Otmar Szafnauer believes that if Formula 1 puts in a good on-track show in 2020, there needs to be discussions to whether the aerodynamic changes planned for 2022 need to happen. The CEO and Team Principal of the BWT Racing Point F1 Team says questions will need to be raised should the racing with the current regulations be entertaining, especially with the need to save money more evident than ever in the current climate.
The coronavirus pandemic has already pushed back the introduction of the new regulations from 2021 to 2022, whilst the first ten races of the current campaign have either been postponed or cancelled outright, with the first race of the year now scheduled for Austria next month. Should the racing be exciting, Szafnauer believes Formula 1 bosses will need to consider either postponing the regulation changes for a further season or even scrap them altogether.
“If we show that we have very good racing with the cars we have now, it would be prudent to look at either delaying it [the new aero rules] by another year or looking at the whole concept again and saying what we have now isn’t that bad, it’s actually pretty good and if you don’t change the regulations, you end up saving money,” Szafnauer said. “In this day and age, we should be doing everything we can to try to spend less.”
New Aero Concept ‘Wanted’ for a Long Time
Racing Point raised eyebrows during pre-season testing by unveiling a car similar to the 2019 Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team’s championship winning W10, and Szafnauer says the team had been looking at changing their design philosophy for a while.
“We have been looking at that [new aero] concept for a long time, mainly because we are constrained with the gearbox that we buy from Mercedes,” added Szafnauer. “We would buy that casing from them and use a totally different aero concept, which meant we are always compromised.
“So for a long time, we wanted to move to the Mercedes-type aerodynamic concept – not having a high rake, a lower rear end – but we just never had the financial resources to do it. We always had to carry things over.
“We knew when we made the decision that it would only be for one year, but now it looks like we will have a year-and-a-half. Hopefully we can extend that even further. The 2021 car concept was mainly to have closer racing.”
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