F1 Winter Break
Weekend debate: Will overtaking in F1 be improved in 2019?
Posted By: Editor   |  25 Jan 2019   |  5:15 pm GMT  |  130 comments

The first attempts at solving the overtaking issue in F1 have been made, but the results will only be found out in the first couple of races of the season. Will the 2019 rule changes improve overtaking in Formula One?

A combination of higher-downforce cars – introduced for 2017 – and aerodynamic evolution have resulted in drivers having greater difficulty in following a competitor. Some teams predict that, in normal conditions, a car needs a speed advantage of over one second per lap in order to have a chance of passing a car.

Liberty Media became worried by the difficulty of overtaking at last year’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix – which is already a difficult venue for passing – and immediately sought discussions with teams on how the overtaking problem could be solved, earlier than the pending rule changes for 2021.

Technical updates to be brought in for 2019 were approved after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, which included; a simplified front wing (with a larger span, and low “outwash” potential), a simplified front brake duct with no winglets, and a wider and deeper rear wing.

At the time, F1’s Managing Director of Motorsports, Ross Brawn, cited the clash between Red Bull team-mates Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix as an example of how much downforce can be lost when following another car.

“One of the key episodes of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix was the collision between team mates Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen,” said Brawn.

“Once Daniel had settled for his line, and Max had changed direction blocking that line, the Australian became a passenger. The downforce loss experienced by Ricciardo in the wake of Verstappen’s car would have made it unstoppable.

“We often think of downforce applying in cornering, but the impact the extra grip has in braking is huge. Take away that grip in braking and what happened [in Baku] was inevitable.”

What changes are being made?

The proposed changes are aimed at directing more air under the car as opposed to around the outside of the car, described as “inwash” and “outwash”, with the latter being less capable of handling turbulent air from a car in front.

The front wings will be made slightly wider and less complicated. The ‘flaps’ on the end plates have been abolished, whilst the end plates themselves will be standardised.

The number of ‘strakes’ on the underside of the front wing (the vertical lines seen in the below picture of the Renault’s front wing) will be limited to two.


Brake duct winglets are banned from 2019, as are blown axles, both of which energise the air going towards the outside of the car.

Barge boards will be 150mm shorter and 100mm longer, with the aim of them being less sensitive to the ‘dirty’ air from the car in front.

The rear wing will be made 20mm taller and 100mm wider, with the aim of redirecting more air away from the car behind. This in turn will allow the DRS slot to be 20mm bigger, increasing it’s effectiveness. The horizontal slots on the rear wing end plates will no longer be allowed, as these were judged to create additional disturbances to the wake.

Will the changes work?

That’s up for debate, but some teams are fearing that they might not be as effective as planned.

Red Bull, who have been the biggest critics of the rule changes, claim that the design change cost them around $15 million and that they’re already reaching similar performance levels to last year.

“We have the same [aerodynamic] data as last summer,” said Red Bull’s Motorsport Adviser Helmut Marko to Motorsport.com. “By the time we get to Melbourne we’ll probably be better than that.”

He added that greater collaboration between teams would result in quick fixes not being rushed through in the future.

“[But] there is now a good basis for discussion between Mercedes, Ferrari and us. We agree that regulations must not be determined by technicians.

“As soon as technicians are involved, the costs increase and everything becomes complicated.

“Things have to be specified.”

By: Luke Murphy

All images: Motorsport Images

What do you think? Will we see an increase in overtaking opportunities in 2019? Leave your thoughts in the section below.

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No, or I have serious doubts to say the least. The aero wont do Magic if anything nothing at all. The effetct will be neutralized or things get even wors when teams do their Magic.

Much us up to Tures as well, and we all know how that works

Maybe a super DRS will make them blast by on straights even faster that’s all.


The question is, do we need it to work?

I think the answer is yes and no. I think we need cars to follow a little more closely, for sure, but thinking back to last year, we had plenty of overtakes in some races – including many between Lewis and the Ferraris and the Redbull guys did plenty as well. A lot of these were race-winning and podium-winning moves as well.

We had it a few years back when we got loads of overtaking and then people moaned it was too much… I think longing for something and occasionally getting it makes it all the more sweet… I think with a slight balance shift to getting it a little more often and it will be about perfect.

So yes, we do need them to work, but they won’t need to make that much difference for that to happen – being able to follow a couple of tenths closer would be great – and as such I think they probably will work… Don’t expect any better in Oz though.


I have now read so many dissertations on the likely outcome of the changes i am totally confused. Some say it will work others say it won’t make any difference at all and if it does then it will be minimal. Who to believe? I do fear though that these changes will play into Mercede’s hands as they seemed to suffer more than most when following other cars although that wasn’t a regular occurrence. The politics of all of this is what’s intriguing. So much credibility rests on the shoulders of Brawn/FIA et al who introduced these changes so let’s just see how it all pans out. If there is a negative effect then teams would be justified in voicing their discontent in a most strident manner as these changes have cost mega millions.to implement. Overall i see this as some sort of test for Liberty to exert some influence against the hegemony of the manufacturers. It has been reported that at the last meeting Chevy ‘Chase’ got quite emotional when he couldn’t take control of the outcome with the ‘promoters’ and it seems that the powers are becoming frustrated. The promoters have my entire sympathy. Liberty take the cream and the rest can scrabble what little is left. Liberty should be paying the promoters to use their facilities and they, Liberty, should also share their income with the track owners. Then and only then would we see Liberty introduce some of what has been taken away from the world of F1. For once they would be at the direct coalface of serving the fan/supporters desires for more competitive racing.


I don’t think even the people who came up with the changes and implemented them know whether it will work. That’s why they also decided to turbocharge the DRS effect, in case it won’t work as well as they hope.


Great points k.

The one thing which has always been lacking in F1 is a platform where everybody involved in the staging of a race is working together and all taking a FAIR share of the ‘logistics’ purse.

It’ll most likely never be that way … but a step in that direction would give Liberty more power at the mahogany negotiation table because it will have invested allies in certain conversations, instead of fighting every issue alone.


@ Jack…The late great Ron Walker was right on top of this and it was his efforts to try and get the promoters to use some collective muscle and force a more equitable solution. If i was a promoter and was privy to the purported Miami deal i’d be seriously agitated…to say the least. Liberty,IMO have been a great disappointment. There brand of marketing might go down well in the USA but it is seriously out of touch with the more sophisticated European markets. They have been, to date, all froth and bubble. After two years what have they achieved? What have they done to improve the racing ? Zippedy doo dah..that’s what. Sorry, i left out the grid kids and the new logo..hahaha big deal.


I’m not really sure how you can declare Liberty to have been a big disappointment as they haven’t really had much chance to do anything yet, what with them still being tied into Bernie’s awfully unequal deals.
I thought it was quite funny how you talk about the more sophisticated European Markets but then make a dig at the fact they got rid of the grid girls. I wonder if you can see the irony?


