Tost: Teams have saved ‘a lot of money’

Date published: March 28 2020

Franz Tost says teams are saving "a lot of money" in development costs due to the coronavirus pandemic.

AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost says the coronavirus pandemic has actually saved teams “a lot of money” since the new rules have now been delayed.

The new financial, sporting and technical regulations which were set to come in to Formula 1 from 2021 have now been delayed until the following year.

That’s because the current season hasn’t been able to begin yet due to the global impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak, and the earliest we could see any on-track action is mid-June.

A lot of fuss has been made about how the loss of revenue will impact the teams, especially those further down the grid, but Tost says teams are actually saving “a lot of money” because now they don’t need to balance their 2020 programme whilst also preparing their next car for the new rules.

Speaking to Autosport, he said: “There are two sides to every coin.

“The good thing about the coronavirus story is that we don’t have to do double development this year.

“We can’t develop the car for 2022 until the beginning of 2021. That also means 2021 development will now happen under the umbrella of the budget cap.

“[That is] a very important point because it saves a lot of money. It means that double development at high cost level is no longer necessary”.

Tost is referring to the fact that originally the 2021 cars would have been designed this year, before the $175m-per-season budget cap came into force in 2021, meaning teams would spend big to perform in 2020 and nail the 2021 regulations the best they could.

But now all the development of the new cars will have to be done next year under the cap.

Discussing what has been agreed for the new regulations, Tost said: “The chassis will be homologated. The mechanical parts, too, such as the suspension.

“The only thing that can be improved is the aerodynamics. That means front wing, rear wing, bodywork, side pods, floor, diffuser and barge boards.”

Tost also explained how the FIA are limiting wind tunnel testing for the new cars that are now coming in 2022.

“The FIA controls the wind tunnel and gets video recordings and pictures of the wind tunnel,” he explained.

“That means you can’t put a 2022 car in the wind tunnel because it looks completely different. You would see that immediately.

“The FIA can ask for pictures of which car is in the wind tunnel right now. And they can check which model has been tested.

“No team can afford to mess with the rule keepers. No team can do that because far too many people are involved.

“When a model goes into the wind tunnel, the model makers are the first ones involved, followed by the guys who operate the wind tunnel.

“That’s at least 10 people who would know about it. Nobody will accept such a risk.”

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