Engine factories also closed – further F1 savings measures

Engine factories also closed - further F1 savings measures

© Mercedes

Saving is the order of the day in Formula 1. At all levels. Since races can be thought of at the earliest in mid-June, the premier class makes a virtue of necessity. The 2020 chassis was homologated by the end of 2021. This saves the teams almost two million euros. Wind tunnel tests for the 2022 car may not be resumed before February 2021. This eliminates expensive parallel developments.

In consultation with the teams, the FIA ​​has also rewritten the sports law in order to extend the summer break by one week and move it to March or April. Ferrari and Haas were the first to close their factory gates. Work has stopped there since 19 March. Since March 30th all teams are officially in the summer break. Renault and Alpha Tauri were the last to start the mandatory break. It lasts until April 20.

Discussion of freezing engine development

But that is not how it remains. Formula 1 circles are continuing to discuss savings measures. The international association and the four engine manufacturers agreed last week to also include the engine departments in the summer break. There has never been a restriction for drive development. They were allowed to continue working during the original summer break in August.

This is the first time that the test stand has come to a standstill. Ferrari, Honda, Mercedes and Renault may individually close their engine divisions. Ferrari apparently did this just a few days after the racing factory. It makes sense, because in Italy public life is already standing still at the moment.

Renault’s engine group in Viry-Chatillon has not been working since March 20. Politics forced the break there too. Mercedes has shut down Brackley (team) and Brixworth (engine) since March 28. Only Honda has yet to report the closure of its various engine departments in Sakura, Milton Keynes and Brixworth (near Ilmor) to the FIA.

For the engine engineers, the situation has eased due to the expected shortening of the calendar. Combustion engine, turbocharger, MGU-H, MGU-K, battery and power electronics have to travel fewer kilometers this year. The permitted three units for engine, turbo and the electrical machines and the two kits for battery and control units remain independent of the number of races.

Honda partner Mario Illien explains: “Nevertheless, no one will now design the next stage of development for a shorter runtime. Over the next year, more than 20 races will be contested. What is being developed today must also hold up next year.” You have to know: The FIA ​​is currently discussing with the engine manufacturers to freeze the development of the engines for 2021 on the last 2020 specification.


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