The introduction of the new technical regulations has been postponed by one year, from 2021 to 2022. The engine deal between McLaren and Mercedes would coincide with this technical change, but that is no longer the case. McLaren will already ‘just’ take action with Mercedes power units in 2021.
Teams will ride with the current cars for a year longer. Also because it is uncertain whether the 2020 car will be used at all this year. The chassis and gearbox will remain intact until 2021, but the aerodynamics are likely to be fully developed. But because the current McLaren car is built entirely around the Renault engine, the question arises whether the switch to Mercedes power units should also be postponed by a year. After all, another engine supplier requires more far-reaching adjustments than agreed by teams.
According to the BBC, this issue was also discussed at last Thursday’s meeting. All team bosses were present – through a video connection – as well as Ross Brawn and Chase Carey. The British employer of Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz announces that the other teams agreed to the planned switch to Mercedes engines during that meeting. From 2021, McLaren will therefore ‘just’ work with the South German brand and will also be allowed to make the necessary adjustments to the car.
Behind the scenes, there are still conversations about which aspects of the car may be further developed and which are not. In order to keep the costs as low as possible in these uncertain times, at least some vital things like the gearbox are ‘frozen’ in terms of development. After all details have been worked out, the World Motor Sport Council will provide final approval.