OOOOps…’there’ ‘their’. The word nazi’s haven’t picked it up…so far haha.


I read this site and I find no soul… No expert opinion… Crtl F Allen and nothing… Goodbye then.


Are you saying JAonF1 used to be powered by a V10? 🙂


Refuelling, that’s what will provide a 1 second pace differential

Tornillo Amarillo

What do you think?”

I think… this year is more about Leclerc in Ferrari, Max challenging, Ric in Renault, Kimi in Sauber and Kubica’s performance. The rest could be the same.

I will be watching Stroll of course. Some people will finally realize he is progressing very well in F1 at just 20 years old.


Do you think Lance Stroll would have got into F1 if he was Lance Smith from the slums of Stevanage?

Tornillo Amarillo

IMO Stroll needs to score 45 points, ideally 50 points, because Ocon -who he replaces- scored 49 in 2018. Perez scored 62 because of a podium.

For example to score 46 points you need, say, 1 P7 and 10 times P8, and yet 10 races with no points, so it is achievable but of course difficult with many teams and skillful drivers fighting for the same positions.
In the midfield, the first-lap-overtaking skill from Lance could be key.


Kubica’s comeback is probably the most interesting thing about this year for me. Bernie Ecclestone reckons Kubica will be stronger now than before the accident.

Did you guys know that Juan manuel Fangio never regained full mobility of his upper body after his monza shunt in 1952, and yet still won another 4 WDCs.


RB is right. Performance will be the same if not higher for top teams… it is a struggle for the teams with tighter budget… so the fear is that instead of compacting the field they just increased the distance. I am not that hopeful that will be easier to pass either as it will be easier to stay close but I suspect a much higher tire degradation with new rules. But the thing that makes me scratch my head is that these rules seem to favor big time Mercedes. Their car is designed pretty much around these concepts; with TR they always have lowest rake in the field. The ones that need a major re-work are RB and Ferrari for the tops, and FI/RP. Well unless they have thought on how to use the rake with new rules so we might see some interesting ducting this year.


Yes, but statistically so meaning that we notice when the overtake statistics are analysed at the end of the season. Quality of racing for the lead of the race should remain similar. It is a good change none-the-less.

Also, I see a lot of comments about ground-effect being being better for creating overtaking rather than winglets. While this is true, GE was banned on safety grounds due to being highly unstable due to sensitivity on ride-height. I think this was a good change.


Eliminate all the wings and you will definitely have lots of passing, albeit at slower lap times.


What amazes me is, if this “dirty air” fix they are blindly searching for was going to provide an instant positive influence on results due to being able to slipstream closely and pass more effectively, why the hell hasn’t the GOAT, Adrian Newey come up with something clever over the past few years while they have had to follow at least four faster cars in 99% of races due to having a slower PU?

The answer to that question is obvious … they haven’t bothered because the “hypothetical gain” from making changes to front and rear wings is nowhere near what they could be if they were allowed to properly develop and utilise the staggeringly powerful ground effects from the floor.

Winglets, vanes and ducts are all a result of trying to replace the colossal loss of down force when ground effects were largely regulated out of the series 35 years ago.

A car built around ground effects doesn’t need a front wing! It’s that simple!

Check out the “Lotus 88” from 36 years ago.


Yep … 36 yrs ago … and we are still not utilising this incredible invention!!!

It was so damned good that the FIA BANNED IT because no other car at the time would get within a mile of it!

Think of it this way … the faster a car travels through the air, the bigger the effect of the wake is behind the rear wing. The only thing which would make a significant difference to these detrimental (vortices) wakes trailing off the rear wing would be to drastically slow the cars down – to the point where the wake is negligible.

Obviously, that is never going to happen … so in my humble opinion, there’s only one real and proper answer which attracts billionaires and brilliant boffins back to F1 … throw out the rules at the centre of the reams of extremely intricate and complicated regulations. They are only designed on the run to prevent loopholes and make the cars “uniform”.

The number one rule if you want to enter a team in F1 is, you must be a stand-alone constructor who designs and builds the cars yourself.

How & Why the hell did that fundamental rule somehow get twisted into a situation where the rules and regulations now state that the cars must be built to uniform specifications which DON’T allow them to be fundamentally different?

If that’s the case, let them all buy chassis’ from Lola and PU’s from Ferrari and lets go racing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

FFS … the answer is simple people … go back to the basic rules which state every team must be completely individual and allow them to create whatever weird and wonderful concepts they want. Return F1 to a truly bespoke series where designers and engineers have an open set of rules where almost anything goes.

How spectacular and wonderful would that be?

It would instantly create the most monumental groundswell of enthusiasm, intrigue and interest in the history of motor racing.

Don’t try to tell that without the small teams F1 would die because with open slather rules, the possibilities are endless … that’s the environment where billionaires love to spend their dough. Assembling a team of brilliant boffins to manufacture cars from exotic materials in top secret facilities in an intrepid bid to beat like-minded billionaires on a race track.

That’s the exact environment where F1 and high level motor racing evolved from!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The snowballing benefits of such a monumental move to make F1 the absolute pinnacle again would create the massive marketing coup Liberty are searching. It would instantly do away with this ludicrous push for cost cutting to appease the floundering minnow teams who are merely hanging on for dear life in a series where money is everything.

That’s why we have so many kids and pay drivers instead of tried and true professionals who drive F1 cars like fighter pilots until they are 40!

At present, all we have is this ugly old merry-go-round of continuous doom and gloom perpetuated by hastily implemented “hopeful” changes – just for change’s sake.

On another note:

The funniest thing I’ve heard in a few years is the “rumour” being trotted out by johnwallstreet.com that Liberty is secretly trying to sell off F1 shares to recoup some of their 9 billion … or even more hilarious … a complete sale of F1 to get the hell out now and count their losses before F1 completely implodes at the end of 2020 and becomes totally worthless.

Here’s the best part … guess who the touted buyer is … YEP … IT’S BERNIEEEE!

If this has a shred of truth to it, I for one will not be at all surprised.

Bernie has bought F1 for bugger-all and sold it for a mighty profit more times than minnow teams have come and gone in the blink of an eye!!!

I’m not surprised at a rumour like this circulating now because, as we all know, there have been serious negative ramifications from some of the “crazy” changes Liberty have implemented which show they are out of touch with what F1 really is, like hasty Aero changes, Grid Kids replacing Grid Girls and the huge bomb that is F1TV online – just to name a few.

Even more serious is the defiant push back from the top 3 teams to any changes which will appease the minnows and make them less successful or see them lose control at the all important negotiation table.

