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How F1 teams have spent the development tokens

How F1 teams have spent the development tokens

F1 News

How F1 teams have spent the development tokens

How F1 teams have spent the development tokens

With Formula 1 pre-season testing out of the way ahead of the first race of the campaign, we have now seen every single 2021 competitor in track-specification.

In the launch imagery shared by teams, certain elements of some cars had been obscured from view to keep rivals guessing, but the covers fell away in testing with some secrets in full view for all to see.

All teams have now indicated where the development tokens have been spent and GPFans Global has collated this information.

What are development tokens?

Two tokens were given to each team to restrict the freedom of development in the final season of the current aerodynamic regulations. These tokens were awarded after teams agreed to cost-cutting measures which included pushing back the proposed 2021 regulation changes by a year, a move that would also see teams run largely unchanged cars for a second season.

Some upgrades will cost just a single token, whilst more complex developments such as work to the rear suspension will cost both of a team's allocation.

Every development token used by a team gave it access to develop a targeted area of last season's car ahead of the new campaign.


The world championship-winning team kept its cards extremely close to its chest, declining to reveal where the tokens had been spent on the W12.

Technical director James Allison confirmed the team had indeed used the tokens, but that all would "become clear in good time".

Red Bull

Red Bull also declined to divulge information on where its tokens had been spent.

However, after struggling for rear-end stability in the past two seasons and the new aerodynamic regulations taking downforce away from this area of the car, it is likely any upgrade would be focused around the rear of the car as a counterbalance.


McLaren had its hands tied with its development tokens after deciding to switch power unit provider from Renault to Mercedes.

The changes required to fit the new power unit required both tokens to be spent meaning no other changes could be made under the governance of Article 22.8.6 of the technical regulations.

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