Initial 2021 F1 cars will be more 'rough' than teams want – Ferrari

Formula 1 teams will "deliver something a bit more rough" with their 2021 cars as a result of technical regulations being delayed, reckons Ferrari sporting director Laurent Mekies

Initial 2021 F1 cars will be more 'rough' than teams want – Ferrari

Protracted negotiations over F1's desire to invoke sweeping rule changes for 2021 have resulted in the final technical rules being pushed back to the end of this month.

They should have been signed off several months ago but teams and stakeholders have disagreed over several key points, which means team face the prospect of having 16 months to build a very different type of F1 car before testing begins ahead of the 2021 season.

Asked by Autosport about the impact such a delay would have on design work, Mekies said: "We could make up the time for most of the items, you will just deliver something a bit more rough.

"In that specific case it's probably more important that we get the regulations right, even if it comes at a later stage, even.

"If it means something is delayed to the following years, [it is better] than to have something early that we are not happy with."

When asked by Autosport what the ideal start time would be for working on a new car, Mercedes technical director James Allison said he would aim to begin in November or December for a season starting more than a year later.

However, he admitted that a bigger rule change would require "a bit more of a run-up at it".

"A sort of facile answer to that is that there's always enough time, it just depends on the quality of what you do changes, depending on how much time you have," said Allison.

"There was a time, I'm sure you remember, where the Brawn team managed to put a brand new engine in their car and win a championship in a matter of a few weeks, because they had to do it.

"So you can do a lot of things in a short amount of time, but the standard lead-time for working on a new car is a little over a year so you want to be working sort of November/December of the year before the year before, so 14 months or so.

"A bigger rule change you would maybe want a bit more of a run-up at it than that.

"But if there was less time you would still do it, it would just be a bit more of a finger in the air job."

Though teams have some idea of what the 2021 technical rules will entail there is no final version and debate continues over significant elements such as standard parts.

Red Bull's chief engineer Paul Monaghan said: "It would be preferable to have rules that we all agree on before we embark.

"If that pushes it back a little bit, we can still do a car and whoever's finger is lucky in the air may well be lucky at the start of the season, you never know.

"It would also depend on how we chose to divvy up our resources for the 2020 car."

shares
comments
Renault F1 team to bring new front wing for Japanese Grand Prix

Previous article

Renault F1 team to bring new front wing for Japanese Grand Prix

Next article

Hamilton predicts “awesome” Formula 1 three-team fight in Japan

Hamilton predicts “awesome” Formula 1 three-team fight in Japan
Load comments
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021