As the Covid-19 situation continues to dominate world news, it’s also affected the once-tight schedule for Formula 1 in 2020. The new suite of regulations that were expected to come into play for 2021 has now been sensibly postponed until 2022. This allows all teams to be on an equal footing as possible and it’s also hoped that it will minimize the economic impact on the lesser funded teams.
The FIA released a statement that read in part: “Due to the currently volatile financial situation this has created, it has been agreed that teams will use their 2020 chassis for 2021, with the potential freezing of further components to be discussed in due course. The introduction and implementation of the financial regulations will go ahead as planned in 2021, and discussions remain ongoing between the FIA, Formula 1 and all teams regarding further ways to make significant cost savings.”
The schedule for this year has also been updated with the Dutch GP, Spanish GP, and the marquee Monaco GP all being canceled. With a current mooted restart date for 2020 being put forward as the end of May 2020, this is by no means a certainty due to the Covid-19 spread. This news also means that the Dutch GP, due to return to the schedule for the first time since 1985, will have to wait, along with the Spanish GP in Barcelona, says the FIA, until sometime later in 2020.
However, it’s also been declared that the Monaco round has been canceled and will not be rescheduled. A key part of the reasoning is the amount of infrastructure required to run such events in the tiny principality, with the end result is the Automobile Club de Monaco saying: “To all the fans, spectators, partners and our members, the Board of Directors wishes to express its sincere regrets that these two events cannot be postponed and under no circumstances, will it be possible to organize these events later this year.”
With respect to the regulations, it means all teams will need to use this year’s chassis design in 2021. Again, this ensures as level a playing field as possible. “As possible” being the keywords here, like McLaren, for example, who were due to change powerplants in 2021. The team was due to switch from Renault engines to those from Mercedes, and with different designs for the blocks means the chassis itself needed to be modified.
Sitting on top of all of this, however, is a cost cap for each team and that’s $175 million per team from next year. This also means, and the catchwords here are “in theory,” that teams should still be able to develop their now 2022 cars under that cap.
We will continue to update weekly as or as vital news comes to hand.