“Spectacular” 2017 F1 cars to be unveiled this month, but concerns aired on close racing
Renault 2016 F1 launch
Posted By: James Allen  |  08 Feb 2017   |  2:35 pm GMT  |  232 comments

The new 2017 F1 cars will look ‘spectacular’ according to one leading team boss, but the team technical chiefs have been discussing concerns that the drivers will find it hard to follow each other and to race, due to the increased aerodynamic effect of the new rules.

At a meeting of team technical bosses yesterday at the FIA in Geneva, concerns were aired about the fact that the front wings are even more important than before and that one car following another, losing airflow and therefore downforce on the front wing, will find it hard to stay close enough through corners to try an overtake at the next braking zone.

This is not new, these views have been aired before, but the fact that the discussion comes just weeks before half of the teams will roll out their new cars, shows that the concerns have not gone away, despite extensive simulation in the teams’ factories.

Mercedes Red Bull 2016

It has also become clear through the simulations that, although there is a greater emphasis on aerodynamics, a powerful engine is still very important to push the ‘draggy’ car through the air. It is for this reason that Red Bull boss Christian Horner has been saying that he still believes Mercedes will have the edge in 2017.

It also appears that Ferrari has not been successful in its quest to ban the advanced suspension systems that create a shift of ride height between corners and straights, to optimise front wing downforce in the corners. Ferrari is late to the party on that, compared to teams like Red Bull and Mercedes that have advanced systems. A technical directive from the FIA is expected to clarify this situation imminently. It is not a promising situation for Ferrari, that underwent much upheaval last summer with the departure of James Allison and his replacement as technical director by Mattia Binotto at the time when the really important work was being done on 2017 cars.

The Italian is highly regarded and is seen as an excellent co-ordinator, but he faced an uphill task to rebalance and refocus the technical forces around 2016 development and 2017 innovation.

Mattia Binotto

Meanwhile there is optimism that the cars will make a positive impact visually when they roll out later this month. Renault, Force India and Mercedes all pull the wraps off their cars between 21 and 23 February, with McLaren and Ferrari unveiling their own challengers a day later. Toro Rosso has announced it will reveal the STR12 on 26 February.

Mercedes’ motorsport boss Toto Wolff reckons the 2017 cars are going to look visually impressive as a result of the regulation changes, while former Williams chief technical officer Pat Symonds has welcomed the fact that the championship won’t face repeat of the ugly noses many cars have sported in recent years.

In 2012 and 2014, F1’s regulations forced some teams to create striking approaches to their nose designs and this caused a storm of criticism directed at the look of the cars. In 2012 this took the form of awkward steps midway up the nosecones, while two years later many cars featured unsightly protrusions hanging over the front wing as the teams tried to create as much downforce as possible from that area and still comply with rules implemented to lower noses overall to reduce the risk of drivers getting injured in side impacts.

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing -  Abu Dhabi Test - Day One - Abu Dhabi, UAE

“I am most excited to see how the new cars are going to go because we expect them to be much faster,” said Wolff. “They look spectacular, and it is going to be much more physical for the drivers.”

The last major overhaul of F1’s chassis rules in 2009 was also attacked for producing ugly cars, by Symonds believes the 2017 changes have avoided such a scenario.

Speaking to Motorsport.com, he said: “I think the cars look great. I’ve said before I was really worried that they’d look quite retro, but they don’t. They look quite nice.

“As with all these things, we could have tidied up a few areas and done things better to improve the aesthetics of the cars. But it’s not like the horrible [stepped-noses] things we had in 2012 or that sort of time.”

What do you make of the comments on the expected look of the 2017 cars? Do you think there will be a problem with close racing this year? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JA on F1 Facebook page for more discussion.

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Pretty annoying that the one things the fans hav really said they wanted to see from the new regs was more actual overtaking.

I hope we are not going to be disappointed by this. If F1 can’t get this right I’ll really have to reconsider whether I am going to continue to pay for Foxtel.


In my opinion form should follow function. So when Mr. Wolf describes how great the cars look , its concerning. First he failed to make his driver line up exciting, when Nico handed them an early Christmas present, so his initial comments regarding the rule changes are equally as puzzling.

As long as we have team bosses that think Liberty is a step in the right direction, and that the cars ” look good”, then we have taken the first steps to seriously damage the sport of F1.

