A The biggest turning point awaits Formula 1 their story. From 2021, limits will be set for the teams for the first time. The FIA only allows spending of a maximum of $ 145 million. There are still exceptions, such as driver salaries and engine development, but in the opinion of all experts it is a step towards more fairness in the top division of motorsport.
The second break will follow in 2022. Then new ones will take effect Chassis rules. The cars will change their appearance and be slower again. The makers of the rule revolution hope that this will make overtaking easier and thus greater action on the racetrack.
Developments until the end of 2020
That is the medium and long-term perspective of the formula 1. But what about the short-term? Formula 1 hopes to be able to drive at least 15 races this year. That would secure the teams the income from the TV and sponsorship contracts of the premier class. And with it probably all ten racing teams survive.
Assuming Formula 1 can still drive a shortened season this year: What does that mean for the development of the cars and the strategy of the racing teams? In 2020, the teams can still spend as much money as they want. The regulations set few limits. There are only restrictions on the budget because of Corona. Individual sponsorship income that is linked to certain races could be omitted. Otherwise, the resources mark the playground: the number of staff and the restrictions on wind tunnel and CFD use.
Because there is no spending limit in 2020, a budget ceiling will apply in 2021 and this year's cars will be driven a second time, Formula 1 expects a major development race in the next few months. The chassis and 20 vehicle components will only be gradually frozen with a view to the next season. Only aerodynamics and two selected areas are excluded from the development stop. That should save money.
Not until January 2022 in my head
There is another component to be added. The teams are prohibited from working on the 2022 cars until January 2021. Only then can they fully concentrate on developing the new Formula 1. In other words: Until then, you can only invest the available money and resources in the 2020-2021 project.
It can be assumed that the teams will make up the majority of theDevelopment for the car that will be used in two seasons this year. Because after that they will have to focus on 2022. If you put too many resources into the current generation of vehicles from January, you run the risk of being left behind in the year after next. And Formula 1 will build on these regulations for a few years.
Renault's team boss Cyril Abiteboul already announced in an interview :' We are practically using this car for two years. We are not allowed any until January Do aero development on the 2022 car. That makes the decision easy. We will push as hard as possible this season and develop for as long as possible. As long as we can afford it. '
Hope for the small teams
The winter test drives in February revealed that the top teams Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari are a bit ahead of the midfield again this time. It is to be expected that they will maintain this lead or even expand it further. Crises usually make the big ones stronger and the small ones weaker. That is why the budget cap of 145 million dollars from 2021 is all the more important.
'We have to give hope to the teams that may suffer more financially this year. But they will also suffer on the track. The only way to Creating equal opportunities is the budget cap. It would be better to have it now. Unfortunately, the virus has not waited for the budget cap, 'says Abiteboul.
Aerodynamic developments will remain permitted with current cars from 2021 . But the question is who will then be willing to invest in an obsolete model (time and money). Who is in front, certainly not. And if you are lagging behind, you should think about 2022. Especially since the regulations make further restrictions.
What are the big three doing?
The top 3 of the 2020 Constructors' World Championship, probably Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari, should 2021 with less wind tunnel timeget along. You are only allowed to use 70 percent of the development tool. From fourth place on, it goes up in 5 percent steps.
Against this background, it will be exciting to see how the top teams proceed. In 2020 they will put everything available into vehicle development. But what will happen from January 2021? If you then go on two tracks, you could gain an advantage for the last season under the old rules, but on the other hand be punished for the future. The top teams will have to weigh up: short-term success, a world championship title or better investing in the future?
Ferrari could make the decision for the car. The SF1000 wasn't exactly a revelation in the winter tests. The question is also how the teams and corporations align themselves, whether the Formula 1 investment is designed for the long term.
The priorities should be defined in the midfield. Teams like Renault, McLaren and Aston Martin (Racing Point) actually have to rush to develop the 2022 car in order to finally be able to compete against the big ones. In 2021 they won't catch up with the top teams because their lead is too big. Even a few hours in the wind tunnel won't help.
Budget cap for open rules?
It remains to be seen how the top teams will digest the major cuts. They have to adapt their structures as early as 2020 in order to be able to operate under the new budget cap from the coming season. This will distract you in a certain way and will probably not happen without background noise.
Less money, less staff, less development time: a lot has to be tackled to create an efficient framework for the future. Teams like Renault and McLaren, who are already close to the budget cap and do not have to hear such drastic cuts in staff, hope to benefit then.
The budget cap will probably not be a tighter race this or next year to lead. Rather, the attraction lies in the strategy. Who is making the right moves and who is making the wrong moves for the future? By postponing the new rules from 2021 to 2022, Formula 1 has at least achieved that the big teams can gain an advantage for the future in one year without restrictions. That would have happened if Corona hadn't come and the new rules had already taken effect in 2021.
In addition to the increased likelihood of more equal opportunities, a functioning budget cap offers another tempting perspective. As a result, the FIA could move away from its restrictive policy and loosen the rules. Renault's team boss Abiteboul first wants to take one step at a time, but also says: 'A more open regulation would bring creativity back to Formula 1. It would be a race for creativity instead of one for the greatest resources.'