AlphaTauri team boss Franz Tost has said the current Coronavirus pandemic is saving Formula 1 teams “a lot of money”, which will also benefit the 2021 season.
Whilst the pandemic has forced the cancellation of the start of the season and will likely see a reduced calendar of between 15-18 races depending on when racing can return – the calendar was originally 21 races – the reduced income has been somewhat offset by the delay to the 2021 regulations, which won’t now take effect until 2022.
Tost says this will save teams vast sums of money as they no longer have to run joint development programmes this year.
“The good thing about the coronavirus story is that we don’t have to do double development this year,” he told Autosport.
This cost saving will carry over to 2021, as the joint development programmes will fall under a new cost cap, which unlike the 2021 rules, hasn’t been postponed.
“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,” he added.
“[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.”
Further cost savings have been achieved in an effort to help teams out during this difficult time. The decision to freeze certain areas of development of the current cars, which will also be used for 2021, means teams can instead put their focus into 2022, whilst only needing to run a reduced development team on the current cars.
“The chassis will be homologated. The mechanical parts, too, such as the suspension,” explained Tost.
“The only thing that can be improved is the aerodynamics. That means front wing, rear wing, bodywork, side pods, floor, diffuser and barge boards.”