All this reflects in the mindset of many of the drivers. It makes them complacent. So yes passing is a concern. You need both risk and talent in ample amounts if your in a car that demands it in order to race it. Otherwise many will just drive them around the track. Racers or drivers ? There is a big difference.


I am excited to see the new cars! I wonder why F1 has such a problem with close racing when Formula E and Indy cars don’t seem to have as much of a the problem. If they are so delicate from backwash maybe they should go back to the drwing board. Formula E and Indy cars all have similar front wings for their respective. I think Honda does the Indy car series and manage to have passing and tight competition. If spending a zillion dollars on a winglet to go a tenth quicker but you can’t overtake then why spend the money? To save costs I have long been a fan of SOME standard parts (I know the purists groan). How does custom $75,000 steering wheels, wire harness’s, brake-by-wire systems, mirrors, rims and brakes add to either the visual appeal or racing performance? Now I am not saying go to the auto-parts store but perhaps the teams could supply a prototype and have it voted on by the teams or the FIA could make the decision if it is too contentious. There are probably more stuff: nuts, bolts, and dare I say it – front wings etc. and still keep what makes F1 special. Less money spent on winglets and closer racing make more sense to me and will dramatically reduce costs. They need to stop RB and Merc using the ride height system which provides an unfair advantage and stop the “bending of the rules” BS. It is unsportsmanlike and should be punished severely as in loss of position and heavy fines. Get rid of quick degrading tyres, remove fuel restrictions and add refueling (more expense) to allow for full all out close racing which is what the fans want anyway. I think most of us are tired of one team dominating whether it is Merc, RB or Ferrari back in the day. I want to see close races and teams trading podiums. Why have 1000 hp engine when you have to conserve fuel, tyres AND passing may be worse? I will love the look of the cars but will it make a difference? If not go back to the drawing boards.


So reading between the lines then, more of the same for 2017?

Ferrari get a grip…. $100M every year for turning up and you still can’t be anywhere near the front


New cars, same old problem, only worse! This sounds like it might be a step backward if the trailing car loses that much cornering downforce. I mean this has been an issue for years and now it’s going to be even more problematic! Why race if everything is going to be decided in qualifying?


@ Robert NYC….the last three seasons have been exactly that, They’ve been decided as a result of qualifying….


The only reason for huge front downforce is to make best use of phenomenal brakes. Reduce the brake ability and you won’t need the huge downforce. You will create longer braking zones and with less dependant front aero you will allow closer following through corners. Overtaking will then be more organic than pressing a button for DRS…. I guess overtaking working group won’t think along these lines though, very sad.


It’s depressing that these concerns are being aired now. Firstly it is a let down for the season to come and, more importantly, it is an indictment of the teams for not spotting this when they were agreeing the rules for this year. I mean, really? You are going to tell us this now when you should have spotted it a year ago and now we are in for another year of crap racing with Mercedes 1-2. This new era of stupid hybrid engines has to end!!!!


What is this obsession with the looks of the car? Is there any F1 fan that says they aren’t going to watch F1 because the cars look rubbish? Or are there more fans that say they aren’t going to watch because the cars can’t follow, overtake naturally, lack of exciting driving thus races are boring? Hopefully with Ross B and the other newbie management we can get the proper shift in perspective here.


I see more collisions in the corners. Every track will be different than before. I hope nothing serious is the result of desperate attempts to overtake.


” It is not a promising situation for Ferrari, that underwent much upheaval last summer with the departure of James Allison and his replacement as technical director by Mattia Binotto at the time when the really important work was being done on 2017 cars.”

See? Like I said.. It’s just 1991 all over again at the [Mod]. :p


Well yeah – but we’ve ALWAYS known this was going to be the case, this isn’t news! This comes from fans being told what they want (often by Bernie), and then responding in kind when they fill out those fans surveys.

“you want louder cars, even though you can’t tell the volume on TV, and the pit lane coverage is better now”

“me want louder car! screw the future of F1 and the amazing potential of the new engines”

“You don’t care about racing, or overtaking, you want fat rear tyres and wider cars”

“yeaaah, me want big tyre and big car! Drive in a line for 90 minutes!”

