2021 was supposed to be an interesting yet controversial time for the pinnacle of motorsports, as major regulation changes were slated to come into effect then. However, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, there is a bit of a viral pandemic going about and as such, things have changed, drastically.
But before we get to the postponed regulations changes, allow us to quickly walk you through what has been happening since the cancellation of the 2020 season opener in Albert Park, Melbourne. Following the Australian cancellation, six other Grand Prix have either been postponed or cancelled including Bahrain, Vietnam, China, Netherlands, Spain and Monaco.
Furthermore, Formula One’s summer break, which is usually two weeks in August when the teams cease all race and car-related activity for the fortnight, has been moved to March and April. And while the shutdown normally lasts two weeks, the revised break will this year extend to 21 days. This effectively means the Azerbaijani Grand Prix – slated for the 7th of June – could be the season-opener, provided it goes ahead.
It really is a shame that two of the season’s new venues will likely not hold a Grand Prix. The Dutch Grand Prix returns to the 2020 calendar for the first time since 1985, while Vietnam’s city race promised much action from the maiden host.
But, one of the most painful blows to the sport (this season) was the axing of the Monaco Grand Prix, which for the uninitiated, is the most prestigious race in the entire calendar and will be the first time since 1954, that the Principality of Monaco will not echo the sounds of F1 machinery. Additionally, the event organizers said that “under no circumstances will it be possible to organise these events later this year.”
Back to the regulation changes. It was announced recently that all 10 teams, the FIA and FOM agreed unanimously to delay the major regulations overhaul which, was slated for 2021, to the following year. As such 2020’s chassis will be carried over to the 2021 season. This move was intended to ease the financial burden put on the teams, especially during a time in which their income maybe drastically reduced. Also, development of some key elements of the chassis will be 'frozen' for 2021.
However, just because the technical changes aren’t taking effect next year, doesn’t mean that the financial aspect of things gets pushed back as well. “The introduction and implementation of the Financial Regulations will go ahead as planned in 2021, and discussions remain ongoing between the FIA, Formula 1 and all teams regarding further ways to make significant cost savings” said Formula One in a statement.
Yes, the financial aspects of the regulation overhaul will come into effect in 2021 which should bring a sigh of relief to less wealthy teams such as Williams and make the sport more economically sustainable.
"Formula 1 and the FIA expect to begin the 2020 Championship season as soon as it’s safe to do so after May and will continue to regularly monitor the ongoing COVID-19 situation”
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