The process has been complicated by the looming official deadline for the publication of the 2021 technical regulations at the end of June.
The governing body has in essence been prioritising the major items, and has thus far issued four invitations to tender. The first, for a common gearbox cassette for the 2021-2024 seasons, closed in March.
The submission deadline for the subsequent three invitations for wheel rims, brake friction material and the brake system (brake-by-wire, callipers and master cylinder) is May 22, with a result promised by June 14. Others will now be rolled out.
“The gearbox was the first one to be launched, it was launched in February,” said FIA head of single-seater technical matters Nikolas Tombazis. “We got the bids in and we’re now into the phase of making a report to the World Motor Sport Council.
“The other three the deadline is [coming up] and the bids haven’t come through yet, so we’ll see what happens.
“There will be a few more launched over the next few weeks and months on smaller components. We have been discussing it a lot with the teams over the last few months, and we will be presenting a lot of stuff to the teams in June, so it’s quite soon.
“Teams will know well ahead of 2021 what it is they need to make, what it is they need to buy. So they will be able to make their plans I feel quite accurately, with full information.”
Although time is tight given the current June rules deadline Tombazis is confident that the next batch of tenders can be addressed on time, and says that any issued after June will not be for major components.
“The ones that we’re going to launch in the coming week are items which we’re going to have finalised by the end of June, and they are the sort of things which teams will definitely have enough time to react to, whatever it is.
“Then the tenders that will be launched a bit further down the line are maybe standard sensors in certain cases, and stuff like that, which really are not that major.
“I have to stress that sometimes a standard supply of certain things may have an added potential benefit, which may be policing.
“There are already some standard sensors on the car for policing for example fuel flow, so sometimes we select standard supply if it’s a performance critical sensor which we need to monitor for legality. That can be an added reason, apart from costs.”
Tombazis says the 2021 rules will allow for cases where a tender is launched but ultimately the FIA decides not to award a contract.
“In the rules there will be provision for certain things to be standard supply, there will also be exact provisions for what happens if that standard supply does not succeed, what happens then for these pieces, how do we achieve cost reduction if the standard supply fails.
“That could happen either because nobody wins the tender, or to could happen because somebody supplies something and then for whatever reason pulls out after two years and we’re faced with that situation.”