JUNE 9, 2019
F1 war brewing over 2021 rules
A war is brewing over the proposed rules for 2021.
Firstly, the $175 million budget cap does not include driver, engine, travel and marketing costs.
"If we count that, we are back at 250 million," said Renault's Cyril Abiteboul.
Tellingly, Mercedes' Toto Wolff does not mind the $175m figure, and he thinks his team can even hang onto its huge workforce.
"We could use some of our people for external projects, for example in the wind tunnel which we already rent to customers," he said.
Also controversial is the proposed new 'parc ferme' rule, with cars essentially unable to be changed from Friday all the way to Sunday.
"If we cannot even change the setup, that goes too far," one team boss said.
Wolff confirmed to Bild newspaper: "It will not create more unpredictability, rather the contrary. The teams will do even more to make the cars more reliable."
Ross Brawn, Liberty Media's sporting boss, admitted that the technical regulations for the basic concept of the 2021 car are also causing waves.
"There is a lot of resistance," he told Auto Motor und Sport.
"We let the teams participate in the development process of this concept, so we don't understand why they didn't raise the alarm earlier."
The teams are alarmed that the 2021 cars feature too many standard parts, too little technical freedom, and will be too heavy and unattractive.
"It's standard cars through the back door," one engineer said.
"The cars will all look the same and will only be distinguished by the colour."
Ferrari's Mattia Binotto confirms: "We cannot differentiate ourselves enough."
To ease the rising discontent, it emerges that F1 CEO Chase Carey has agreed to delay the finalisation of the 2021 rules until October.
"The situation has calmed down," Binotto said.
It is believed the teams will sign a letter declaring that they will participate in the process of improving the proposed 2021 rules for the new October deadline.
Max Verstappen thinks this is the wrong way.
"There is so much politics in this," the Red Bull driver is quoted by the Dutch publication Formule 1.
"How can it be fixed? There should be one person from the FIA or FOM who says 'These are the rules'.
"At a certain point someone should say 'These are the rules and we will keep them for ten years'. I think that if we had not changed the rules with the front wing and so on, we would already be closer together," Verstappen added.