For a few years now, Formula One has had an illness. A virus- called dirty air -that F1 has been trying to shake since the 2017 regulation changes, when the affects became more and more clear as cars grew more and more aggressive, widening their stances, and further complicating their aerodynamics.
In 2019, the FIA took their first major steps to counter this virus, simplifying front wings, brake ducts, and enlarging the rear wing, to increase the power of DRS. However, F1's governing body always planned to double down, by heavily simplifying aerodynamics in the 2021 regulations which are to be released Thursday of the US Grand Prix- or, to put it simply, tomorrow.
The regulations will be a total overhaul of the car's design, as the rule changes will be drastically changing F1, clamping down on aerodynamics, instituting a budget cap, and lessening the effects of dirty air by up to 90%, to improve racing, and bring the teams closer together.
The trouble is, none of that will happen.
It was but week ago that Christian Horner, head of Red Bull Racing, called the technical regulations "immature", stating that they weren't ready, and even suggesting they should be delayed until 2022, until smoothed out further.
A week later, the odds are slim that this has been resolved, as there's an ongoing political fight behind closed doors, with team's vetoing decisions made by the FIA, causing a stalemate.
To solve this, compromises must be made where they shouldn't be, making the final draft of the rulebook an inevitable half-assed attempt to fix F1's biggest problems– problems that teams have no real interest in solving, barring the budget cap, which lower teams have their heart set on implementing.
However, even that $170 million dollar allowance will fail to achieve the desired result, with the timing of its introduction allowing larger teams to prepare for 2021 with as big of a budget as they'd like, and loopholes such as commercial development benefitting factory teams, who can play off spending as if it's money contributing to the production of road cars, despite its actual intention: to gain a competitive edge.
The intent and focus of the regulations-to-be are to decrease the size of the vast chasm between the top teams and the back-markers, as well as allow racing with a healthier aerodynamic package that minimizes the effect of dirty air. However, with technical regulations that aren't ready, and an easily-bypassed budget cap system, will these goals be achieved at all?
Formula One needed a perfect rulebook in 2021, and what is a perfect rulebook if not one without compromise? In order to improve F1, we need an explicit set of rules, all designed to contribute to a common cause: racing. In 2021, however, it seems that the regulations will have rules designed to contribute to a variety of causes. Several of which are related to pleasing the top three teams.
If F1 really wants to create a better future for itself, it must focus on that one goal. If we lose both scarlet-red cars on the grid, so be it.