FIA abandons plans for standard 2021 gearbox supplier

Formula 1’s governing body, the FIA, has abandoned proposals to introduce a standard gearbox supplier for the 2021 season.

Earlier this year it was revealed that the gearbox cassette was set to be the latest component to be standardised, as part of a push to reduce development costs for teams.

But on Friday it was revealed that the FIA’s Technical Department has deemed that as there is “little performance differentiation” at present, the move has been canned.

FIA statement in full:

“Following detailed analysis by the FIA Technical Department of submissions to a tender process launched on 18 February 2019 for the single supply of the gearbox cassette in the FIA Formula One World Championship from 2021, the World Motor Sport Council has accepted by majority the recommendation not to appoint a single supplier for this component.

“The Council's decision was based on consideration of both technical and financial information made available by teams and suppliers. The technical data provided revealed that gearbox technology in Formula 1 has largely converged and that, as a result, there is little performance differentiation at present. It was also noted that, due to the complexity of the components, gearboxes remain a sensitive matter in terms of reliability, and this was factored into the evaluations of the FIA Technical Department.

“Regarding the financial implications of the tender process, detailed financial data was requested from F1 competitors and a number of teams operating different business models supplied the FIA with relevant information. Analysis of this revealed that similar financial savings could be made by means other than the specification of a single supplier. These methods are being discussed with the Formula 1 teams and will be included in the regulatory package to be presented by the end of June.”