“we’ve known for decades that the thing preventing overtaking and close racing is the focus on aerodynamics, but don’t you think Mercedes have been a little too dominant lately…?”

“more aero! more aero! more aero!”

we’ve nobody to blame but ourselves.


I am unaware of the strident call for more and more aero as you are suggesting? I am aware of the consistent call for more grip though


I’d like to see some stock parts issued. No idea how to implement it of course but a standard FIA front and rear wing that all of the teams have to run; the rest of the car down to their interpretation as usual. The package formula of mid 90’s CART produced some fantastic racing and I think if some parts could be standardised, it might help.


Fuel may become an issues this season. The regs allow 105kg as opposed to last year’s 100kg, to be consumed during the race. But the indications would seem to show that more may be needed if the engines are to be run flat (a relative term I know) for longer than last year. Also the increased drag has a huge effect upon the power required. If there is any increased speed this year it will again have a dramatic effect upon the amount of fuel consumed.
So we may see cars running out of fuel, we may see races made boring by fuel saving. In fact it is quite probable that fuel will be the limiting factor in 2017 while tyres are seen to run almost the whole race and indeed would do so if the regs allowed.


Exactly. While everyone is up in arms about aero and wider tyres, the one thing that is most likely to destroy the racing has flown under the radar.

Unless the manufacturers have made *incredible* gains in effeciency, we’re going to be hearing the words ‘lift’ and ‘coast’ making their way through the radio waves an awful lot.


The New JC; I actually brought this up a couple of times. No one seemed particularly interested and all I got was couple of comments about how we’re destroying the earth.

Don’t underestimate the power Al Gore’s propaganda.


So it’s an “aero” package in terms of achieving unhindered good lap times, but when cars are trying to overtake it will all be down to who has the most powerful engine.

I’m no expert, but I fail to see how this will do anything other than REDUCE overtaking and make races more boring. I really hope I’m wrong.


Interesting to consider that if the cars are some 4/5 secs faster what happens to that increase when they presumably have to tuck in behind a slower car?


Who was responsible for the rule changes – Red Bull, because it’s obvious they are most likely to benefit from the changes. As others have said, looking agressive means nought, it’s the fight that matters. I don’t care if the grid looks like a line up of prizefighters, if they can’t get close to each other, the races will turn into handbags at dawn events.

Let’s hope with the little man gone, we can expect to see a more sense from the F1 rulemakers, otherwise we’ll have to continue to watch BTCC for some close racing action, even if the cars are 70mph slower and look like they’re owned by hairdressers.


Red Bull and McLaren, I believe. Two teams who were not doing well at the time the rules were planned. Coincidence?


@ Rodger R…i am looking at your statement that it was red bull who were responsible for rule changes? You might like to elaborate on that a little as i was completely unaware that they, RB, were in total control of rule changes. Source…..


Rodger R, so if you don’t care about anything other than close racing, why bother with F1 at all? Why not watch formula vee, formula ford, formula 4 or touring cars?

This is something that I’m not fully understanding, admittedly.


The question is – once it is clear close racing is absent and overtaking are close to impossible (I have no doubts about that) – what will all these geniuses do?
Tear up regulations after the first 5 races?
Implement new artificial measures? (“fan button”…)


The front wing is an ugly thing. The bigger new front wing makes it even uglier. On top of that they are too fragile and even the slightest touch to them requires a car to pit and ruin a potentially good race. Wider cars will mean more collisions. I can even imagine a change in design rules will come into effect before the season is over because of this incredible oversight.


It seems the 2017 cars were designed simply for the F1 purists i.e.

The cars are faster

The cars are visually spectacular

The cars are more physical

The tyres are more durable

And overtaking is more difficult just like the pre-DRS time


And overtaking is more difficult just like the pre-DRS time

If only they actually got rid of DRS…


@ The New JC

Aah but DRS has some of it’s fans after the Trulli train scared many people


It’s the same old story. I think every year fans want closer racing and more passing based on driver skill. I hope the new management actually puts fans interest foremost, above team interests for a while. It would be a nice change. We’ve always given our opinionbut I think that has always been managed with monetary interests paramount.


Let’s hope it means the racers will try new lines. Might be quicker around the outside of some turns instead of the regular racing line.


