Alfa Romeo will prioritise taking full advantage of the opportunity offered by new regulations for 2022 F1 season, the team’s technical director said as they launched an updated car for the coming championship.
A drastic overhaul of F1’s technical regulations was planned for this season but delayed until 2022 due to the pandemic. Monchaux said the team is determined to take advantage of the opportunity those regulations present next year, while going into the new season with an evolution of their previous car.
“Our focus is on 2022, which is going to be a complete revolution,” said Monchaux. “We will have a completely different car and this represents a great opportunity to make a leap forward, closer to the front of the grid.
“It is no secret that we are going to give development preference to the 2022 car during this year. The less we put on the 2021 car, the more we can put on the 2022 car, especially with the budget cap in place.”
This year, for the first time, teams must adhere to a cap on their budgets. However Monchaux believes its effects will not become apparent until next year when teams compete with cars which have been designed under the new restrictions.
“I don’t think any effect of the budget cap on the teams’ competitiveness will be evident in 2021,” he said. “The budget cap is only being introduced for this season, when the 2021 cars were already completed. There will be in-season development, of course, but with the regulations remaining stable from last year I don’t expect any overhaul beyond some minor changes in the pecking order.
“We will start to see some more impact from 2022, when all the teams will have the same budget ceiling to develop the car. I think this will result in the gaps in performance being reduced, although the full effect of the new regulations will take a few years to become apparent. Large teams not only have the money and the people to give them an edge, but also a technological advantage they benefit from, and the effect of this will take a few years to fade.
“Also, we should not forget that the budget cap doesn’t cover the power unit, the heart of the car, which will still be a large differentiator and therefore an advantage for the best in the class. Overall, though, I am confident that within two or three years gaps will be reduced.”
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