As for the useless, self-serving procrastinators at the FIA … well … enough said!!!

As a part of taking on this massive investment in F1, Liberty have potential American backers from their automotive industry who want things like their traditional V8 engines in the cars, more races in their homeland of America and at least 30 races per year in which to market their companies and products.

They won’t pour “billions” into the sport until it resembles their preferred business models.

Without that extra funding and huge corporate support to help them swing the sledgehammer of renovation at the negotiation table, they are merely toothless tigers trying to appease the “traditional” power brokers … Merc, Ferrari and the FIA!

If this “quiet rumour” has any truth to it, it may well become a thunderous roar if these “silly” aero changes are a dud this year and Liberty aren’t “allowed” to make the wholesale changes to the series that they want for 2021.

Then what? Back to square one again?


Jack. I haven’t the time to read or reply to your rambling and lengthy posts. Maybe one subject at a time, and a bit more summarising?

Your first post, I’ll address the first two theories, because I can’t be bothered typing an essay to reply to all the other simplistic guff.

I summarise your comments as I can’t cut and paste on an IPad “They can’t develop the ground effect to the maximum, and need to use winglets and vanes, etc to replace lost downforce“

They use ground effect to an extent via floor sealing and diffusers, etc, yes it’s more heavily regulated. Skirts were banned because the sudden loss of aero on kerbs, wind gusts, etc led to enormous crashes, and occasional flips in the early 80s and the cars were super stiff to maintain ride height and were battering the drivers. Brawn and his team are looking at ground effect certainly. Even if ground effect was allowed then wings would still be fully developed if allowed as F1 is about the maximum performance extraction. The idea that cars would run without wings if full ground effect was allowed is naive – the designers will have wings and barge boards, etc to feed the ground effect floor more efficiently and to balance the car. Indycar went to more underfloor downforce and it’s helped, but they still have wings.

“Slow the cars right down to reduce the hole in the air”.

Nonsense. F2 cars are still very fast and can follow each other pretty closely. They don’t have extreme out wash front wings, they are quite simple. The point I’m making is that fast cars already exist with wings that don’t leave the huge destructive out wash wake of current F1 cars. F1 has more of a problem because it’s not a spec series car, and all the very clever people in F1 can spend millions finding a way around rule intentions. F1 also has comedy tyres that overheat with following the car in front to deal with – the better races where cars followed each other closely for many laps were most often on harder tyres with a wider operating window.

Are you saying you know more than Brawn and his team of very experienced F1 winners?

Not in your point, but I’m not buying this “It has cost us £15M to adapt to these rules”. Did they employ more staff?, Did they have to manufacture more parts? Where did the extra expense get generated? Every year each team builds a basically brand new car, so they were doing it anyway. They are restricted in wind tunnel hours and CFD time, so I really can’t see the extra cost.


For a person who can’t be bothered replying your set a high bar! 😉

You do realise you don’t HAVE to read my rambling posts … or reply!

This exchange began with your keyboard, not mine.

I would never pit my life experience against an expert in any field but my observations are my observations and with those come my opinions for ways to facilitate change. Otherwise why bother avidly watching every F1 session like I do if you don’t want it to be great and worth the growing cost to remain involved as a fan?

If Liberty / FOM don’t want our opinions or suggestions, then why send out 100’s of emails consistently requesting them in official F1.com polls from the website?

Totally agree with most of your descriptive points because they more or less repeat mine. Thanks for the affirmation.

As for the “slow cars down” comment … that was merely a quick reference of what would make things less turbulent behind a car … as was the one about the faster it travels, the heavier the maelstrom behind it. That wasn’t a statement of what I want or believe should happen. We all want the exact opposite!


No, no, no…. the whole problem is outwash. The Red Bulls are probably the hardest to follow as their aero is the best package. In order to create downforce (which equals lap-time) you need to have an efficient aero package. That creates a problem for the car following. The air is then dirty air….

So, Adrian Newey’s success actually creates the problem. (It’s the other way around to what you are suggesting).

These changes for this year, are a part way solution. Let’s see.

But, the fundamental problem with F1 is it is confusing it’s priorities and added to that is vested interest.

The whole aero package needs reducing vastly. I mean a huge and drastic cut. Rely more on mechanical grip and engine power.

I’ve just read articles about F1 becoming like FE or merging with it? Unbelievable.

The ethos is totally different. The aim of F1 should be a drivers championship. Do people talk about the number of constructors championships? Do they discuss the greatest team ever? Yes, they do. But, compared to drivers, it’s very small.

Cars should be as equal as possible.

All this talk about road-relevance is a rabbit hole. For road relevance, you have to compete with rallying and the WEC, as well as FE. A good argument could be made for each of those series.

Go down that road (road relevance being the big thing) and there could be no F1!

F1 is about the drivers in the fastest cars on the planet. Full stop!


No no no Richard … you missed MY point.

I was talking about Newey coming up with clever ways for making changes to the front wing and assoc aero parts in a bid to combat the wake and vortices created by the car in front in this term where they are always going to be following a Merc or a Ferrari.

The aero wake I talk about includes “outwash” and rear wing vortices collectively, because eventually they all end up in the same place … in the wake directly behind the car. The outwash doesn’t just magically push out to the side of the car and disappear, it couples with the air coming off the rear wing and becomes a mailstrom which not even a jet fighter could follow closely with “wiggling”.

Watch any replay of the Red Bull PU just after it detonates (on many occasions last year) and there is a perfect example of what happens with the turbulaent air behind the car – in the cloud of white oil smoke as it trails off the rear wing. The same effects can be seen when it’s wet and plumes of misty spray paint the same picture.

I agree with you that less aero and more mechanical grip will go a certain part of the way to dealing with the issue of overtaking. But it’s not the silver bullet and the front running teams deliberately design their cars to use the current rules as a defencive tool to stop their competitors from slipstreaming!

The ONE THING which can make a massive difference on it’s own is ground effects. It’s the perfect way to do away with the heavy reliance on front wings – utilising the incredibly powerful properties of the underside of the car.

As long as there are intricate front and rear wings, which can only operate efficiently with a benign and steady airflow, there will be huge problems with oscillation of air pressure in many places across the front of the car, not just the front wing!

This is the major cause of the violent “wiggle’ effect which unbalances the entire front end and destroys tyres in a lap or two!

As for road relevance … it’s ludicrous to say the least! There will always be at least one manufacturer in F1 who wants to use F1 for a very expensive marketing campaign over a sustained period of time, regardless of road relevance.

It’s the private sector billionaires who have always spiced up the field in F1. The ones who have been there before will NEVER return again and new ones won’t enter F1 for the first time until they are allowed to operate in a free and open environment where they can utilise every aspect of design, build and racing available to them.

That’s how they get a return on their investment and make a profit … by selling those amazing products and systems to the world.

