It’s long been hoped that when Formula 1 ushers in its new dawn at the beginning of 2021, that it will increase competition, redress the top heavy redistribution of its vast wealth and allow all teams to compete on a level playing field off-track.
We’ve also been promised that the new formula will improve the on-track spectacle by mandating cars with greater parity that are able to race more closely with one-another.
However, as time progresses, there’s a growing desire among some teams to delay the implementation of the new regulations by 1 year from 2021 to 2022 in order that they can be properly discussed and agreed rather than push them through in an ‘immature’ state when loopholes and pitfalls could derail the whole thing, lest the sport find itself back in the hole it’s trying so desperately to get out of.
Understandably, Mercedes-Benz – the team who have profited most under the current regulations, and on the brink of their twelfth championship in six years on Sunday at the USGP (Lewis Hamilton needs just four points to take him over the line) – support a delay that would allow them an extra year of dominance.
And equally understandably, Ferrari – a team who have tried and failed to topple Mercedes from their place at the top of F1 for the entirety of the V6 turbo hybrid era – is keen to avoid any delay in implementing a set of regulations that could give them their opportunity to usurp their great rivals.
Another team, albeit at the opposite end of the grid, who are desperate for a Formula 1 reset is Williams.
For the Williams team, though, the main benefit of a new Formula 1 isn’t necessarily about on-track performance.
Of more concern to Williams might be that their comparatively meagre budget and staunch independence won’t hamstring them quite as badly as it does under the current setup.
It should mean that no team finds itself with a ‘cheat code’ like Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull currently do, being propped up by gargantuan multinational brands that can afford to splurge whatever’s necessary to win Grand Prix, and for whom a $350million Formula 1 season is a drop in the ocean.
For Williams (and a number of other teams/potential teams) it could be the means to survival rather than being the fast-track to winning championships.
All three new teams to Formula 1 – Marussia, Caterham and HRT all went to the wall in short order the last time there was the promise of a budget cap in 2010 that didn’t ever materialise, and a few more independent, financially stable teams in the midfield/towards the back of the grid would breed competition and racing and give the dozens of talented Grand Prix drivers that are currently missing out a shot at #F1.
And at the sharp end, wouldn’t it be nice going into a race weekend genuinely not knowing who we’re going to see on the podium?
Bring on 2021 I say!