Engine changes may not happen until 2023 - F1 team bosses

Leading Formula 1 figures believes the proposed 2021 engine regulations may be postponed until 2023, following on from recent comments made by Director of Motorsports Ross Brawn.

In his build-up to the Belgian Grand Prix Brawn suggested that the proposed revised engine regulations set for 2021 could be delayed.

"We want to try and create a set of technical regulations on the engine which are appealing to new manufacturers coming in as well as consolidate our existing engine suppliers” said Brawn.

“I think we just need to think of our timing on that, whether 2021 is the right time to do that, or whether it's better to keep that powder dry until we can be certain that major regulation change will bring fresh blood into the sport."

Formula 1 currently has Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda as engine suppliers, while manufacturers not participating in the sport have remained lukewarm over their interest.

In late 2017 a proposal to introduce simpler and noisier engines – with the MGU-H removed – was tabled, but no concrete regulations were ever implemented.

The current agreement binding teams to the sport expires in 2020, while revised Sporting Regulations – including a budget cap – new Technical Regulations and amended tyres are also set to be introduced.

Renault’s Cyril Abiteboul and Red Bull’s Christian Horner believe that the focus on these elements mean any new engine regulations could be pushed back until at least 2023.

“I would agree that I think what Formula 1 is trying to do for 2021 is extremely ambitious,” said Abiteboul.

“It may be required, but it’s extremely ambitious, and what I mean by that is basically it will be the first time in F1 history I believe that we would at the same time change chassis regulations, engine regulations, Concorde Agreement, governance structure, new budget cap. That’s a lot. That’s a lot.

“There might be the risk of trying to embrace too much and not produce and deliver anything.

“Our view would be to try and be a bit more pragmatic and focus on what is the main emergency for Formula 1, and I’m thinking really of the show, of the disparity between the teams, the disparity in the revenue. We think that this is really the main priority.

“I think some clarity on budget cap or not, because the costs are certainly too high. We don’t think that the engine regulations are at that level of priority.”

Added Horner: “I think at the moment our situation is different to where it was two or three months ago. Stability is important.

“There's no new manufacturers coming in, these regulations are impossible for a new manufacturer, should they come in.

“I think that rather than making a half-hearted change and getting it half right, I think it’s better to take a little bit more time to really consider what is the right engine for Formula 1 moving forward.

“If that needs a bit more time, or a couple more years to achieve that, then that’s the sensible approach.

“I think at the moment now I can’t see anything changing before the 2023 season, to be honest with you.”