F1 engine development could be frozen

Date published: April 4 2020

Sebastian Vettel SF1000 pa

Engine development in Formula 1 could be frozen as a way of cutting costs during the coronavirus pandemic, according to reports.

Already Formula 1 bosses have been in discussion with teams and the FIA about ways to reduce the costs of the series with the 2020 season remaining on hold.

The new financial, sporting and technical regulations that were set to come into the series from 2021 have been delayed until 2022, and they may yet be pushed back again until 2023.

The new $175m-per-season budget cap is still set to come in for 2021 though.

But in further efforts to reduce costs, engine development could be frozen, according to a report by Autosport  as the financial strains continue to grow.

The freeze on developing the current V6 turbo-hybrid engines could last for several years and would dramatically reduce R&D costs.

It could potentially also cut down engine bills for customer teams.

Also part of the ongoing talks is a possible reduction to the budget cap from its planned level of $175m.

The fear with that though is that dropping it by $25m would only affect the spending of the big teams and may force staff to be made redundant at an already unstable time.

Teams do appear to be collectively behind ideas to save costs – Mercedes have already agreed to keep their DAS system banned for 2021, while Ferrari agreed to the delay the new regulations even though their current car appears to be behind the leading pace.

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