Formula 1’s new technical regulations could be pushed back by a further year to 2023, according to Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.
The coronavirus pandemic has led to a number of extraordinary measures being taken by F1 in order to try and protect the teams and business, including the mandatory “summer shutdown” being brought forward to March and April to reduce overhead and open up the potential to race through August.
To prevent teams taking on huge development costs, the current cars are to be used next season as new regulations, planned to be introduced in 2021, have been delayed until 2022.
Horner believes a further deferral is likely.
“The most fundamental and important thing is taking away the necessity to spend in order to be competitive,” Horner told the BBC. “So, freezing parts of the car. The monocoque’s already agreed; we’re looking at front suspension, uprights, wheels and all the associated parts for that, gearbox internals — probably 60 percent of the car other than its aerodynamic surfaces, and (the rules) being frozen for this year and next year.
“We’re also talking about pushing back the new regulations a further year, because in my mind it would be totally irresponsible to have the burden of development costs in 2021.
“There seems to be reasonable agreement, but it needs ratifying by the FIA to push back those development costs into 2022 for introduction in the ’23 season.
“The most important thing we need now is stability, because the one thing we know is that whenever you introduce change you introduce cost. (Rules) stability locking down as much of the car as possible right now is the most responsible way to (push) those cost drivers down.”
Horner said that addressing the technical regulations is more important than introducing a lower budget cap, with financial restrictions still coming into force next year.
“There is positive and healthy discussion going on among all the teams to be responsible. And it’s not just about the cap. The cap is a ceiling (and) it is almost secondary as far as I’m concerned. It is reducing the cost in order to go racing. With, let’s say, 60 percent of the chassis frozen for the next 18 months, that will have a dramatic effect on reducing the operational costs of a Grand Prix team, whether that be for Red Bull or Williams.”