FIA President Jean Todt held important meetings in the past days including a video conference with the Formula 1 teams and another virtual discussion with the WRC Promoter.
After the coronavirus outbreak caused the cancellation of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, Formula 1 CEO and Chairman, Chase Carey, the FIA President Jean Todt and the F1 teams have held several meetings to discuss various topics. It included the fate of the 2020 championship and its calendar, cost-cutting measures and the much-debated Concorde Agreement.
The parties have managed to reach an agreement over the delay of the introduction of the technical regulation overhaul and the development freeze on the chassis with the current ones set to be used in 2021. However, the most controversial topic presented by the budget cap is yet to be finalized. It has already been agreed that it will be introduced despite the postponement of the introduction of the thorough technical changes, but it is yet to define how radical the limit will be.
The planned figure was $175m for 2021, but it has been reported for several weeks that team principals came to an agreement to lower the bar to $150m. However, some teams are keen to push for an even lower figure with McLaren suggesting a limit of $100m. While Red Bull and Ferrari are against such a drastic move, the midfield teams would welcome the introduction of a radically low cost limit.
It is understood that even Ferrari and Red Bull would agree to a cap of $145 for 2021 that would be $30m lower than originally planned for next year. The limit then could be lowered to $130m in 2022.
Although no decision has been made regarding the cost cap, it is believed that the debate was constructive. “Important meeting by video conference today with Chase Carey, teams to build together a New Deal for the future of our sport,” communicated the President via his twitter channel.
WRC season also in doubt
As the FIA President, Todt has to oversee many other series sanctioned by the international governing body. Continuing to disrupt the international motorsport scene, the coronavirus outbreak has had an impact on the World Rally Championship as well, forcing the series into a move to delay the start of the 2020 season.
Amid great expectations and buzz around the return of the Safari Rally on the WRC calendar, the championship was set to embark on a thrilling season. However, the event in Kenya has been postponed due to the ongoing travel restriction caused by the coronavirus crisis. The Daily News reported that Jean Todt joined a conference call with Kenyan sports cabinet secretary Amina Mohamed and the boss of the Safari Rally Promoter Phineas Kimathi. The topic of the meeting was the postponement of the rally, albeit no alternative date has been confirmed regarding the event.
With the delay of the Safari Rally, the event in Finland is the next venue on the calendar that is scheduled for August 6-9.