Formula 1 teams agree to delay finalising new rules until October

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
F1 drivers
Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari would see a big budget drop under the new rules

Formula 1 teams and bosses have agreed to delay the finalisation of new rules for 2021 until the end of October.

There was a statutory deadline of this month for the changes to be settled but the unanimous agreement required for a delay was reached on Thursday.

To achieve it, teams had to sign a letter guaranteeing that provisions for a budget cap and other financial rules could not undergo any further changes.

Five smaller teams had refused to agree to the delay without this promise.

This means that in 2021 teams will have to operate on a maximum budget of $175m, with exclusions for driver costs, the salaries of the three top executives, and marketing and race weekend travel costs.

For the top three teams Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull, this is a significant drop from the $300-400m they currently spend.

An FIA statement said: "While the FIA Formula 1 World Championship's key stakeholders feel the core objectives outlined for the future set of regulations have been defined, in the interests of the sport it was agreed that the best outcome will be achieved by using the extra time for further refinement and additional consultation."

The need for the delay arose from the fact that the technical and sporting regulations were a long way from being finalised.

F1 and the FIA first suggested a delay until October in March, and again in April.

But it has taken until a meeting of all parties on Thursday to reach an agreement.

This followed objections from Renault, McLaren, Alfa Romeo, Racing Point and Williams, who were concerned that if the financial regulations were not agreed the big teams would attempt to water them down further.

The original plan for a budget cap was a figure of $150m, but more than a year's worth of talks have led to it being revised upwards by $25m.

The five smaller teams agreed on the revised figure on the condition that the cap would come in immediately and a three-year glide path down to the final figure was removed.

Along with the 10 teams, FIA and F1, drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Hulkenberg and the Grand Prix Drivers' Association chairman Alexander Wurz were at the meeting, along with tyre supplier Pirelli.