Alfa Romeo technical director Jan Monchaux believes the introduction of a budget cap to Formula 1 this season will eliminate a year-long simultaneous development of two cars.
The $145million cap has been introduced from this season, with a $5m reduction in the sum for next year and a further $5m in 2023.
Whereas teams would simultaneously develop a car for new regulations alongside the existing machinery before the cap, they now face a decision as to where to cut development of this year's car in order to switch resources to 2022 when wide-sweeping new regulations are introduced.
“What can we expect for the season? Probably a less intense race of updates compared to other years," suggested Monchaux.
"I would think that a lot of teams are thinking a little bit about dampening the amount of effort and the number of upgrades they will bring during the season to concentrate on the ’22 car.
“As we are now under a budget cap restriction, we have just that much we can burn. If you have 100 per cent and you spend 80 per cent on ’21, you will only have 20 per cent for ’22 which no team will do.
“I think there will be a shift on the effort on the actual [‘21] car versus the other car where most of the team will certainly drop the effort earlier than usual."
Alfa Romeo has combated the predicament, like many teams, with consistent upgrades up until late in the 2020 season.
Monchaux has insisted the team must focus on next year with the chance of advancing up the grid alongside the new regulations.
“Last year we were bringing updates until Istanbul or Portimao, so towards the end of the season," revealed Monchaux.
"I would be very surprised if we are still doing that this season simply because what we are giving to this year’s car is lost for next year.
“Next year’s car is an important milestone for us as a team because it will be an opportunity also to close the gap to the rest of the field.”
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