Formula 1’s Strategy Group will discuss increasing the use of specification parts as a cost-cutting measure during its meeting today, RaceFans has learned.
At present car parts are designated either ‘listed’, which teams must produce themselves, or ‘non-listed’, which they can source from a rival team, as Haas does with Ferrari.
Under the proposal from 2021 a third category, specification parts, will be added. These must be made to a specific design but can be produced by a team in-house or sourced from another team or supplier.
Formula 1 technical director Pat Symonds has said the sport wanted to allow teams to continue developments of significant ‘performance differentiators’ such as power units, aerodynamics and vehicle dynamics, but reduce wasteful expenditure in “areas that fans don’t see”.
“In other areas we want to try and bring a little bit more prescription into it,” he explained in July. “[Fans] don’t care whether a wheel nut is made out of aluminium or titanium or steel. So let’s get rid of this game that is going on there.”
Selective use of prescription parts could also make collaboration between teams more difficult. For example, if gear seats are prescribed but gear box casings are listed parts, then it would be impossible for teams such as Haas and Force India to source complete rear ends from Ferrari and Mercedes respectively.
Today’s Strategy Group meeting in Geneva will also continue discussions around the 2021 power unit regulations. The formula is expected to remain largely unchanged, but with new sporting regulations aimed at curbing costs.
Formula 1 motor sport director Ross Brawn explained last month how this could work: “My feeling is that there’s still quite a lot we can do on the engine side in terms of sporting regulations,” he said in an interview for the Belgian Grand Prix race programme, “such as limits on dyno test time, number of upgrades during a season, consistency of specification to all customer teams, etc…”
As RaceFans reported earlier this month, the proposed budget cap is likely to be set at $200 million when it is introduced in 2021, falling to $150 million by 2023. However at least one team is expected to press for the cap to be linked to the number of races that are held.
Mercedes is believed to be pushing for a reduction to 15 rounds if the cap is set at $150 million, with the number of races teams will compete in increasing as the cap rises. There are 21 grands prix on this year’s schedule and on the 2019 F1 calendar.
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