Renault predict ‘game of chicken’ in 2021 development

Date published: February 15 2020

Renault predict "game of chicken" as teams search for the window to focus on 2021.

Renault are interested to see “who blinks first” when it comes to abandoning their 2020 programme to focus on 2021.

Teams throughout the grid are fighting a war on two fronts so to speak this season – while their focus must be on getting the best out of 2020, they also have to prepare for next year when new financial, sporting and technical regulations will sweep into the sport.

And Renault executive director Marcin Budkowski admitted that it will prove a difficult balancing act with the teams set for a “game of chicken” when it comes to pulling the plug on this year and focusing on 2021.

“I think it is going to be a big dilemma,” he told Motorsport.com.

“I think it is going to be a big dilemma for everybody.

“We have a plan, I am sure everybody has, and that plan is to shorten development into the season. It is not less development it is just more concentrated development.

“It is easy to say this now because the season hasn’t started, but at the front it could be quite interesting if the top three are fighting for the championship and it’s going to be a close fight. It is going to be interesting seeing who pulls the plug first and jumps to 2021. Are Ferrari, for example, willing to switch earlier and take a risk that another team will win?

“To be honest it is the same throughout the field. If it is a close fight for fourth, it is going to be a game of chicken about who blinks first, and who transitions first. But I think it is important we don’t get distracted because 2021 is such a big challenge and the margin of progression on the new set of rules is big.”

In fact, Budkowski thinks that a team will end up way down the pecking order if they miss the window to switch their focus to 2021.

“There has been a lot of talk about ‘are these rules too restrictive?’, and yes, they are more restrictive than now and I think that is intentional to make sure that the championship is more competitive,” he said.

“At the start of a new set of regulations your development rate is massive and we are seeing this. We see a lot of opportunities to gain performance, so if you transition too late you are going to be in trouble for 2021.

“The reality is we will have to understand, by doing more 2021 development, how much potential there is and where we sit in 2020. I think every team will assess this and make their own choices. It can be interesting to watch.”

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