ABOVE (from left): Frederic Vasseur, Alfa Romeo Racing; Zak Brown, McLaren; Guenther Steiner, Haas F1; and Franz Tost, Toro Rosso.
A number of Formula 1 team bosses have described the key meetings in London this week as a step in the right direction by Liberty Media, as a delay to the confirmation of the 2021 regulations is being considered.
F1 and the FIA presented the latest proposals for their plans for the sport from 2021 onwards when the current commercial agreements expire. Details of the presentations are limited as F1 CEO Chase Carey asks for negotiations to take place behind closed doors, but a number of team bosses confirmed the talks were positive on Friday.
“Chase rolled out I think pretty much what we were all expecting around budget cap, revenue distribution, governance and technical rules,” McLaren’s Zak Brown said. “I don’t think anyone was surprised because he has been consulting with all the teams, really since this time last year.
“It was all a very positive step in the right direction. It’s probably not an ideal situation for any of the 10 teams but given that you have 10 teams, you’re never going to land on something that works for all. So I think the fact that it’s maybe not perfect for any one team means that he got it pretty right.”
Brown was echoing Alfa Romeo team principal Fred Vasseur’s view, with the Frenchman saying a wide range of plans were discussed.
“We tried to cover all the topics of the project,” Vasseur said. “I think that we are doing a good step forward. It’s not an easy one because we are 10 teams around the table with different kinds of structure for the company, with different targets, but we are going in the right direction from my point of view.”
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner described the talks as positive, but wants to see decisions made soon in order to start planning for 2021.
“I think it’s a good step and hopefully we can get this done soon, because we need to move forward. We need technical regulations, we need the governance, to know how that works going forward, but Chase and Ross, they work hard on it and together with the FIA, with (FIA president) Jean Todt, hopefully soon they can come up with the ultimate solution which will please all of us and find the right compromise among the 10 of us — which I don’t envy them to try to find the compromise between us 10, but somebody has to do it and they will get it done.”
However, Steiner may not get his wish, with original plans to finalize the regulations in June now being reconsidered in order to try and limit any advantage the bigger teams can get from spending more resource for a longer period of time.
“First of all, it’s not 100 percent decided yet,” Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost said. “It should be confidential but anyway… as we see, people know about what we discussed in this meeting.
“The main topic is not to spend even more money, because the earlier the new regulation is being published, the earlier the teams start to investigate this new regulation and spend a hell of a lot of money for the development.
“Which means, if the new regulation comes out in June, this year teams immediately will build up engineering groups to investigate this new regulation and to start with the different tests and simulations, just to get an advantage out of it.”