think they are not very mature, the regulations will need some more input around the cost cap.”
However, F1’s Ross Brawn says he’s finding talk of delaying the new rules ‘frustrating’ – particularly as the regulations have already been presented to the World Motorsport Council.
“Suggestions we should delay the introduction are frustrating because the situation gets even worse each year with the cars we have now.” said Brawn. “How many opportunities have we lost to see close battles? On Sunday there weren’t many, despite the track characteristics and the introduction of an additional third DRS zone. If even these attributes do not produce closer racing, it’s time we reacted. It isn’t about change for the sake of it, we have put a massive effort into developing these new regulations in the long-term interests of the sport.”
Referring to the end of the Mexican Grand Prix, which was poised to be a real thriller as the top four cars converged, Brawn said the fact a meaningful battle failed to materialise underlined the need for technical change.
“Once again we saw that when cars and drivers are evenly matched, then it becomes really hard to not only overtake but to even get close to the car in front.” Brawn pointed out. “Getting too close for a few laps could mean ruining your tyres, causing drivers to back off and let them recover before making another brief assault.”
“This is nothing new, but it confirms once again that there is a need for a change in the regulations to enable cars to fight at close quarters. Change is potentially now not far off, at least on paper, given that in a few days, the FIA World Motor Sport Council will rule on the regulation package for 2021, which we presented along with the FIA.”
“The new aero configuration has been developed to reduce the impact of following another car. Overtakes and battles are easy when there is 1-2 seconds lap time difference, but when there is a smaller difference there is no chance. “