Tough times and difficult decisions. F1 teams and governing body are facing an extremely crucial week to determine the fate of F1 amid and despite the hard-hitting Coronavirus crisis. All teams took part in a conference call, in which team principals discussed a number of hot topics ranging from the 2021 regulations to the Concorde Agreement.
Among the most urgent matters, the drawing up of a revised (and shortened) F1 calendar definitely stands out. Aside from the rumoured tweaks to make up for four races, the chance of rescheduling some 2020 races in January is also being pondered. The main consequence of such an extreme solution would be delaying the start of the 2021 season, which is not unimaginable following the bringing forward of the summer shutdown.
No certain answers are expected shortly, as the situation is rapidly deteriorating all over Europe. As most events are being postponed, cancelled or suspended, the most logical fix would imply freezing the regulations.
All unfading concerns about “immature” designs and limited time to properly interpret the new body of rules would be extinguished. Additionally, the effect of the 2021 budget cap would become tangible from the get-go as most of the development would be run under it.
Originally the mechanism of the budget cap was expected to be up and running by 2022 given that 2021 is set to be a year of transition. Instead, the Coronavirus crisis may turn out to be the equalizer midfield teams needed to ensure the adequate functioning of such measure.
As it stands, even applying the budget cap, the top three teams would still maintain their advantage on the rest of the grid by spending high sums of money and going for broke in 2020 for the following year. However, it will not be the case if the 2020 season ends in early 2021.
Moreover, the fast-paced spread of Coronavirus will affect the Concorde Agreement, which has not been undersigned yet.
The postponement of the regulation changes might once again sort out the issues that have been brought to the table thus far. This entails the reconsideration of Renault or Mercedes’ commitment to the series, which was vacillating due to the latest dynamics and financial burdens.