File picture: Reuters.
File picture: Reuters.

McLaren is the only F1 team allowed to make chassis changes for 2021

By Alan Baldwin Time of article published Mar 25, 2020

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London - McLaren will be allowed to make chassis changes in 2021 to accommodate the switch from Renault engines to Mercedes even though the sport has decided to keep this year's cars for another season.

The Woking-based team is the only one undergoing a change of engine provider at the end of 2020.

Formula One announced this month that it was postponing until 2022 planned major rules changes for 2021 "due to the currently volatile financial situation" caused by the coronavirus.

Teams will therefore continue to use their 2020 cars in 2021 as a cost saving measure.

"This decision does not impact our change to Mercedes power units in 2021, and we will be allowed to make the necessary changes to our car to accommodate this," McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl said on the team website.

The coronavirus pandemic has so far forced the sport to cancel this month's Australian season-opener and Monaco showcase while six other races have been postponed.

Formula One chairman Chase Carey said on Monday that he still hoped to start a reduced 15-18 race season in the summer. 

The next race that remains on is the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal on June 14 but that also looks uncertain due to the pandemic, as does France on June 28.

Questions are now being asked about whether F1, with rounds still to come in Asia, the Americas, Middle East and Europe, will be able to hold even the minimum eight races needed to make a championship.

F1 has cancelled its usual August shutdown, bringing it forward and extending it to three weeks in March and April in the hope of rescheduling races from earlier in the season, but that may be wishful thinking.

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