F1 2019 cars designers are not thinking about race overtaking
Few things bring everyone associated with F1 together like the issue of overtaking during races, with the consensus amongst fans, drivers, team principals and the authorities that there is not enough!
The upshot is that Ross Brawn, F1’s managing director of motorsports, has put together a group of experts, including former GP car designers Pat Symonds and Jason Somerville, to help draw up the 2021 technical rules package.
Although improving overtaking was not part of Brawn’s team’s original remit, it is now focusing on resolving the issue after criticism of the sport following this year’s opening Australian Grand Prix. It was prompted to do this after drivers complained prior to a presentation to the teams at the Bahrain GP.
The FIA has now confirmed new aerodynamical regulations for next season aimed at tackling overtaking. These involve a simplified front wing, new brake ducts, and a wider, deeper rear wing. Details of the new regulations can be found on the F1 website.
Fans took advantage of the F1 Paddock Club Abu Dhabi in the final chance to have a close-up of the current cars in the final race of the season back in November at the Yas Marina track.
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Not everyone is holding their breath that the changes announced for next season will solve all the problems. Gunther Steiner, the Haas team boss, claims designers will not be considering overtaking when they pore over the new regulations for 2019 and says it is too early to decide what effect the changes will have. He believes designers will focus on getting the most in terms of performance rather than worrying about how the driver behind their car is coping with the airflow.
Team bosses are concerned that the announcement of the new regulations for next season, which Brawn says are an addition to the changes being planned for 2021, may disrupt the introduction of updates during the remainder of the year.
Haas has introduced a massive upgrade this year. According to one of the team’s drivers, Romain Grosjean, this was done on the understanding there would be no changes to the rules next season.
The pressure has now been piled on designers to begin planning for next year.