F1 2020 shutdown could be extended by several weeks
The prospect of no Formula 1 racing for the next few months continues, with the possibility of the shutdown period in the sport extending by several weeks. While the 2020 Canadian Grand Prix is meant to be the season-opening race as of now, given the extent and severity of the current Coronavirus pandemic the world is facing, that could very likely change.
Formula 1 teams have currently agreed to hold their summer break in March and April, instead of August, with the intent being that they will eventually use the original summer break days to host races. This, of course, is subject to whether or not the situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has eased up a little. As of now, the championship still plans to host between 15 and 18 races for the 2020 season, with the racing action potentially carrying on into January 2021.
However, it has now emerged that the shutdown might continue even longer than planned. Red Bull Racing Team Principal, Christian Horner, told the BBC in an exclusive interview that the teams would review the situation soon, and in his opinion, the shutdown - where all activity is paused across the board for all teams - could potentially carry on till the end of April, or the beginning of May.
"It's the only fair way of dealing with it," Horner said. "It's a competition at the end of the day. What's right and logical at the moment is everybody abide by the same rules and the shutdown, incorporate FIA conditions to it, until the teams are in a position to go back to work."
Meanwhile, F1 teams are also considering the possibility of delaying their 2021 rules, now meant to begin in 2022, by a further one year. The teams are currently slated to continue their 2020 chassis designs into the 2021 season, with only aero developments taking place next year.
Speaking to the BBC exclusively, Horner said that the teams have agreed to delay the introduction of the technical rules to 2023. "We're also talking about pushing back a further year the new regulations, because in my mind it would be totally irresponsible to have the burden of development costs in 2021," Horner said.
"There seems to be reasonable agreement but it needs ratifying by the FIA to push back those development costs into 2022 for introduction in the '23 season," he continued.
There is also talk of lowering the budget cap of USD 150 million that is set to be introduced in 2021.