If they are all doing the same thing, the market is flooded with “clones” and their products are merely a “copy” of everyone else’s!

That’s how they got to be billionaires, by selling systems and products which nobody else has to offer and being the first to offer them to the world.

It’s called innovation!

Bernie and his “friends” on the peripheries of F1 have made their fortunes from that exact process … make new rules and regs, design and manufacture the new products to meet the rules, perfect them on track in front of the world, sell the products in the real world, build those businesses up to a point where they are saleable for a monstrous profit and sell them. Then repeat!

Designers and engineers being “boxed’ into the FIA’s idiotic “uniformity” regulations is what has pushed other manufacturers (like Toyota and BMW) and brilliant people like Ross Brawn out of the F1 pit lane and kept potential new manufacturers away.

It also pushed Adrian Newey to the point of exasperation and disillusionment a few years ago … and he glady walked away for a couple of years to keep himself interested by designing a Hi-tech Yacht and an Aston Martin Hypercar – until they changed the rules again. That gave him a breath of fresh air and a new slate to work from so he returned.

The current “equalisation” environment in F1 causes brilliant designers and engineers to be collectively stifled, gagged and made to make a machine which more or less the same as every other car.

They are not proud and excited about the finished product anymore, because they are all bored senseless producing “clones”.

That is totally “un-F1” in every way!


Lets face it. Money buys world championship.

Since inception, F1 is a sport for the wealthy and influential. These incredibly wealthy people have no problem tossing away a few hundred million a year for fun.

FIA is really trying to balance the rule so that they don’t piss off Ferrari and Mercedes while rewording the rules so that the smaller guys “think they have a chance”.


Considering the readers of this website surely number in the hundreds, your post should make a difference, well done. Perspective my friend.


Hi Tyler, I’m guessing that was an attempt at a clever retort. If not, thanks for the comment … and disregard the next line!

As Sheldon from Big Bang would say …. Sarcasm??? Aheh aheh :-/


Okay Jack
One long fantastic but two assignment too many 😂


Wow Jack.

I’m so pleased you’re not in charge of F1, the fundamental lack of understanding or aero, and complete lack of thought on unintended consequences behind your hair brained ideas is breathtaking.

So with your keyboard, and very little else you have solved the issues? I think I’ll leave it to the team of people who actually have worked very successfully in a variety of F1 teams myself. The problems are many in F1, but they are not easy to solve. There are also some good things about F1, we have 3 competitive teams at the front for the first time in a long time, even if Red Bull are probably going to be hamstrung by Honda this year.

About the only thing I agree on in your varied rant is the fact that the FIA and Liberty need to grow a pair and remove the excessive manufacturer influence, and allow the lower teams a chance to catch up basically by not being outspent.


Wow Paul … Thanks for your incredibly intellectual input, you really took me apart and provided a plethora of poignant ideas of your own to solve the greatest problem F1 has ever faced … Survival!

It may be a rant, but my post is merely my opinion … you don’t have to read it … you don’t have to agree with it … and you certainly don’t have to take it for the gospel truth or the be-all-and-end-all of the discussion.

BTW, I have no idea wtf you’re on about with your comment regarding my “complete lack of understanding o(r)f aero”, I hardly said anything about it – but I can’t help noticing you made absolutely no effort to enlighten me with your own level of knowledge in that area. Maybe you are bereft of such knowledge and cleverly decided to dance around that fact to save face.

That’s okay, if you want a proper aero lesson, I can sort that out for you in another rant.

After self-funding my own motor racing career across many categories and enduring the mountains of bu!!sh!t put forward by many and varied motor racing series owners, promoters and managers for the better part of 40 years, I know enough about “aero” 😉 and politics to know that this so-called “fix” is just a flippant, expensive exercise by the owners of the series to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes. They are desperately trying to make it seem as though they are making a huge effort to head in the right direction for the 2021 season, rather than admit they are nowhere near implementing the raft of rules they want to, because they are being led by the nose like cows to the slaughter by far too many different teams, big and small, with far too many agendas to appease.

The clowns are running the circus and the ring-leaders don’t have the balls to tell them all to shut up, sit down, sign the contract and let’s go racing!!!

As for the “unintended consequences” or knock-on effect of my “open slather” concept, which you so kindly described as hair-brained, I’m guessing that like most people who have never been in business or suffered a failed enterprise and learned from the mistakes that got you there, you are thinking purely with your heart for the survival of the desperately under-funded smaller teams.

That’s admirable, chivalrous and charitable – but unfortunately it’s just not viable or sustainable because giving the small teams handouts, simply for competing, WILL NOT save them in the long run.

Only an astute, ruthless, emotionless head makes the right decisions for success in big business. The tear-jerking, empathatetic emotions of the heart will always send you broke. That’s a fact!

You say there are some goods things about F1, but you state only 1 – and it’s a very poor example of what is “good”!

You say with great confidence that it’s good to see 3 teams competing at the front. You may believe that but it’s just giving up – because you believe the alternative is too hard to accomplish. You’d rather settle for being satisfied with a poor version of F1 where it’s blatantly obvious that only 4 drivers from 2 teams can win 99% of races! And that’s if no team orders are implemented … then it’s only 2 drivers from 2 teams who are allowed to win!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s shameful and self-destructing in front of our eyes.

(you also say that Red Bull will be hamstrung by Honda this year – so by your reckoning, we will be back to just 2 teams at the front … hmmmm … great progress that!)

F1 is meant to be the absolute pinnacle of motor racing … a global platform for extremely wealthy automotive manufacturers and billionaires from the private sector to compete in … not a cushy, charitable series where anyone with a hundred million bucks can enter for the first year and then be afforded charity in order to stay there for any length of time.

Don’t you think that at least 7 teams running competitively at the pointy end with diverse, spectacular, futuristic machines and concepts, supported by billionaire budgets is the way F1 was meant to be played?

I do! And so do many millions of other F1 fans who pay a lot of money to get involved in the series each year both at circuits and on pay TV.

If you seriously believe that trying to make the game more equal by setting restrictive budget caps and paying them all equally for running 4th-10th is the correct business model for success, then you must be one of millions of the seriously deluded modern-left brigade who believe it’s best to give a kid a reward just for turning up to a sports day or handing in a blank piece of paper – without even trying to compete or apply themselves on any level.

Sorry to have to inform you of this Paul but … HUMANS ARE NOT ALL EQUAL!!! Far from it!

While the modern-minded masses are out there blindly and charitably implementing that foolish ‘equality’ mentality, the world is rapidly becoming a place where nobody wants to strive to be the best, become a leader, or worse … be responsible for anything at all.

The common thread now is, why should they bother trying to be the best they can be when they can sit back and get a handout simply for breathing.

