(Motorsport-Total.com) – At the end of March, a landmark meeting was held in London for the future of Formula One. There, Liberty Media presented the current plans for cost capping, revenue distribution, sporting and technical regulations, and more to Formula One teams. Officially, nothing was subsequently announced about the content of the meeting. But slowly more and more information seeps through.
It is clear, for example, that Liberty is not yet as far in the discussions with the teams as one would like to be. “There are many things we still need to talk about: leadership, revenue, financial regulations, technical rules, standardization … The list is quite long,” reveals Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto, explaining: “We are working well with the FIA and Formula 1 together. “
“There are still some points where their position deviates from what we consider Ferrari to be right, but we continue to talk about it,” said the Italian. After all, he was “very sure” that mine will find a solution – but when? Binotto himself explains that one should not be put under pressure by time. Red Bull team boss Christian Horner finds clear words in this context.
New regulations in the summer of 2019 unrealistic?
Compared to ‘Sky’ he explains unequivocally that there is “no chance” that the entire regulation for 2021 already in this June. Background: According to Article 18.2.2 of the International Sporting Code of the FIA , the rules for 2021 must be no later than 30 June 2019 – unrealistic for Horner. “It’s a bit like negotiating a Brexit deal right now,” he draws a comparison to the current political situation.
“It’s tough because they all have different interests,” he says, adding that “too many things” are on the agenda right now to reach a quick agreement. “It will happen this year,” he is convinced. However, he expects that the regulations will be more in December and not in June. That would mean that the June deadline must be postponed – the Brexit sends greetings.
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According to Horner, it would not be so bad for the teams, if the new technical rules are decided later. He warns that, in particular, the big racing teams would otherwise begin to shut down resources for 2021 at a very early stage – which would incur additional costs. He considers a possible “starting signal” in December therefore a good solution.
“It’s not too late for the little ones and not too early for the big teams,” he explains. “We have to do this sooner rather than later,” warns Haas team principal Günther Steiner anyway, not to dawdle. “Time is now an important factor, because we have to decide – or they have to decide”, agrees Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost and states that he expects a decision “within the next half of the year”.
Brawn: “Very close” to the new regulations
And Formula 1 sports director Ross Brawn explains in the discussion with ‘Sky’ that there are different deadlines for the different points. But where exactly do you stand with things like budget cap, income distribution et cetera respectively? What progress has been made since last year when, for the first time, plans for Formula 1 from 2021 were presented in Bahrain?
Officially, the high-class team bosses have been told over and over again that Liberty has taken steps “in the right direction” over the past 12 months and is “on the right track”. Tost also states that there are “some really good ideas”. But why is there no official opinion of Formula 1 on the progress? Why was there no statement after the London meeting?
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Günther Steiner explains that progress can not be measured only on paper. “I think it’s also a step forward that the FIA, the FOM and we now understand each other better,” he explains. Meanwhile, Ross Brawn explains that it’s “very close” to set the new rules. “It was hard work, but honestly, I did not expect anything else in Formula 1,” said Brawn.
They spent the past year listening to the wishes of all teams and holding many discussions. In fact, during this period, they also made “massive progress”. He also avoids talking about changes in real terms. Although he mentions many plans and projects of Liberty in all areas. However, none of this is currently approved.
Revenue distribution: less money for Ferrari and Co.
A good example is the planned budget cap. RaceFans spoke with six different team bosses and received six different views on the subject . There seem to be many questions left here. Apparently, for example, it is still unclear whether, for example, driving salaries fall under the budget cap or not.
Basically, the teams are unanimous that the costs must be reduced. But how exactly this should look and be implemented seems to be still open. Brawn reveals that he also wants to turn to the small cost of writing on the subject of cost reduction. “For example, we want all teams to have the same boxing equipment,” he says.
It’s about small things that cost money but do not bring performance. But it is also clear that you will not be able to save the huge sums here. Even with the new distribution of revenue from 2021, there are currently no official statements. There are several sources to hear that the bonuses for Ferrari and Co., although not completely canceled but should be reduced.
“I understand how important Ferrari is, but it has to be well-founded and balanced,” Brawn said. According to ‘RaceFans’ Ferrari is from 2021 “only” receive bonuses of about 50 million US dollars. By comparison, in 2019, the Scuderia sank another 114 million – more than double. The bonuses should be composed from 2021 on historical successes and the World Cup results of the past years.
Simplification of rule finding
Also on another front Ferrari must probably make compromises. This is about the right of veto that Scuderia currently has in setting up new rules. Although this should be preserved on the paper, but in a weakened form. In principle, the process of determining the rules in Formula 1 should change in the future – and shift the balance of power towards Liberty Media and FIA.
Currently, new rules have to go through a three-step process. First of all, ideas for new rules are worked out in the Strategy Group, which are then passed on to the Formula One Commission. If these agree, the rule goes to the Motorsport World Council of the FIA. This should be simplified in the future by abolishing the strategy group in its current form.
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According to ‘RaceFans’, the commission will be reorganized – namely from FIA, FOM (Liberty) and all ten teams. Each team would have one vote there, FIA and FOM ten each. Conversely, if the FIA and FOM agree, they could override the teams with their 20 out of a total of 30 votes, if only a simple majority is necessary.
Therefore, the teams are currently still skeptical about this model. Currently, sponsors and promoters are also represented in the commission. These would have no place in the future there. The rules would then, as before, be passed on to the World Council for ratification by the Commission.
No big changes to the engine
Another plan from Liberty is to relieve the teams on the weekends. For example, in the future there will be a curfew on Thursday so that the mechanics can not work there all night. In addition, the work on Friday, Saturday and Sunday should be limited. However, this plan is not without ulterior motive.
Because Liberty makes no secret of the fact that you want to inflate the calendar even more and want more than 21 races . And of course this increases the burden on the teams even further. Therefore, at least the workload at the race weekends should be reduced. However, one would like to stick to the basic Grand Prix format with three days, three free practice sessions, qualifying and races.
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Only a slight adjustment of qualifying , already from 2020, is in the room. There will be four segments instead of three in the future. However, the elimination principle should be retained. Even with the engines, it currently looks like that the changes in 2021 remain very manageable. “They’ll be louder and more powerful in 2021,” promises Brawn.
In the meantime, however, it seems clear that the very big revolution will be missed. The four current engine manufacturers have, among other things for cost reasons for a stable regulations used – and seem to have success. Original ideas, such as the abolition of MGU-H, Liberty has now rejected . That it will remain a hybrid formula in principle, is clear anyway.
New chassis should make “dramatic difference”
The chassis for 2021, however, according to Brawn there is a “dramatic difference” to the current car. At ‘Sky’ he explains: “Right now we have a car [model] that we use to do CFD and wind tunnel tests, which only loses 5 percent downforce when it drives behind another car.” That’s very little ] A car loses 50 percent if it drives right behind another. “
The idea: Starting in 2021, there should be significantly more tackling, making driving behind another car much easier. According to RaceFans, the model that says “India 2” is already well advanced. Among other things, it has a greatly simplified aerodynamics and two tunnels on the underbody, which open into a diffuser to generate additional downforce.
When the technical regulations actually officially stands, remains to be seen – as well as in all other areas. “It may not be an ideal situation for all ten teams, but if you have ten teams, you’ll never find anything that works for everyone,” McLaren boss Zak Brown said in light of the planned 2021 changes.
However, the fact is that Liberty must eventually commit itself – even at the risk, so that one or the other team slightly annoy. Although it is until the start of the Formula 1 season in 2021 still almost two years. But the teams need a clearer sense of what will happen to the premier class – both on the sporting and on the business side.