F1 set for small budget cap cut, possible token system for aero development

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Formula 1 is likely to approve a small cut to the 2021 budget cap while a token system could be introduced to limit aerodynamic development.

The ideas are the latest in a number of cost-cutting measures F1 is having to implement as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with Liberty Media, teams and the FIA holding another video call on Monday.

Prior to that, the new technical regulations originally planned for 2021 had been delayed by a year, though a bid by Red Bull to postpone them further until 2023 reportedly failed during the meeting.

Also, a freeze on chassis, gearbox and suspension development for this year's cars, which will be used again next season, has also been agreed, with engines also now being considered.

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The most symbolic outcome from the Monday call though was the informal approval of a small cut to the new budget cap from the initial $175m figure to $150m.

Autosport claims that number is still much higher than the $100m McLaren was pushing for, however, it was met with resistance from the top three teams.

Instead, their compromise would see those teams who supply parts get a higher cap based on the cost of production, while their partners would see an equivalent cut.

The argument being if all teams had the same cap, those who buy in parts would have additional funds for other areas, notably the 2022 cars which will now be created under the budget limit rules.

Another idea being considered is a reintroduction of the token system, which was previously used for power units, to limit aerodynamic development.

This is a compromise for disagreement on which areas should be frozen under the crisis measures, with teams wanting to focus on different parts.

It works by designating the teams a set number of tokens with each element they wish to develop worth a certain amount.

For example, if each team has 50 tokens, a new front wing would cost them 10 tokens to introduce.

R&D is proving the stickiest point between the teams, however, and will be discussed further in coming meetings.