Leading Formula 1 team technical bosses have backed the “pragmatic” decision to delay proposals to introduce standard brakes and braking systems for the 2021 season.

The FIA had considered standardised brakes for F1’s next major regulation overhaul in a bid to cut costs, but the tender was cancelled on the eve of the Russian Grand Prix after concerns were raised by some teams.

There were fears that standardisation would do little in the way of reducing costs, while increasing the likelihood of potential reliability issues amid constant improvements in car performance.

Speaking about the decision in Sochi, Mercedes technical director James Allison said: “I think it’s a pragmatic decision.

“Brakes are very long lead-time items, you have to decide where you are headed with them quite a long time before you use them and the picture is too open.

“The destination of the 2021 regulations is too open at the moment, to design, with confidence, a standard set of stuff that then the entire grid is saddled with for that year if we get it wrong.

“It is pragmatic to step back, see how things develop and then re-consider in the future, perhaps under less pressure when the regulations are not being fought on all fronts.”

Asked for an idea of the cost, safety and performance implications that standardised brakes would have, Red Bull chief engineer Paul Monaghan replied: “[It is] unclear, at this moment in time.

“The draft specification was being prepared. From what we saw, there were potential cost savings but equally there were some specification changes required to be able to run all the parts as we currently run them, and that was not, for me, concluded.

“There were quite significant changes in some areas so all said and done, I couldn’t tell you exactly what it was because we hadn’t finalised our work.”

Ferrari sporting director Laurent Mekies added: “I think it will be very difficult to put a number on it, for all the reasons that are linked to the lack of full definition of the 2021 regulations so it would be difficult to project how much will actually be saved.

“There will be a saving, for sure because we will stop doing some R&D work and so forth and so on.

“Nevertheless, we will discover them right now and I think you will only be able to put a figure on it, only after a year or two of operations when you know the regulations, when you know what the car looks like and you know what is actually your need, so it’s a bit early on for that.”

 

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