Ahead of today’s crucial vote on Formula 1’s 2021 rules, CEO Chase Carey is confident the sport’s future regulation platform will finally be set in stone.
It’s crunch time for Formula 1, with the FIA’s Motor Sport Council voting today to accept or dismiss Grand Prix racing’s revised set of technical, sporting and financial rules.
Several teams, including Mercedes and Red Bull, recently pushed for a one-year delay of the rules, arguing that several areas of the regulations required more development.
But Carey isn’t expecting any last-minute drama to unfold ahead of the WMSC’s gathering and vote
“I never want to guess a vote, we feel good about the vote,” Carey said on Wednesday during a Formula One Group investor meeting webcast.
“We’ve gone through a long process and engaged with the teams. We took the World Motor Sport Council through what’s being voted on earlier this month.
“I guess I am hopeful and expecting the vote to be approved, but at the end of the day, you don’t control votes.
“No matter how much we feel we’re in a good place, we’ve had agreement with the teams for a long time on the goals we are trying to achieve here. When you’ve got 10 teams, every team has its own twist and turn on specifics.
“But I think it’s a positive step. It isn’t like we have a bunch of things backed up that are awaiting this, but in terms of momentum going forward and looking to the future, it’s an important and positive step.”
While F1’s technical, sporting and financial 2021 provisions shall be settled by Thursday’s vote, Carey insisted that a revision of the sport’s governance and profit-sharing rules – which would equate to a new Concorde Agreement for the teams – will be decided at a later date.
“Realistically what we put out is the structure of the business starting in 2021,” Carey explained.
“Our goal would be to get things signed off as soon as possible with the teams, just to remove the uncertainty around it.
“Essentially come 2021 we can say this is the way the sport is governed, and this is the way the sport operates,” Carey said;
“We obviously have the capability to create deadlines inside that. But the regulations had an approval process that they have to go through.
“These are more bilateral agreements that you can obviously create deadlines to, but the reality ends up being they are agreements about how the sport will be run and operated for the 2021 season.
With regard to governance, Carey also hinted at a simplified structure guiding F1 in the future.
“I don’t want to get into specifics of what we’re proposed to the teams but I think the primary goal is to simplify the governing structure,” Carey said.
“I think today we feel we have a very cumbersome governing structure – there’s two layers of approval, very complicated votes, a lot of different parties that get involved.
“If there was one goal overriding in this — it’s a complicated sport with complicated issues already.
“It’s to simplify the decision-making structure so that we can move forward and not have the type of dynamics we’ve had to some degree in the past.”
As F1 ushers in a new era in 2021, teams will need to comply with the sport’s $175 million budget cap constraints.
Carey dismissed concerns that the top teams may be tempted to overspend in 2020, in order to mitigate the effects of the budget cap that will be introduced a year later.
“There’s been noise around it, but realistically these teams are rebuilding the car every year no matter what,” said the F1 boss.
“This is a transition, and we feel it’s important to move forward with the transition.
“Some of the arguments that were put were arguments to try to defer the implementation as opposed to issues about what are the consequences of the transition.
“What we’re really doing is transitioning to a long-term structure that’s healthier for the business, healthier for the sport on the track, healthier for the teams in it.
“The transition through to that next year, they’re going to do what they do every year when they go in and rebuild the car.”