Nah, the tires will still shed rubber balls, even more so now that they have a larger surface area so there won’t be much options on racing lines. It’ll be a procession.


Must admit that I was/am a bit confused how increased tyre sizes, wider cars, and corresponding increased cornering speeds was gonna increase overtaking possibilities.
Wider cars means correspondingly less likelihood of cars being side by side.
Bigger tyres means more marbles so less useable track surface and shorter braking zones.

Having said that, best to wait and see what happens.

If it turns out that the sceptics are correct and it becomes (even more) processional then perhaps next “solution” should be to reduce brake sizes/effectiveness so that the braking zones are significantly lengthened ?


Craig: Exactly what I was thinking. Overtaking in street circuits like Singapore will be more difficult and in the arrow confines of Monaco next to impossible. But as you say we will have to wait and see, especially what risks drivers will take to effect a pass.


But isn’t bigger tyres and more mechanical grip what the “fans” wanted? The cars’ track has increased by a measly 20cm because of the wider tyres designed to yield more mechanical grip.

At this point, if I were in charge of the rules, I would be tearing my hair out.



Well I guess if you asked fans what they would like to see from F1 as a result of the new regulations you might get different responses. For example, fans of the sport (who don’t have a favourite driver or team) might like to see closer racing between the combatants and not one team dominating like RB and Merc have over the past eight years but I don’t think we’ll get that because of the money the wealthier teams have to pump into development and driver recruitment and therefore the status quo will largely remain.

Did the FIA survey the fans as to what they would like to see or did they just act unilaterally? Doesn’t really matter I suppose because either way they’re in charge.

Seemingly we’re going to get bigger (better looking?) and quicker cars but just like any change there might be unintended consequences but we’ll just have to wait and see. Personally I’m pleased that they’ve done away with the token system which limited in-season development but even this may only advantage the wealthier teams.


Adrian; Yes, the new regulations and general direction for F1 was informed by surveys.

Not only did the fans almost unanimously agree that more mechanical grip via bigger tyres would be a good thing, but they also chose the nineties as the best, most appealing period of F1, and the cars we are about to see next week were designed to reflect those sentiments.


@ Adrian…where there’s a will there’s a way…around cars in monaco. Just ask ricciardo [raikonnen will help explain] how to do it except when hamilton drives you into the wall if you don’t back off and when hamilton cuts the corner of a chicane at the swimming pool!!!



Did you have to bring up Monaco mate? I mean to have the wrong tyres ready to fit is one thing but to have NO tyres ready to fit is beyond …………whatever adjective you want to use. Unfortunately the uniqueness of Monaco’s Pit Lane where as you know the teams’ Pit Walls are located above their garages didn’t help not that this is any excuse. He sat stationary for 14 seconds! It is what it is!


Adrian; indeed, overtaking on some circuits is more difficult than on others. Always has been and always will be. What is your point?



“What is my point?”. I was agreeing with the sentiments expressed by Craig in Manilla.

Personally, like a lot of fans, I’d like to see more overtaking and more wheel to wheel racing but whether or not the new regulations which mandate wider cars and wider wheels permit this I guess we’ll have to wait until Melbourne (being a street circuit) and later on purpose built racing circuits.

Seemingly it might be more difficult, than it is now, to effect a pass in Singapore and Monaco because of the new regulations.


@ Adrian…just to follow up on your original point.which i agree with, if each car is now some 20 cms wider [ ? ] the two cars equal 40cms which is getting close to half a metre! In the narrow confines as mentioned this will certainly take extra precision when racing and attempting passes. I get your point.



That’s exactly what I was trying to get at but you’ve put it more succinctly. Obviously without a corresponding widening of the track overtaking in Monaco won’t be impossible but more difficult and it will be interesting to see what risks drivers will take (or the skills they will need to utilise) to effect a pass. Perhaps Riccardo would not have attempted that pass on Raikkonen at Monaco in 2015 (where the two cars made contact) if he was driving a 2017 spec car.


@ Adrian… that pass on Raikonnen in monaco !!! It was pure hard racing IMO. We all know that some drivers are supreme opportunists eg ricciardo and verstappen both fall into that category. Give either of them the merest sniff of an open door and they are ‘in like flynn’. no ifs, no buts, no maybe’s. Where would we be without a level of good old ‘derring do’ as the brits are wont to say? This year, if the doom and gloom merchants are correct, and passing becomes even harder then we should see even more drivers fling one up the inside/outside out of sheer frustration! That will be exciting to watch and only the brave will reap the benefits [ or demerits]. Can’t wait to see what happens.


