Formula 1 set for critical Paris meeting on Wednesday

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It's crunch time for Formula 1's 2021 regulations, with a meeting scheduled in Paris on Wednesday set to make or break the sport's future potential rulebook.

Formula 1's chiefs, the FIA, the teams and representatives of the GPDA will convene at the governing body's headquarters for a final sit-down destined to finalize the 2021 technical, financial and sporting regs.

Reports in Suzuka last weekend suggested that F1's big three - Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull - were a country mile away from backing the sport's latest technical blueprint, concocted and fine-tuned during recent months by Ross Brawn and his team of experts.

However, the situation was considered by many to be fluid as Liberty Media and the FIA painstakingly attempt to define or tweak the best compromise for the future.

"Some of the regulations actually just came through on my email this morning," said McLaren boss Zak Brown last Friday in Japan.

"We'll have the balance of what the future of F1 is going to look like in our hands next week, and then it should be finalised by the end of October.

"I think F1 does need some radical change. The amount of money we are spending is unnecessary relative to putting on a great show for the fans, which is what motor racing should first and foremost be about.

"I think it does need some drastic change and I'm confident that's going to come in 2021."

At Suzuka, Ferrari's Mattia Binotto insisted that many points of discussion remained open, a view shared by Racing point's Otmar Szafnauer.

"There are still a lot of balls in the air," said Szafnauer, quoted by

"I think we’ll know a lot more after the 16th when we all meet in Paris. I think there are still serious things up for grabs.

"I think everyone should put their opinions out and come to a conclusion that people are happy with, if we can.

"I think after the 31st you can still make changes, but the objective is to have predominantly what it’s going to look like tied together by then.

"The World Motor Sport Council has to vote on something on the 31st."


Speaking of votes, teams are expected to cast a ballot on F1's proposition to experiment with three qualifying races next season, with unanimity required among the teams for the proposal to pass.

That puts the concept in jeopardy as several outfits - including Mercedes apparently - have expressed their opposition to the idea of a sprint race taking place on Saturday to determine Sunday's grid.

However, Haas team principal Guenther Steiner - who isn't opposed to the idea - wouldn't rule out a potential change of stance from the group of dissenters.

"You know, there was more than once that somebody didn't want something, and then still it happened," said Steiner.

"So I wouldn't get ahead of myself and say it is not going to happen.

"There are people which have got opinions, concerns about it. But the decision is on Wednesday, so let’s see what happens on Wednesday."

In conclusion, from various sources it appears unlikely that a consensus or a full set of regulations will emerge from tomorrow's crucial talks.

It's more likely that a very watered-down version of F1's technical regulations will be presented at the end of October, or perhaps even a status quo, at the behest of the top teams.

The future is now Formula 1's to win to lose.

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