The introduction of the new Formula 1 technical rules has been delayed from 2021 until 2022 due to the disruption caused by the global coronavirus outbreak.
Formula 1’s bosses, the category’s teams and global motorsport governing body the FIA unanimously agreed the delay on a conference call earlier today (19 March).
The first seven races on the 2020 calendar – Australia, Bahrain, Vietnam, China, the Netherlands, Spain and Monaco – have already been postponed or cancelled before any of the new cars have turned a wheel in a competitive session.
This has left the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on 7 June as the current scheduled season-opener and just 15 races scheduled to take place. F1 bosses are still hoping to run a season of around 18 or 19 races.
The decision to delay the new regulations – which mandate a complete overhaul of the chassis design but not the V6 hybrid powertrain in order to generate closer racing – is intended to soften the financial blow that the truncation of the 2020 season will inflict upon the ten Formula 1 teams. To the same end, development of some key elements of the chassis will be ‘frozen’ for 2021.
An FIA statement reads: “All parties further discussed the current situation of the 2020 championship and how the sport will react to the ongoing challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Due to the currently volatile financial situation this has created, it has been agreed that teams will use their 2020 chassis for 2021, with the potential freezing of further components to be discussed in due course.
“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.