May deadline for 2021 F1 engine regulations

A deadline of May has been set by F1 owners Liberty Media for the confirmation of the 2021 Formula 1 engine regulations according to Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene.

Liberty outlined its vision for the sport from 2021 onwards in a presentation to teams at the Bahrain Grand Prix with the current engine rules and commercial agreements due to expire at the end of 2020.

It is understood that initial plans for the sport’s engines were brought up in October last year, however, no agreement has been reached yet.

Speaking on Friday of the Chinese Grand Prix, Arrivabene shed light on the situation, explaining that all four manufacturers outlined its position to F1 bosses prior to the Bahrain meeting.

“They give us a deadline for the end of May, I think,” Arrivabene said.

“I hope that this deadline is going to be respected. It’s a bit early somehow but it’s far if you’re looking at the situation from another point of view, a technical point of view.

“Concerning the engine, we (fellow manufacturers), Mercedes, Renault and Honda sent a letter a month ago explaining in detail our position. Now, it’s quite clear.”

Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost added that Liberty are well aware of the urgency to get the new engine regulations across the line as the current agreement’s end date looms closer and closer.

“I think the power unit regulation has to be finalised soon, May, June, otherwise I don’t think it’s possible for new manufacturers to come into Formula One because time is running away,” Tost said.

“(20) 21 is tomorrow and I think that Liberty Media is aware of this and the rest we will see.”

Arrivabene was also questioned about the proposed introduction of a cost cap in F1, which was also part of Liberty’s Bahrain presentation.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has said that the rumoured cap of $150 million is “not achievable”, though the figure may not include all items of expenditure.

“We are reading the overall document,” said Arrivabene.

“We are discussing and we will see in the future if it’s achievable or not.”

Another factor Arrivabene brought up was that the 2021 proposal elements have to be considered as one rather than separate discussions around engines, chassis, and financials so that teams can determine their overall positions.

“All the elements are important because they are somehow linked together,” he added.

“Soon we will find an agreement if any, related to the various topics that are into the proposals, and then we can go.”

The Italian also hinted that Ferrari’s longstanding right of veto to rule changes could be on the cards for revision.

“We’ll let you know as soon as we go deeper into the conversation. You can see a smile on our face or not!”