The Formula 1 teams have to save costs. The 2020 chassis will therefore be homologated by the end of 2021. Wind tunnel tests were officially banned until February 2021 for the new car generation which will debut in 2022.
There is currently not much going on in the Formula 1 factories. Ferrari, Haas and Alfa Romeo have already started the early summer break, the others will follow soon. Development and production stand still. When it starts again, you will not be rocked at full throttle again. The engineers are working on the upgrades for the first race of the season without much time pressure, but it is not yet possible to say when it will take place. In Formula 1 circles, it is said the start will not take place before July.
Production currently only has to produce the new parts. All teams have now made enough spare parts for the base car. Without racing events, no elements are worn out or damaged by use.
Which parts are homologated?
Now that no money is flowing, the teams are really thinking about saving for the first time. The FIA wants to help them. The postponement of the new technology regulations to 2022 has already been decided. The homologation of the current chassis by the end of 2021 also. This was also confirmed unanimously by all teams.
The engineers are now considering which other components could be committed until the end of next year. We are talking about the gearbox, the wheel carriers, parts of the suspension, maybe even the radiators. To do this, engine development would also have to be frozen at the end of this season. New engines for 2021 would also mean a different cooling requirement.
There is still a lot to talk about. Ferrari and Mercedes don’t want to be restricted too much outside the chassis. Red Bull is the only top team to recognize the danger that everything can break if you don’t save rigorously now.
2022 development suspended
The aerodynamics development for 2021 remains in any case optional. This includes the nose because it belongs to the generic term “aerodynamic surfaces”. This is important for those teams that may have bet on the wrong horse.
Experts believe that the slim noses from Mercedes, Red Bull, McLaren, Renault and Racing Point will prevail as the right concept because they can be used for better control. If the nose fell under the homologation, Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Haas, Williams and Alpha Tauri could not correct the mistake in the coming year.
At the last video conference between FIA, F1 management and the team bosses, it was also decided to suspend the development of the 2022 car. The teams will not be allowed back into the wind tunnel with their models until February 2021. This is to prevent expensive parallel development. In the coming year, the pace of development on the 2020 cars will slow down anyway.
Formula 1 boss Chase Carey and FIA President Jean Todt are also working on lowering the budget cap. If not now then when? At the moment, all teams should be receptive to saving.
RTL expert Christian Danner sees the timing as ideal: “It is a historic opportunity. The best thing is to put the budget cap on the old Mosley plan.” That was 40 million euros. The limit will not fall that low, but a sensitive reduction can be expected. Because the red pencil is now being applied to automobile manufacturers such as Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari.