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Formula 1 rules: Six teams oppose 2021 F1 regulations proposal


Some teams are unhappy about restrictions on designs of F1 cars

The majority of teams oppose the new technical regulations for 2021 being proposed by Formula 1, BBC Sport can reveal.

Six of the 10 teams indicated in a questionnaire organised by Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull that they do not agree with the plans as they stand.

Only Alfa Romeo, McLaren, Renault and Williams preferred the proposed new rules to the existing ones.

And two of those four have subsequently proposed changes to the 2021 rules.

The parties will meet on 16 October to discuss the issue further.

There is a deadline of 31 October for the 2021 technical rules to be decided and so far there has been no indication from the FIA, motorsport’s world governing body, or F1 that they will back down.

If a compromise cannot be reached, Ferrari have the right to veto the 2021 rules package, but it is understood the Italian team would prefer for matters not to get to that stage.

What prompted the questionnaire?

Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull sent the questionnaire around following a meeting at the Singapore Grand Prix last month at which the teams were shown the latest draft of the 2021 rules.

According to senior figures, this introduced more severe restrictions on design freedom and led to a number of teams expressing concerns.

At the meeting, FIA president Jean Todt said he did not want to impose a set of rules without agreement. The Frenchman asked for teams to indicate their positions on the various issues and suggestions for alternatives if there were any.

The questionnaire asked about 10 questions, including whether teams preferred to press ahead with the proposed 2021 rules or stick with the existing regulations. In the case of the new rules, it also asked whether there should be more design freedom, and what teams felt about standardisation of parts.

Only Alfa Romeo, McLaren and Renault immediately indicated they would choose the current 2021 proposal, while Williams did so a number of days later.

The teams’ responses were communicated to the FIA World Council, the sport’s legislative body, by Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto on 4 October.

Since then, there has been a meeting of the technical working group of the FIA and teams’ leading engineers, at which Alfa Romeo and McLaren were among those to propose changes to the 2021 rules as they stand.

Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix is live on BBC Radio 5 Live and the BBC Sport website at 06:10 BST

What are the proposed 2021 rules?

F1, under the leadership of former Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn, has been working for more than two years on a new set of technical regulations, with the aim of closing up the field and creating better racing by making it easier to overtake.

A budget cap has already been agreed, and has the support of the top teams, but discussions over the planned changes to the cars are ongoing.

F1 wants to change the way cars produce aerodynamic downforce