Formula One teams are set to discuss a delay to the radical overhaul of F1’s rules slated for 2021 due to the disruption caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
F1 has already had to react to the coronavirus pandemic in drastic fashion — it has delayed the start of its season indefinitely and has brought forward a mandatory shutdown of all team facilities usually reserved for the summer break. That means teams must shut their factories for three consecutive weeks at some point in the remainder of March or April.
F1 and coronavirus: What’s happening to the 2020 calendar?
With F1 on hold indefinitely in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Nate Saunders, Alexis Nunes and Laurence Edmondson discuss the implications on the 2020 calendar.
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The uncertainty extends beyond this season too. Next year was supposed to be the launch of F1’s radical new cars, which the championship hopes allow for closer racing and more overtaking.
A conference call has been scheduled for Thursday between the teams, F1 bosses and FIA president Jean Todt. The question of whether to postpone 2021’s rule changes is a key item on the agenda.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto said it is not the time for teams to act with selfish intentions.
“We will have a conference call with all the other teams, F1 and FIA to discuss the situation and the impact it has not only on this season but also on the next one,” Binotto told F1.com. “We must carefully evaluate every aspect and see if it is not really the case to think about possibly postponing the introduction of the new 2021 technical rules.
“In any case, Ferrari is ready to take responsibility for a choice that must be made in the ultimate interest of this sport, it is certainly not the time for selfishness and tactics.”
It is understood the details of a revised 2020 calendar will also be up for discussion. With the first four races of the season – Australia, Bahrain, Vietnam and China – postponed, and the Dutch and Spanish GPs unlikely to go ahead as planned at the start of May, the start of the season is uncertain.