@ Adrian ..yes, in concept you are quite correct. If narrow confines at some tracks call for precision placement then pure logic will tell you that two cars side by side, both of increased width, will make those passes even more difficult.


Bring it on!!!!!!


I always look forward to the beginning of each new F1 season, and hopefully the new look of the cars will add some extra wow. Safety regulations have made the cars increasingly ugly since the 1998 overhaul imo. It’s a given that we all want a competitive F1 with close racing, but let’s embrace a step forward in aesthetics, too. Lets face it, if all we cared about was close racing then there would never be any need to venture beyond the lowest junior formulae.


lol I find it hilarious that the F1 powers are still making the same mistake we’ve been complaining about for years. More aero means less overtaking, I think we’ve all said at one time or another why not have more mechanical grip or ground effect or anything but a heavy reliance on aero but they haven’t listened.


Incredible. The cars haven’t even turned a wheel and already there are comments upon comments spouting nothing but fear mongering about the sky falling in because the rear wing is going to be a little bit wider and a little lower.

Don’t get me wrong, everyone should be entitled to an opinion, but at the end of the day that’s all it really is: opinion and conjecture. And the direction F1 has been directed by opinion and conjecture for far too long with borderline disastrous results.

I also can’t fathom why people keep asking for less and less downforce. Hasn’t this been tried already? I mean how much more downforce should they take away? To F3 levels, F4 levels? And ultimately did this downforce stripping trend of the last 8 years make F1 better? The answer is a resounding “no”.

So for those amateur aerodynamicists for whom stripping downforce away seems to be some kind of fetish, put a sock in it. Your ideas have been tried already and given a fair run. The results were nil. Actually worse than nil.

At the end of the day this needs to be a pinnacle of Motorsport and therefore aero is indispensable in achieving that. Therefore overtaking will always be more difficult than in a non-aero formula with slower cars and longer braking distances.

It’s possible that something can be done to allow the cars to follow each other more closely, but if a solution does exist, it will be found by experienced aerodynamicists through a scientific method that involves extensive experimentation and testing, and not by pretend aerodynamics who shout the loudest on F1 fora such as this one.


Great post. Couldn’t agree more


@LukeC – when exactly did they significantly reduce downforce in F1? Banning Bernie’s fan car don’t count.

It appears you are the only person who enjoyed watching the Truilli Train, we don’t need that nonsense to return, but it appears all the teams are predicting we’ll have to put up with racing vacuum cleaners in the coming year.


Rodger R; In 2009 they reduced the aero by something like 30-35% as advised by the fans.

They put the rear wing up in the sky, where it would not affect the airflow over the front wing of the following car.

Furthermore, they removed all the appendages on the bodywork, which according to the fans was causing turbulence that did not allow cars to follow each other.

They put adjustable flaps on the front wings to make them less susceptible to dirty air, which they subsequently ditched.

In subsequent years they whittled the rear diffuser down to almost nothing.

Then the removed the beam wing which once again was supposed to make it easier to follow.

As a result the cars became almost on par with gp2 cars in corners. The drivers find them boring to drive and following and passing has not been any easier. To the spectator they look as if they’re on rails and they trundle through the corners as if it’s wet.

Need I say more? Clearly this direction is a dead end and it would be pointless and potentially destructive to pursue it further. Enough is enough.


2009 – the year they left a gaping hole in the regs that by the end of the season practically all of the aero was back where it had been in 2008. If Brawn is involved in setting regs, with the aim of massively reducing aero, I believe the teams will have their work cut out regaining what the regs will have removed.


The aero in 2015 and 2016 was nowhere near the levels it was between 2000 – 2008. Plus all the things that supposedly caused dirty air ( rear wing, diffuser, beam wing) were either removed or moved out of the way. And yet following and overtaking didn’t become any easier. Why is that?


The rear wings were never an issue.

It is these over the top ‘Christmas tree’ front wings that provide extraordinary levels of downforce given the perfect ‘undisturbed air’ conditions.