We have created an existence where more and more people stand back like pathetic zombies and wait for charitable people with soft hearts and big pockets to give them handouts so they can survive.

Sounds exactly like the direction modern F1 is taking to me!!!

At least you agreed that Liberty are toothless.

Consultation, consensus and democracy are tools for creating a platform of inclusion, confusion and apathy – where everyone wants something different and nobody has the balls to take charge in order to achieve the best solution … just like the process going on now which allows Ferrari and Merc to dictate the future of F1 by demanding they get their way or they’ll pack up and leave.

It’s no different to the smaller teams demanding more money and better conditions while threatening that if things remain as they are, they will cease to exist.

It’s like starting a game of poker with $100 and when your chip stack gets down to $5, you demand someone “gives” you some more so you can remain in the game or you’ll get up and go home … GOOD BYE!!!

F1 teams are either funded well enough to be there for the long run – thus playing by the rules of the game they entered willingly to begin with – or they are not.

It’s quite simple and breathtakingly 😉 obvious Paul!

Thanks for your input but I have some advice for you as well Paul. Try being a leader and boldly putting your own set of ideas forward sometime. Rather than sitting back waiting for others to provide you with content you don’t agree with so you can pounce on it and provide us with your self-righteous, uncharitable comments.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post though Paul.

No doubt we’ll catch up again soon!


No it won’t work! Narrow the wheels/tyres, narrow the cars, reduce the size of the front and rear wings, reduce relience on the wings for grip, increase ground effects a little. The car behind must be able to follow the car in front closeley through corners to have a chance of getting beside it by the time they get to the braking zone at the end of the straight. With the reduced aero drag they’ll still be fast at the top end of the straights but will have to brake earlier and that will also assist and encourage passing while braking. As it is currently a braking passing manoever is very risky because of the short time and distance available (due to the excessive downforce) and the passing driver has to rely on the fact the driver being passed is aware he is there and is prepared to be a bit/very courtious. Also those ridiculous front wings cause too many crashes/retirements/pit stops because they get damaged themselves or/and damage tyres on other cars. I could go on but that’s enough for now!!!!!


Didn’t we already have f1 cars that looked like formula 3 cars with narrow tyres and narrow rear wings that looked like vaginas? That’s not formula 1. It’s not even gp2.


I’m seriously worried about the vaginas you’ve been looking at LukeC. 😀




You know the ones that are just like this long thin vertical slit with the “curtains” slightly parted? Those. 😉


This is exactly the same tinkering with the rules they have done with very limited success for the last two decades. They continue to ignore the simple fact that down force created from the top side of the car creates turbulence, drag and is rubbish at dealing with a wake. Underside i.e. floor derived down force isn’t, but the F1 rules haven’t permitted it in any significant amount since the early 80s when it was banned on safety grounds, probably quite rightly at the time, but things have moved on.

In summary. Ground effects, simple wings, no silly appendages, lots of horsepower, tracks that you can actually overtake on…


Also they need to bring the weigh of the cars down to at least under 600 kg including the driver. That will allow them to slash more downforce off without making the cars slower than GP 2 cars.

Plus it will make the cars more agile and more spectacular to watch.


So everybody is happy with these open wheeler WEC cars? Interesting.

I thought people wanted proper f1 cars, but I suppose that would, heaven forbid, entail getting rid of the super high tech, magical, battery assisted Star Trek tech.


I don’t think it’ll make any difference at all around the worst circuits on the calendar, ie Australia, Monaco, Hungary & Singapore, and to a lesser extent Abu Dhabi & Spain. Why base a quarter of your show on circuits that are so unconducive to good racing?


Anything that accentuates the talent of the driver should be welcomed. Anything that allows overtaking by the push of a button should be disallowed. Create cars that allow this, legislate for it in the construction rules, build circuits where late braking and slipstreaming are possible, watch how interesting F1 then becomes.

F1 is a terminal case, it’s gone down too many cul-de-sac’s now and it’s a mess frankly.


Hey C63, can we pick up that dominance conversation you participated in, in the ROC post.

Now that we have 5 in the books for Mercedes and a clear dynasty effort, and Schumacher on the cover of F1 racing under a post that says Lewis Makes it Five! …I wondered recently about the contrast in F1 eras. Why was the last such domination peak of F1 with Ferrari and it’s such a drop off here and now? What are the possible list of reasons beside PayTV? Please, I’m not steering this toward V10s. I’d just like a reasonably concise list of possible causes in order from biggest cause down. If we want to it could be a Top 10 list. 🙂



Not sure you are barking up the right tree, here. I don’t think it’s a question of ‘eras’ in terms of ‘Cosworth V8 era,’ or ‘V10 era,’ etc.

The (very, very boring) Schumacher dominance era was due to bringing the best team, ever, together – J Todt, R Brawn & Rory Byre + Schumacher (with an obvious number 2) + exclusive Bridgestone contact.

Not likely to bring all that together again. But, if someone could, they would dominate the same.

The most competitive era (which was the best) was when everyone pretty much had the same engine (in the 70s). That is what F1 should be like. You could build a car from scratch and be competitive.

Wolf won their first GP (Argentina 1977). OK, you could argue that was basically the best arts of the old Williams and Hesketh teams.

Liger started in 1976, had a pole that year (at Monza) and won the 1977 Swedish GP. They were the dominant team at the beginning of 1979.

What about Penske? Started at the end of 1974 and won in 1976?

March? Won a GP in their first year, with Jackie Stewart.

Tyrrell? Champions in their first full year and their 3rd!

I think it is to do with priorities:

F1 needs to get back to being a drivers championship. That means the best drivers should be winning. Generally they are, as they are in the best teams. But, the Alonso (self inflicted) tragedy shows something is wrong.

That gap between Red Bull and Renault shows something is wrong.

We don’t get surprising wins anymore. The order does not get mixed up.



Some very good points.

I’m really trying to put feelings aside. How I feel about V10s, or these PUs, or any feelings. I’m trying to get down to some data driven facts. I agree with you about what you say at the end. Of course Formula 1 is now a manufacturer advertising vehicle more than ever, and the rules are all set up to give them turns at the helm and ROI.

But let’s get back to domination.

I’m putting away my feelings about Ferrari or Mercedes. You say Ferrari was boring. I think this PU era is boring, with the cars not making up for the boredom. Stats say that Mercedes domination is way more predictable and way more of a domination than Ferrari era was. If you take the 5 years of Ferrari and these 5 years of Mercedes it’s not even close how much more dominant Mercedes has been the last 5.

So, here we are, in clearly the most dominant period of Formula 1 ever, and when it was happening last time around with Ferrari at a less predicable level for the manufacturer it was absolute peak of Formula 1. TV ratings and viewership was at an all time high. Races were packed. F1 was everywhere. Schumacher was a household name. Just a few weeks ago I was skating and a 12 year old girl was wearing a Schumacher jacket, and when I asked her about it a guy skated up to me and we started to talk Schumi. After all these years.

