Important changes have been voted through to improve overtaking from 2019 onwards in F1.
The F1 Strategy Group, F1 Commission and the World Motor Sport Council have approved changes to the technical regulations effective from next season.
The changes will include a simplified front wing – with reduced outwash potential – simplified brake ducts, and a wider, deeper rear wing.
Formula One is set to introduce a range of changes for the new Concorde Agreement, which will begin in 2021. However, following complaints about the lack of overtaking chances in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, Formula One chiefs have been seeking solutions which could be brought in sooner.
These proposals have been backed up by a period of research by the Formula One teams, who were able to demonstrate the positive impact that the modifications will have on the quality of racing.
The findings were put to a voting panel – which included the FIA, F1, all ten teams and sponsor and promoter representatives, and the proposals secured enough votes to proceed, pending approval from the World Motor Sport Council.
These will be added to the modifications already planned for 2019; an increase in fuel allowance, a separation of the driver weight and car weight (to not disadvantage heavier drivers) and the requirement for drivers to wear biometric gloves.
Formula One’s Managing Director (Motorsports) Ross Brawn highlighted the incident between Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen as an example of the current aerodynamic issues facing the sport.
“One of the key episodes of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix was the collision between team mates Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen,” said Brawn. “I don’t want to comment on who might be held responsible or how a team should manage these issues during a race, but I do think the Steward’s decision to reprimand both drivers was the right course of action. But I would like to highlight a technical point.
“Once Daniel had settled for his line, and Max had changed direction once more, the Australian suddenly had to cope with a car that was very light at the front end due to the turbulent air generated by the leading Red Bull.
“In these conditions Daniel was no more than a passenger with few, if any, options to manage the situation: he could not change direction and the hard braking he tried would have had little chance of success.
“This highlighted once more the need of finding a way to re-write the rules so as to make the cars more raceable in these conditions. The decision of the Strategy Group and the F1 Commission taken yesterday, sanctioned by the FIA World Motor Sport Council, to approve a number of aerodynamic modifications, aimed at promoting closer racing and more overtaking, to the cars already for 2019 season is definitely an important step in the right direction.”
All images: Motorsport Images
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