This is how a 2021 Formula One car would have looked. Picture: Formula One via YouTube.
This is how a 2021 Formula One car would have looked. Picture: Formula One via YouTube.

Official: Formula One's major rule changes postponed

By Alan Baldwin Time of article published Mar 20, 2020

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London - Formula One's 10 teams and the sport's top officials have agreed unanimously to delay the implementation of the major technical changes for 2021, which have been years in the planning.

Financial changes to save money, including a cost cap, will go ahead, however.

A joint Formula One and FIA statement highlighted the "currently volatile financial situation" and said teams will use their 2020 chassis for 2021.

Ferrari principal Mattia Binotto had told the www.formula1.com website that his team, who started a three-week factory shutdown on Thursday after Formula One cancelled the August break, was willing to do what was necessary.

"It is certainly not the time for selfishness and tactics," he said.

The technical changes are aimed at levelling the playing field and improving the racing but they also involve considerable costs in the short-term.

Some teams were already under significant pressure before the crisis as they devoted resources to designing radically different cars for 2021 while also developing this year's.

Privately-run outfits, such as former champions Williams which finished last in 2019, are already operating on tight budgets that risk shrinking further.

Teams get much of their income from the sport's overall revenues and sponsors, who are not currently getting any exposure.

Formula One's commercial managing director Ross Brawn told Sky Sports F1 television recently that weekends could be condensed to get races done.

"I think by freeing up the August break, we give ourselves several weekends where we can have a race. And I think we can build a pretty decent calendar for the rest of the year," said the Briton.

"One thing we have been talking about is two-day weekends, and therefore if we have a triple header (three races on successive Sundays) with two-day weekends, that could be an option.

"We've got to make sure we've got a season that gives a good economic opportunity for the teams." 

Monaco on Thursday cancelled its showcase F1GP, the sport's most famous and glamorous race, in another high-profile casualty of the coronavirus epidemic.

The race was on the first world championship calendar in 1950 and has been held without fail since 1955.

Formula One earlier said the May 24 race was postponed, along with Dutch and Spanish races scheduled for the same month.

The season-opening Australian race scheduled for March 15 was cancelled last week and Bahrain, Vietnam and China put on hold.

The first race scheduled for this year is the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku on June 7.

Reuters

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