That Ferrari domination, and predictability likes of which F1 never saw before until that point resulted in peak popularity for F1.

This Mercedes domination, and predicability likes of which F1 has never seen before in the mean time is resulting in significant continuous season after season decreases of viewership. Little old Italy going to PayTV has issued a 7% punch to world wide ratings in 2018. Imagine what UK will do in 2019.

So what’s going on? Why was that domination such a hype and peak point, and this is such a down slope?

Sure, PayTV and accessibility is clearly one of the top reasons we have an issue. But what else? What else is really causing this downward drive? Is it just PayTV? Is it that viewers feel something is off? Is the spectacle no longer awe inspiring? 2019 is a very important data point year for two reasons. We have UK going to PayTV, and this is going to hit F1 world wide figures hard, but we also have 4 million fans who went to see HALO F1 in 2018. Will they be back in 2019? That 4 million number itself is interesting, because it is not necessarily unique visitors. But let’s not beat that up.

Look, we dog on F1, but in the end we want it to be successful, deliver real racing, showcase human achievement in driving skill and excite our senses. And I think F1 is not delivering on these points as you may know.

I am 100% with you – F1 needs to get back to driver championship. It needs to stop undermining driver skill and taking control away from drivers. But to do this manufacturers have to put more of their marketing program faith into a single man – the driver. Will they? I just don’t think they will in today’s environment, and this is really what it comes down to. They don’t want the risk, and they want as much of the credit as possible. That’s why we are where we are.



-Manufacturer desire for control and minimized risk.

-More entertainment choice than ever

-Erosion of spectacle

-Video games

-Race time that bounces around and isn’t fixed as it used to be

-Overly complex and restrictive rule book

Anything else?


So what is the ROI for the manufacturers? Can we please have the figures accompanied by a bit of insight into how the ROI is measured?

I suspect that the ROI has been really lousy, and is not even measurable with any kind of accuracy.

I also know that the manufacturers will stick to their guns and fight tooth and nail to maintain this smoke and mirrors excercise in virtue signalling until the bitter end. And the end will be bitter.


So as afar as Mercedes is concerned the ROI is rather nebulous. I mean they are in the business of selling cars so surely the visiblity/ exposure is just a means to an end.

That being the case they would also need to consider the people who have turned their backs on f1 and on Mercedes beacause of their dislike of the PUs as part of their ROI.


ROI would simply be measured in visibility and ratings.

Let’s look at Mercedes as example. The were with McLaren, and eventually the bottom line is McLaren messed up that relationship. Mercedes didn’t feel they were getting return on their support and investment. That whole SpyGate thing was really bad and probably the start of the resentment. That’s why it wasn’t that hard to get Mercedes to stretch into team ownership, and who better than Brawn to convince them. And after first few years on a restricted budget, Mercedes realized that more investment was needed to make it really happen, but the Mercedes board wasn’t going to throw money without assurances. And so they were the primary driver of the PU era effort, which would assure the ROI. It was probably granted to them as interest to give Mercedes PU era was aligned. F1 gets to keep a manufacturer and their investment. Mercedes gets the ROI in all the metrics that matter: Championships, TV exposure, dealer posters with little WCC shields on them.

The thing about ROI for these guys is that it completely doesn’t need to align with what the F1 Fans want. And that’s what the issue is that’s facing us here today. Fans want what fans want – well documented here in comments: fair competition, more level playing field, exciting cars that aren’t about saving fuel, engine, tires, and we want to see the drivers not covered by halos. We want free access to the sport too, because we feel with all the branding on the cars, we’re putting up with watching branded things (basically a sustained commercial) in return for our time of watching it – we shouldn’t have to pay for that.

BUT, the way marketing guys that now basically drive Formula 1 look at it, it is completely different. They don’t mind as much probably about the dropping TV ratings. You may say WHY? Well, the fact that F1 is going to PayTV is a bit of a “separating wheat form the chaff” situation. The freeloaders are dumped, and the paying customers emerge. In their eyes, marketing dudes will spin this as a higher quality of viewer/consumer. A qualified consumer, who likely has higher household earnings, higher disposable income to spend on their wares, higher brand demands and is a targeted focused consumer. What’s better? To give away the advertising for free to as many people as possible with only a small fraction of those people being your target audience? OR to make people pay for the advertising (read: generate additional revenue for F1) and in addition by getting these customers to pay they filter themselves out as your target higher earner audience? Funny…people who pay don’t come out looking so smart in above reality, do they?

Anyhow, there is your ROI. It’s all about filtering out those higher earners and finding a way to part them from their earnings. 🙂


agree and that gap has happened since the 14 rules…these hybrids have turned f1 into a three car championship…this wasn’t the case in redbull era…everyone knows it but no one will admit how bad merc domination has been for f1. Its not a good product anymore honestly. FE has better racing than F1 at the moment.


Three car championship? I think that’s rather optimistic.


What you wrote made perfect sense, it was just optimistic. I think it might be more like two cars can win the championship.


only three cars can win in F1
does that make more sense to you?


Overtaking in F1 2019, hope the turn 1 leaders don’t have it so easy this year, plus there may be more passes if the wins aren’t handed out on a plate (to one or if lucky two drivers) by closing the gulf between the midfield and top teams…

Closing it so that an early Ferrari or Merc first pit stop doesn’t mean they still come out of the pits ahead of the midfield, or ahead of cars from 5th down… omg! if the works Mercs have to pass another car (not a customer patsy like Ocon Force India) for position though!

Anyway, there’s a race about to start that’ll have great racing and overtakes looking at the field, cars and drivers… including ex-F1ers…

Montoya (3x winer)

Fittipaldi (his last race)

Maldonado (in the rain!)







the amazing Zanardi




Daytona 24h, watch it on t’internet or nbc, rain on its way, lights out soon…

Roll on the good racing for 2019 please!


It might help, (a little). Am I sure of that, nope, neither are the technicians and the teams themselves. Had it to be done? Yes ! It might be the way to go for the big, (will it be big?), changes in 2021. So let’s see in 2 months if it really helps. Btw, if we wanna see more overtaking that is worthwhile watching—-> get rid of the blue flags!


I do not know, but it works in F2 (GP2) quite well. Why they can not look at lower category cars and race series to see what is wrong in F1. F2 cars also have great sound. To be honest, if they would put F1 drivers into F2 cars that would be a pretty good solution of great racing.


You are probably right as the aero will be similar to F2. Those expecting slower lap times are wrong. RBR have already matched last year’s downforce and the effect of the extra DRS opening will be huge.!!


