Formula 1

Teams suspect initial 2021 F1 rules will be nowhere near final

Formula 1’s final 2021 car regulations will be “nowhere near” what is expected to be signed off this month, according to Red Bull boss Christian Horner.

The negotiations about the championship’s next rules overhaul are close to completion and, despite some teams pushing for their sign off to be delayed until October, Horner said earlier this month that the new regulations are set to be finalised in June.

But he doubts what is agreed this month will actually be the final regulations adopted for 2021.

When asked if the rules sign-off could be expected in June, Horner said: “I’m sure something is going to be presented. It will probably be nowhere near what actually gets signed. I’m sure the regulations will change and evolve.

“Something will come out in June, it will change in September, October, probably in November.

“There’s plenty of ground to cover, but there is a watershed where something will be put in front of us fairly shortly and then the fun really begins.”

Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul admitted there was still ground to cover before all parties are ready to agree on what he labelled the “key principles” for the 2021 rules.

“Will we have a signed contract by FIA, Formula 1 and all 10 teams by end of June or mid-June for the World Motor Sport Council? No, obviously no,” Abiteboul said.

“But in my opinion there has been a lot of groundwork already covered.

“It’s all about trying to agree what will be the key principles for 2021, from a commercial perspective, a financial perspective, the key principles on the technical side and the sporting side.

“With enough faith and enough goodwill from all participants and probably a bit of a push from the key stakeholders, FIA and Formula 1, there is no reason why something cannot be presented at the World Motor Sport Council that will be advanced enough to give useful guidelines for the remainder of the year, so that we have a complete set of guidelines for the end of the year.”

Williams’s deputy team principal Claire Williams agreed with Horner that anything that is agreed on by next week’s WMSC meeting will only be the start of further discussions to finalise the ruleset.

“Clearly we’re getting close to ’21. When we first started these negotiations, it was a long time ago and we’re now at that point where we need to have that full set of regulations so that we can plan and prepare our businesses for that season,” she said.

“I’m sure there are going to be some further negotiations after that point.”

Williams conceded an scenario in which the final regulations change considerably from what it is originally agreed was a real worry for a smaller team such as hers.

“For a team in our position clearly when it comes to the technical regulations we wouldn’t want too much movement after that,” she added.

“People are going to start working on those, people are already working, and we don’t need to be wasting resources with a huge change subsequent to the issuance of the first draft.

“I don’t think there’s much choice. We have to get those regulations out and so I believe it should be done and I’m sure it can be done.”

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