McLaren says its switch from Renault to Mercedes engines will go ahead as planned next year despite Formula 1 teams being required to run the same cars for two years. 

F1 has agreed to delay the 2021 technical regulation overhaul by a year until 2022, meaning that teams will carry over the chassis they run this year into next season, as discussed during a conference call involving all teams on Thursday. 

Last year, McLaren announced that it would be returning to Mercedes power from 2021 but the decision to postpone the technical rules had left question marks over the move, though the Woking squad has since moved to clarify the situation. 

A McLaren spokesperson told Crash.net: "We will be using the Mercedes engine in 2021 as planned and we will accommodate it in the current base chassis."

Other key mechanical areas of the cars that will stay the same are still being debated between championship officials and teams and will be formally approved in due course. 

While aerodynamic development is expected to remain free across both seasons, other elements such as the gearbox are understood to be frozen in a bid to reduce costs for teams amid uncertainty due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.  

The COVID-19 outbreak has thrown the 2020 F1 season up in the air after the opening seven races were called off due to the global crisis. 

The first six races in Australia, Bahrain, China, Vietnam, the Netherlands and Spain have been postponed, while the Monaco Grand Prix has been cancelled altogether. 

F1 says it now hopes to begin the season “as soon as it is safe to do so after May”. 

 

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