I sometimes think that F1 is a little like ‘Cyber Crime’ as the crimimals seem to be cleverer than the people who build the security systems and make the rules. There is a saying that ‘The devil looks after his own’!



Who knows, but whatever happens; I am sure the usual suspects will still be moaning about something.


I dunno, he seems to moan less since Rosberg left and poles are a given.



Lewis Hamilton poles in 2016 = 12.

Lewis Hamilton poles in 2018 = 11.


Statistics again.

I think what Clarks4WheelDrift actually should have written was Hamilton having a higher grid position of the two Mercs is now (nearly) a given since Rosberg left. When those two drove together, Hamilton had an advantage, but not to the level he has had over Bottas. If Rosberg had continued at Merc at the same level he was at in 2016, the poles of 2018 could easily have been 8 (instead of 11) for Hamilton, three of his others going to Rosberg for example. He was quicker than Bottas.

In 2016, it was only really Mercedes on pole position, as Rosberg had eight that season, with only Ricciardo scoring the only non Mercedes pole.

As for the outright number of poles scored by Hamilton in 2016 and 2018, as you point out TimW, they are nearly identical.


James T. Lewis beat Valterri 15,6 last year, and Nico 12,9 in 2016. It is worth remembering that Hamilton didn’t take part in three of those nine ‘wins’ for Nico though…..


I also wonder what the net effect of lap time till be personally C63. Faster, slower, same?

I think smart guess is slower right?

With loss of aero on turns only places like Monza or Azerbaijan perhaps will match YoY times. Monza may actually be faster. I wonder how much of a lap time effect will be lost with this revision. Also g-forces in turns, surely to be reduced, right?

With 20mm taller opening on a wider rear wing there is no doubt that DRS passing will increase significantly on straights in my view.

Will drivers take advantage of less disturbed air due to new front wing and pass in other non-DRS sections as well? I think the skillful ones will here or there if absolutely necessary. Mostly I think the smart play will be to take the easy and safer risk-free path of waiting till the straight and DRSing. Why squeeze and risk contact and DNF when they can easy-DRS few turns later? So turns will be used to close up gap with less air disturbance on front wing and then..swush on by in the straight.

Every sport and league is going in this direction of changing rules to create more offense and lead changes to help TV ratings as the fight for our attention.

What I think is not talked about is the fact that this revision clearly puts the emphasis more toward engine again in 2019 as a result. I have little doubt Mercedes still has an advantage there. Meaning a very good chance we go back toward a season that resembles something in the 2014-2016 period. What do you think C?


I’m afraid I have no choice but to agree with your point that the number of DRS overtakes will increase. I really don’t see drivers taking massive risks to execute knife-Edge, all-wheels-locked manoeuvres when they have the risk-free option of driving past the car ahead half way down the straight.

I suspect that they aim really was to just increead the number of overtakes, but not necessarily the quality. This worries me because I feel that at this point f1 is in danger of descending into a very depressing kind of philistinism, kind of like WWE, or Justin Bieber.


Oh, FYI – official take from FIA is that 2019 DRS effect will increase 25-30% over 2018 DRS effect.


I remember reading that one of the FIA goals of 2021 rules is to dump DRS. So it’s interesting that here we are for 2019 increasing the DRS in conjunction with all the efforts to clean up the air. I mean, was it necessary? Could we have just looked at what the outcome is with the new front wing and taller rear wing? Why did they throw the larger DRS effect into the mix if it is such an evil and they want to get rid of it?

That’s like saying “I’m sick of eating roasted red peppers!” Then putting twice as much on your plate the next day. But then again, here I am trying to apply logical thinking to F1. I should really know better.



DRS should have no place in F1…they brand these F1 boys as gladiators but then tell them here you go kids use this push to pass button since you can’t really overtake.


Exactly right. If they’re planning to bin the DRS, it makes no sense to increase the DRS effect by 25 or 30%. Although I guess it wouldn’t be F1 if it made sense.



What do I think? I think that even if we have 10 different poles sitters at the first 10 races, with the entire grid separated by less than a tenth of a second, and the races are won by 10 different drivers from 10 different teams and at the halfway point of the season we have a 10 way tie for the championship lead……..I bet you will still find something to moan about. That’s what I think!


true people did that in 12 when 7 guys won out 7 races and that was one of the only exciting season in this decade people still complained


@C63,,,Great moan there!!!



Have you blokes ever heard of irony?


It’s not like silvery but a bit less shiny.


Moaning about moaners…the usual suspects indeed…


But we will have 10 different pole sitters at the first 10 races, and the entire grid will be separated by less than a tenth of a second and the races will be won by 10 different teams, which is something that we don’t have now.



I’m aware that we never had that. But we had glorious v8s and v10s, and now we don’t even have that.


We’ve never had that Luke – not even in the glorious days of the V8’s and V10’s.


OK C63. Thanks for having and discussion. Let’s go back to not talking then. Maybe you can ask TimW to do likewise? He seems to be quite buddy buddy with you. Cheers.



Well done – you held out for nearly an hour! I’m not sure that ultimatums are your thing? Bit like predictions, eh 🙂


@sebee I don’t see the Toto gives Bottas a ‘Rosberg’ panning out as I think Mercedes are more likely to want to assist Lewis equal or beat MSc records none of which was set in a MERCEDES! As for their wingman, they would not have risked letting him do that rally were he considered a prime asset given that they have Ocon twiddling his thumbs for a year! Actually the rally was ironic since with a faster car than everyone else he funished fifth somewat mirroring his 2018 results 🙂


I remember looking and seeing that the 2018 Spa and Monza races were slower than 2017 versions, and I think both 2017 races were won by Mercedes.

3 of those 4 races had safety cars, so not exactly representative.

F1Metrics has a good list of average top speeds in their year end review:



Force India





Red Bull

Toro Rosso


Ferrari engined cars are 1, 4 and 5 on that list, Mercedes 2, 3 and 6. It’s narrow but Ferrari on average had a small edge.

(I also don’t know why Red Bull are so bullish that Honda are going to propel them to the title, but that’s another story…).


I hope the kids can’t hear you two….


C63, I don’t want to bring luggage from last year to this one. I was trying to have a constructive civilized conversation as the JAonF1 party fades out and probably comes to a close sometime soon. But I’m not going to sit here and fight for it. Seems you wish to keep it adversarial, so let’s not bother. I mean, I did reply to you because you kept pointing out something about my race to race predictions…even if my 2018 season outcome and script prediction was quite spot-on. (little self pat there) 🙂

So, since you’re not fussed either way, let’s not fuss. Enjoy 2019, I know you will as you’ve seen my prediction I hope. Another Mercedes year, but this one intra-team storyline, and I’m not leaving it out of the question that Toto gives Bottas the engine modes to win the WDC this year.