It’s the fact that the more intricate a front wing is, the less and less likely it is going to work properly unless it has perfectly undisturbed air consistently washing over it. If they ran simpler wings then they would not be so reliant on clean air as in theory the simpler wing would still operate even if the air is disturbed.

If you’re concerned over speed then make them lighter and bolt some serious tyres on.

(I will look forward to your sarcastic comment re me being an aerodynamics expert)


NickH, even a very simple front wing, one that produces very little downforce, will be affected by disturbed air and will put the following driver at a disadvantage. That’s why drivers have been complaining about turbulence and loss of downforce when following since the mid 70s when the cars had very simple wings and very little downforce.

The issue here is not whether less downforce and a simpler front wing might improve the situation. Yes, it’s possible that if you reduce the downforce to F3 levels the situation might be improved by 5-10%. But that will still not deliver the amount and the kind of of overtaking that the fans are demanding without the DRS — plus you will have overpowered F3 cars as the supposed pinnacle of Motorsport.

This is the big picture that many people seem to have difficulties grasping here. Everyone is just demanding more overtaking, and more overtaking, and more overtaking, like some monster that cannot be satiated. I think that’s a very myopic approach.


Which formula have you been watching for the last 8 years? You haven’t noticed the £100k Christmas tree front wings the big teams bring to every race? I hardly call that stripping away downforce. Dreadful tyres have also contributed.

The reality is that the big teams don’t give a damn about ‘competition’ and ‘close racing’. They have a resource advantage over smaller teams in the aerodynamic department so have no interest on giving this up.

Last year Martin Brundle layed out some simple ideas for a set of regulations that would help. Massively reduce the complexity of the front wing, increase downforce from underneath the car and have tyres that produce extraordinary mechanical grip. Doesn’t sound such a bad idea to me.

Fernando 150% Alonso

Agree with every word above. Don’t forget about the nose cone. It seems that with this aerodynamic the cars have this days, the closer to the ground the nose of the cars is, the more difficult will be to follow the car in front. I understand safety, but how difficult will be to study in the wind tunnel how the height of the nose cone is influencing that, and to make a compromise safety /aero?!


NickH, Martin Brundle is no more qualified to lay down ideas for regulations than are you or I.

Pat Symmonds was asked about whether reducing the complexity of the front wing would make it easier to follow. His response was that they do not know, but probably not.

When asked about whether generating more downforce from the floor would help, he gave the same answer. Don’t know, but probably not.


“Martin Brundle is no more qualified to lay down ideas for regulations than are you or I.”

I would say he knows more than me. You obviously hold yourself in quite high regard.


NickH; I hold myself in quite a high regard as far as clear, rational and realistic thinking are concerned.

I think many “F1” fans would do well to take a leaf out of my book and stop acting like children.


@ Luke C…you have stolen precisely what i was about to post. Well said. How many holders of aero PHD’s are posting? The designers will know full well what they are expecting and how they will go racing. When we see the results and effects of the first few races then possibly we’ll see where the direction needs to go if anywhere! Until then it is all speculation and as such should be treated with a high degree of scepticism.


Kenneth, until somebody actually does a proper extensive study on this, backed up by extensive testing with actual cars on the track we will never know.

At the end of the day you can’t cheat physics and we must be prepared for the possibility that there is no solution to the problem as long as F1 is an aero formula.

With something like F1, which is all about cars that are characterised by insane, out of this world performance, and driven by the best drivers in the world, it should not be surprising that overtaking is going to be more challenging than in formula ford, for example. And to try to coerce the formula to be that which it isn’t by its very nature, might actually be counterproductive.


Well said Kenneth.

Once again I agree with you.

Incredible that’s twice just this year.

More than the previous six!


@ DRG…it’s the new rules and regs that must have done it hahaha’


Your first paragraph seems to ignore that this is what the article is about.

So I would ask, where are the serious articles and informed discussions on the issues that F1 faces with regard to Aero and overtaking? In the absence of information people will always speculate. And by your logic if you deny them this, you should leave comments to professional journalists only.

And lastly, isn’t it the experts that keep pointing to front wing dependence as the issue.


