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Team bosses unsure of impact of 2021 regulations

NEWS STORY
24/11/2019

Assuming the teams sign on the dotted line and agree to race in 2021 under the regulations recently unveiled by Formula One Management and the FIA, it is unlikely that the impact will be immediate. Indeed, there is a widespread feeling that it might be three or more years before we get to see how much they change the sport as we currently know it.

Several weeks after Chase and the gang shared their vision for the future, some team bosses are still not entirely convinced.

"We're going to be nowhere near it," said Otmar Szafnauer of the 135m ($175m) budget cap, "so it will not have a big impact on us, but some of the bigger teams that will have to perhaps downsize I'm sure it will have an impact in the short term and then they'll hit some type of equilibrium where they'll continue to be strong but I think it will have an impact at the beginning.

"Will the new regulations help overtaking?" he continued. "I can't predict that. We thought that the new front wing this year was going to do that and it didn't so I'm unsure.

"Hopefully the work that's been put in with creating a different wake of the leading car will have an impact on the following car but whether it allows more overtaking, I can't predict that."

"The budget cap won't affect at all six or seven teams on the grid," said Fred Vasseur. "It will affect the top teams, but on the other hand they will have more resources to develop the new car next year.

"But the most important thing for me is the stability of the regulations," he added, "if we change the regulations another time in '23 or '24 it will be very difficult for the small teams to have an advantage on this.

"On overtaking, I think the target is clear but the FIA and the FOM worked pretty hard to reduce the wake of the cars and to have a better understanding of this but now we will see only in Melbourne '21 what is the situation."

"What you have to remember about the budget cap is that it's fixed for a five year period, so for certainly the top three teams it's a considerable challenge to get into a position to obviously get under that cap for 2021 onwards," admitted Christian Horner. "And then obviously once we are there we have to stay there for five years, so whilst there may still be some divergence between the smaller teams and the larger teams over a period of time and hopefully as revenues continue to grow within the sport with the plans that Liberty... and the growth that they expect to see during the next five years I think things will naturally converge.

"I think the frustration about the regulations are it makes next year very expensive," he continued, "because we have effectively three things going on. We have the current car to develop, we have tyre testing on behalf of Pirelli with a sort of an interim car and then we have the development of a new car to a new set of regulations, so next year is a big challenge.

"In terms of the outcome to the rules, do they achieve the target? Only time will tell. I think the intention is great in what they are wanting to achieve with this high wake concept. Whether that's achievable only time will tell.

"The cars are going to look a lot different, it's very much a clean sheet of paper, the regulations, so with that you tend to get divergence rather than convergence and obviously the cars are a little simpler, there's not as many aerodynamic influencing elements all over the car so it's certainly going to be interesting and hopefully the intention is to get it to be more driver influenced which I think is only a positive thing."

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