TimW, see how civilized this can be? Just like that.



Let’s go back to not talking then.


If you like. I’m not fussed either way – it was you, if you recall, that couldn’t stick to your guns ! Do you think you’ll hold out for more than 24 hours this time?


Sebee, you have little doubt that Mercedes still has an engine advantage? Obviously this information doesn’t surprise me at all, but I would be interested in how you came to that conclusion.



Keh? – I suggest you watch Spa again then. Or Monza. That Ferrari engine is clearly faster!

Shame about the lead driver though.


Slip stream and less wing, that’s the explanation.

Let’s also remember the Mercedes blasting past the Ferrari in Russia.


NickH, and are you forgetting that any difference in wing levels would have been very small, and nothing like enough to explain Seb waltzing past Lewis in the way he did.


Are we again forgetting that Mercedes ran more wing at Spa?


Sebee, you remember Spa and Monza being slower in 2018 than 2017? Ummm, Spa 2017 race time = 1hr24m42.820s

Spa 2018 race time = 1hr23m34.476s

Monza was slower, maybe because Mercedes were ‘playing games’ with Ferrari, but more likely because there was no safety car in 17, and Seb’s usual antics caused one in 18…..


I remember looking and seeing that the 2018 Spa and Monza races were slower than 2017 versions, and I think both 2017 races were won by Mercedes. Now of course there are factors and variables, but it surprised me that 2018 versions would be slower than 2017 versions. Then look at the next races and they are faster than 2017 versions. Unusual?

Not saying it’s a fact, but it certainly is a possibility that Mercedes were doing only what was necessary engine mode wise in 2018, brining competition closer perhaps? This would make Ferrari look quicker, while they have time to spare if needed/wished.

Just too much of this mysterious Year-over-Year Mercedes slowing down in quali/race for my liking. Then suddenly, no more slowing down!


By watching the second half of 2018 F1 season.


Don’t bother Luke. TImW seems to just overlook the fact that big gaps in F1 aren’t the M.O. anymore. Not needed. You pull out up front, and even though they could finish a minute up, that would only mean more engine used up and PU wear. So, they pull out up front and get their 8 second gap in and maintain. It start closing, they change engine mode to regain it. As needed. When needed. It’s pointless to discuss things with him. I’m done replaying to him, even if he replies to me. Of course he’ll keep baiting, but just ignore.

In any case, TimW is fully entitled to his point of view, just as you are. Or I am. To be honest with you, I don’t even know why I bother sharing it anymore.

This is all very simple going forward for me in 2019.

– If it’s raining or I’m on a treadmill – watch the race

– If it’s sunny or I’m at the beach, watch the YouTube highlights

– It is what it is. It won’t be what it once was.

The End.


Luke, I don’t doubt that you will say it will continue, but sensible people who deal in reality will say something different.


TimW, they didn’t allow Ferrari to beat them. Merc still won the drivers and constructors and they did Liberty a favour by giving the fans something to watch.

It’s a win-win arrangement that will continue for as long as we have PUs.


Luke. By ‘playing games’ do you mean ‘allowing Ferrari to beat them’? Not happening.


Sebee, what races? What happened on circuit that made you think “Wow, that Mercedes has a much more powerful engine than the Ferrari”


I too came to that conclusion and I only saw the highlights and read the post race analyses.

How some people can’t see that Merc are playing games with Ferrari completely escapes me.



Track position will still be vital so I expect to see one stop strategies to be the favoured way to go even if the computer models show that a two stopper is quicker. Except you’d have to overtake which will still be virtually impossible if both protagonists are on similar tyres.


Getting a safe gap to avoid the increased DRS effect will be ideal strategy for the leaders.

It is why I think Mercedes will go for poles hard and allow even faster engine modes in Quali early on in GP to get a gap in first 2 laps and avoid the DRS risk for leading car in 2019. It is the ideal play. Like they did 2014-2016.

But further down the field it will be a plethora of DRS back and forth in the midfield, I think.


Or they can put on a show by qualifying a bit further back and then selecting the “party mode” on the steering wheel and blowing past a few cars before pulling away by 20 or 30 seconds.

Whatever, either option is good.


Luke. Examples of that happening please.


Luke, so just another exaggeration from you then?


Maybe not pulling away by 20 or 30 seconds, but pulling away enough to get out of the DRS range of the cars behind.


It might happen this year. It doesn’t necessarily have to, but Merc have that option if they choose to make use of it.


That’s easy enough, nope. By taking away the various end plate mounted elements, but keeping the complex multi layer main element and with a greater surface area, precisely nothing will change. Actully I predict one change, even more of these ultra wide front wings will get wiped off on lap 1 than normal.


If they wanted to solve this problem, they need only look at a 1993 Williams, with it’s fairly narrow but extremely deep front wing. Flat end plates, massive surface area from two very simple flaps, generates downforce whatever’s in front of it. Want more downforce? Increase the flap angle, trade drag for grip, want to go faster? Flatten them out, lose corner speed, simple.


short answer: no
they did the same thing 09…does any remember alonso not being able to overtake petrov in 10? F1 has failed at improving overtaking in past two decades and I doubt its gonna change now. These are just marketing buzzwords to keep interested people in F1. Sad but that’s the current state we live in!


Just some dates to note since you’re talking 09 and 10. DRS came in 2011. And this 2019 DRS version will have a 25-30% bigger effect than 2018.

DRS Baby! It’s the easy way out to increase passing.

Makes me laugh, these decision makers. Everything is a weight scale. You put something on one side you take something away on the other side. They seem to think DRS has no impact on the product in terms of dumbing down and taking away elements. Driver being able to defend against a pass was a dramatic thing in F1. Legendary stuff happened because of that. That’s all gone now. But as I said…all professional sport leagues frown on defense now adays. Defense doesn’t sell. I’m actually surprised Football(soccer) leagues aren’t pushing for more scoring. Or are they?


yeah they’re slowly killing the mastery of defending against a car. Does anyone remember montoya’s overtaking moves in early 2000s. They all looked spectacular because of the effort and skill it needed. We are gonna have similar drama again this year. I really can’t stand F1 as a product anymore. Its gotten worse over the years…sad but true


can i just say that that incedent there was simply because the renault was rediculously fast in a straight line, some graphics were saying that petrovs car was travvelling about 8-10 kph faster than the ferrari. even a daniel riccardo couldnt outbrake a car with that sort of speed advantage


yeah I understand that but honestly 09 rule changes didn’t really bring any overtaking improvements…08 cars were far better looking and raced well…09 onwards we ended up with condom adverts on f1 cars….my point is they have been going on a wrong patch ever since.


Highly doubt anything of significance will happen. Happy new year all.


Now how about limiting the number of front wings.

Everything else is.

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