@ Offcourse…yes. where are all the serious articles and informed discussions from real life F1 involved specialists? You know, the people who actually design and build these cars. the people who understand the black arts of aero under real conditions, the people who actually are responsible for framing these rules and their justification in securing a solution? I wish that they were here and we could then ask questions and maybe get some answers that make sense. For example…DRS was introduced to solve the ‘passing’ problem but as has been mooted, maybe that won’t suffice in the new cars. So why can’t a similar “movable’device be added into the front wings to boost the DRS effect over a shorter distance?

Otherwise it’s the blind leading the blind.


OffCourse; again the answer is that the experts simply don’t know, because they have not done any experiments or tests.

Therefore when they point to the front wing dependence, for example, they are simply engaging in speculation. It may be informed by some knowledge, but from a purely scientific standpoint it’s still speculation due to the absence of data to back it up.


@ Luke C…I would’ve thought that the teams and their boffins have carried out tests and experiments and that they have a good idea as to where they’re headed. They are just not saying anything until real driving tells them the complete story. Before they actually build a front wing they would need to know what ‘state’ the air would be in when following another car so there would be some simulation IMO of course. It will be interesting to see who has what config on both front and rear but it would be my guess that we’ll see very similar arrangements on the expected ‘top’ three or four teams cars. Now that i’ve said that they will all be radically different hahaah


Kenneth, aerodynamicists are only interested in creating as much downforce and as little drag at possible. They are not concerned with making it easier for other cars to follow and overtake their car. Why would they? It would counterproductive. In fact, if possible, they would like to make it as hard as possible for the overtaking car to get to their car.


@ luke 818…any relation to luke C? Of course aero guys are more interested in downforce but if you have no understanding of what ‘state’ the air emanating from the rear of the car in front actually is then your ‘front wing config’ would have to be suspect. As i have said in another post, playing around with the ‘state’ of the air after extracting the maximum downforce at the rear of the car may also be possible. A pity that we don’t seem to have anybody with professional F1 aero credentials posting to whom we could direct our queries.


Kenneth; indeed Luke818 is LukeC. It turns out that it’s possible to post under a different name with the same email address.

Anyway, with regard to aerodynamicists possessing an understanding of the state of the air emanating from the rear, that’s not really the problem. I mean, they have a very good idea of what’s going on there and they formulated the 2009 regs based on that understanding, which did not work. Given that fact I would be willing to bet that they are as stumped as we are.

With regard to playing around with the ‘state’ of the air after extracting the maximum downforce at the rear of the car. Even if that were possible, no team would design their cars that way because they don’t want their cars to be easy to overtake. You would need to prescribe the aero package, or a significant part of it. And if you’re going to do that, you might as well give them indycar style aero packages.

You could also reduce the downforce to F4 levels, which might improve things somewhat, but it would be optimistic to think that would deliver even as much passing as what we see in F4, given the fact that F1 drivers make fewer errors and there is a lot more performance disparity between cars. Plus you would have overpowered F4 cars as the pinnacle of motorsport, which would be very iffy.


@ luke C…… I don’t think that you understand what i am actually saying but then again maybe it’s because i did not repeat myself as i had posted this thought in another thread. My point was two fold. firstly i was saying that i would be pretty certain that the ‘state’ of air emanating from another car, in front, and the ‘state’ of that air would have to be taken into account when designing a front wing. Secondly my other point was that ‘after extracting the max downforce’ could the exhausted air at the rear then be further altered to mess up up the front wings of following cars. A ‘spoiler effect’ meaning to ‘spoil’ the air passing over the wing of a competitor/ following car?
As a footnote, do you have any aero credentials that we should be aware of?


Kenneth; thanks for clarifying. My understanding is that the rule makers did take the state of the air emanating from the back of the car ahead into consideration, and the front wing regs as they have been since 2009 are the result of that.

As far as individual designers working for the teams, indeed, logic would suggest that they would also endeavour to make the front wing as immune to turbulence as possible.

As to your final point, I don’t know.

As to my credentials in aerodynamics, my knowledge is limited to a few electives at university which consisted of a lot of theory and some wind tunnel work, so I’m definitely no Adrian Newey. However, I do know enough to see that what the fans are asking for borders on pure fantasy. I really doubt that it will ever be possible to achieve what they want, and we might have to accept that the DRS is the only way to have the amount of passing that people want without resorting to F4 levels in F1, which I think you’ll agree would be quite lame.

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