With the ongoing uncertainty as to when the 2020 Formula One season will resume, the FIA has announced a freeze on the development of cars for the 2022 season.
Before the coronavirus pandemic affected the world at large, a radical change to technical regulations was due to level the Formula One playing field and provide much more competitive wheel-to-wheel racing for 2021.
But, with no clear picture of when the current season will begin and with the radical regulations already pushed back to 2022, the World Motor Sport Council announced on Tuesday a ban on aerodynamic development in a measure to reduce costs before the $175 million budget cap is put into action for 2021.
— FIA (@fia) March 31, 2020
In a possible blow to reigning champions Mercedes, the FIA have also ruled that the team’s innovative Dual Axis Steering (DAS) system that was utilised during pre-season testing in Barcelona would be banned in 2021 although this year’s regulations, including chassis design, would carry through.
Finally, in an attempt to fit in as many races as possible and find a way of completing the already curtailed 2020 season, the WMSC has given overriding power to F1 and the FIA to change the current calendar without approval from the competing teams.
An entirely new aerodynamic set-up is coming to F1 in 2021
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 31, 2019
The statement from the FIA, as posted on fia.com, reads:
FIA Formula One World Championship:
Changes for the 2020 Sporting Regulations have been approved in order to give flexibility to the FIA and Formula 1 to react to the crisis and organise a race calendar that best safeguards the commercial value of the Championship and contains costs as much as possible. This will be achieved by the following methods:
The addition of Article 1.3, in order to be able to change certain articles with 60% support amongst the teams, so as to increase flexibility during this difficult period. In any case a subsequent approval by the World Motor Sport Council will be required.
The permission for the FIA and Formula 1 to change the calendar without a vote (deletion of Article 5.5)
Changes to testing (Article 10.5)
Addition of Power Unit Manufacturers shutdown (Article 21.10 and 21.11)
Changes to permissible Power Unit elements if the number of races reduces (Article 23.3)
The banning of aerodynamic development for the 2022 Regulations during 2020 (starting on Saturday 28 March).
The World Council approved the previously-announced delay of the 2021 Technical Regulations to 2022 for cost-saving measures. Further measures will be introduced for 2021 following discussions with the teams. These will include the homologation of the Survival Cell (from 2020) and certain other components.
In addition, dual axis steering systems (DAS) will not be permitted in the 2021 regulations as defined in Article 10.4.2.
These technical changes have already received the required unanimous approval of the participating competitors, as they represent fundamental changes introduced after 18 months prior to the start of the year of the relevant Championship.
— ROKiT WILLIAMS RACING (@WilliamsRacing) October 31, 2019