The F1 team heads had a mixed response towards the 2021 changes to the regulations – whether technical, sporting and or financial.
The long-awaited 2021 regulations was presented to the public on Thursday of the F1 US GP at Circuit of the Americas via a press conference with Ross Brawn, Jean Todt, Chase Carey and Nikolas Tombazis present to answer the questions.
As with any change of this scale, the new regulations have been the talk of the F1 paddock, as drivers and teams owners alike react to and critique the modifications made. After a mixed response from the drivers, the teams heads share the same.
The general consensus was that the current set of F1 regulations was a good starting point and it will be now to streamline and fill all the loopholes in the time to come, so that when the time comes, they know what is happening.
Here’s what the F1 team heads collectively spoke on the 2021 matter:
Mattia Binotto: “It has been voted. As Ferrari we are part of the World Council, we voted as well in favour. We believe it is the right moment to look for a discontinuity, for our sport, it has to be sustainable, we are all aware of that. We need to work hard as well in the future on a more sustainable, green, as well, sport.
“There is a still much to work on, so if there is anything, I would avoid to say that it is locked down. I think this is still at a starting point where altogether now we need to collaborate, improve furthermore what is certainly a good set of regulations, but still much to develop, improve and certainly as well, looking at a more sustainable sport in the future, on the power unit, on the fuel, whatever can be done.
“I think that’s a responsibility we’ve all got together. So far, we collaborate well with FIA and F1 but still much to do. We are happy with the new set of regulations or if not happy then we are at least convinced it is the right way to go. Did we consider veto in the past?
“I think as many times we answered to the same question, for us it was more important to collaborate with F1 and the FIA to makes sure that by the end of October we got the best package to be voted and I think that’s where we put our focus and put our effort. That’s all.”
Cyril Abiteboul: “I think it’s good that it’s done. It’s an important milestone but there is so much more to be one. I would still acknowledge a number of innovations in this set of regulations, because there will be a new set of regulations with the financial regulations that will complement technical and sporting. Otherwise it’s a compromise.
“Some people would have liked it to be a bit different, maybe a bit more open or a budget cap a bit lower, things like that – but it’s a first step, in my opinion a good step, it’s in Renault’s opinion a step that’s going in the right direction for a sustainable sport, so let’s see what’s coming next but it’s good now that we have clarity on what’s coming up.
“We can all now start building up this beautiful car that we have ahead of us, and start spending towards this new regulation. To confirm all details of the governance, because in order to make changes as we develop the cars and as we face some unknowns or some loopholes, we need to see how we can fix what is missing from the regulations.
“The other aspect, the other chapter that is maybe not developed enough is maybe the roadmap on the engine side. We exactly know where we are on 2021, but fuel, bio-fuel, freeze, partial freeze, progressive freeze, complete freeze? In our opinion those aspects need to be addressed so that the economic side of the engine activity is also sustainable – just as sustainable as the chassis side.”
Zak Brown: “I think it’s a good day for F1. I think it’s going to be exciting, 2021, because there’ll be much change. I think through this process, the F1 teams got closer relationships with each other, which is something that, while we certainly still don’t all agree on everything, I think relationships have been built for the better of the sport.
“I also think working with Chase and Ross and the FIA, that’s been a good process. I’m sure we all would like to see some things modified but that’s always going to be the case. In our case, I think the budget cap, there was one area we would like to have seen something more aggressive, quicker, it would have been that.
“But it is what it is and I think most importantly we have clear direction moving forward. There are no red flags with the presented regulations. It is only fine tuning them, they’re quite complex and long and new, so I’m sure there will be questions, comments and modifications but nothing that appears to be alarming and no big, gaping holes at the moment.”
Claire Williams: “I think from a Williams perspective we’re delighted that that new regulations were approved by the World Motor Sport Council. They’re everything that we’ve wanted to see from the various perspectives, whether they be technical and most clearly the financial regulations that are coming on board for F1 2021 are exactly where we wanted to be.
“We understand that they’re a first step, moving forward but they’re certainly a right step in the direction that we wanted to ensure that the sport – but also teams like ours – remain sustainable for the future. I think we’re all very aware of how unsustainable at the moment F1 is from a cost perspective.
“So, to have a level of cost-capping at this first juncture is really important to teams like ours. I don’t think that can be underestimated. The technical regulations as well are a step in the right direction. I think there’s probably some tweaking to do – but I think certainly as a first step they’re exactly what we wanted to see.
“I don’t think there are any red flags in there. I would also probably say use of the word ‘immature’ would be slightly unfair to the countless people that have put a huge amount of effort into these regulations on the side of the FIA and F1. A lot of people have been involved and a lot of people have spent many, many hours making sure that these regulations are in the best possible place that they can be up until this point.”
Franz Tost: “All the parties have done a good job. That means Liberty Media, the FIA and the teams to come up with these new regulations – because all the main topics are covered. What are the main topics? The cost cap – because we need to come down with the costs in F1; b) the money distribution: it’s more fair than it was before.
“Then the new technical regulations; the new sporting regulations and as well the governance. I think that’s an important time frame to bring everything within next year and then 2021 in the right direction. It’s a new start for F1 and I hope it will be a successful start. So far we have now a good basis on the technical regulations as well as the sporting regulations. Of course there will be further discussions and some fine tuning but the most important pillars are fixed and the rest then we will see.”
Guenther Steiner: “We’ve seen the regulations – not only technical – develop over the last, I’d say, 12 months, so we knew quite good what is coming, so we are not surprised or anything, so there is no big surprise. What I am thinking? I think that is what we ended up with, I think the aim is the right one.
“I mean we need to still achieve that you can better overtake, that the cars are closer… or the field is closer together. And these are the regs. Like always it is decided, we need to work with them, you cannot keep on saying ‘this is wrong, this is wrong’. You need to work on it, and then if there are small problems to overcome, we’ll overcome them.”
Here’s what the drivers said on F1 2021
The full F1 2021 regulations can be downloaded from the FIA site, here.
Here’s the details from the F1 2021 press conference
Additional input from Duncan Leahy