Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis
Topic

Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

How Formula 1 is cutting downforce again for 2021

Formula 1’s 2021 regulations had already been changed once in order to cut downforce next year, so Pirelli’s current tyres would not get over-stressed by increased forces.

How Formula 1 is cutting downforce again for 2021

But the rate of progress that teams have made in the opening half of this season has made the FIA concerned the original plan – for a 10 percent reduction in downforce – did not go far enough.

So with Pirelli set to run the current tyres for their third year, before the new 18-inch design comes in for 2022, more changes have now been made to the regulations.

It is hoped that the tweaks will mean less load is put through the tyres, and that in turn will not force Pirelli to stipulate ever higher minimum pressures as has been the case this season.

Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL35, heads into the pits with a front puncture

Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL35, heads into the pits with a front puncture

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

The main changes still require teams to have a section of the floor ahead of the rear tyre cut away.

However, whereas it was still anticipated that teams might use a limited number of slots on the floor’s periphery to reclaim performance, they will now be prevented from doing so.

As an added measure, to help achieve their downforce reduction goals, the FIA is also making changes to the regulations surrounding the fins on the rear brake ducts and the vertical strakes mounted in the diffuser. 

2021 brakes fins Race
2021 diffuser central fins rules

With regards to the brake duct fins, the governing body will stress that the fins have a maximum width of 40mm below the axle line, whilst the diffuser strakes will only be allowed 50mm above the reference plane.

This latest batch of additional regulation changes won’t really change too much for the designers though, as in reality they have already been redesigning these surfaces to take into account the ones already conceived to trim downforce. 

Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL35 with a 2021 spec floor

Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL35 with a 2021 spec floor

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Teams started work on next year's car some time ago, as illustrated by McLaren’s eagerness to test a 2021 style floor during free practice at the Belgian GP.

The Woking-based team hoped this would help it understand how this will affect the balance of the car, and perhaps more critically give it some real world data to corroborate what it has already seen in its simulations and in the wind tunnel.

Read Also:

shares
comments

Related video

Brown surprised "angry" Stroll withdrew Racing Point appeal
Previous article

Brown surprised "angry" Stroll withdrew Racing Point appeal

Next article

Will Sebastian Vettel be Aston Martin’s F1 saviour?

Will Sebastian Vettel be Aston Martin’s F1 saviour?
Load comments
Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari Prime

Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari

Formula 1's return to Spain on Friday ended with Ferrari leading the way from Mercedes, while Red Bull could only manage third fastest overall courtesy of Max Verstappen. But its chances of victory are far from remote with a deeper dig into the times despite Ferrari's strong start...

Formula 1
May 20, 2022
The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries Prime

The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries

The VW Group’s German superpowers of sportscar racing have all but confirmed they are coming to F1 when the next set of engine rules come into force in 2026. Here's why both manufacturers are all set to take the plunge, and crucially how it might work

Formula 1
May 19, 2022
How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup Prime

How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup

Holding a race in Las Vegas – party central, a city of dreams and decadence and, yes, more than a smattering of tackiness – has been on Liberty Media’s most-wanted list since it acquired Formula 1’s commercial rights. But, as LUKE SMITH explains, F1 has been here before and the relationship didn’t work out

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads Prime

Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads

A Formula 2 and Formula E champion, Nyck de Vries is currently considering where his future in motorsport lies. Continuing in WEC and Formula E is possible and he's also courted glances Stateside after impressing in an IndyCar test. But ahead of his Formula 1 FP1 debut with Williams, he could have another option if he impresses...

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why Leclerc's crash shouldn't put off F1 drivers tasting history Prime

Why Leclerc's crash shouldn't put off F1 drivers tasting history

OPINION: For a demo run ahead of Monaco's Historique Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was blessed with the opportunity to drive Niki Lauda's former Ferrari 312B3 - but a brake failure at Rascasse suggested Leclerc's Monaco hoodoo transcended contemporary F1. Although an awkward incident, Leclerc deserves credit for embracing F1's history.

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why the lack of "needle" between Red Bull and Ferrari is a mirage Prime

Why the lack of "needle" between Red Bull and Ferrari is a mirage

OPINION: The fight for the 2022 Formula 1 world titles between Red Bull and Ferrari so far features little of the public animosity that developed between the former and Mercedes last year. But that isn’t to say things are full on friendly or won’t get much worse very quickly…

Formula 1
May 17, 2022
The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight Prime

The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight

The Toleman TG184 was the car that could, according to legend, have given Ayrton Senna his first F1 win but for Alain Prost and Jacky Ickx at Monaco in 1984. That could be stretching the boundaries of the truth a little, but as STUART CODLING explains, the team's greatest legacy was in giving the Brazilian prodigy passed over by bigger outfits an opportunity

Formula 1
May 16, 2022
Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes Prime

Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes

Two famous manufacturer teams born out of humble midfield origins, splashing the cash while attempting to rise to the top of F1 in record time. There are clear parallels between Lawrence Stroll’s Aston Martin and the doomed Jaguar Racing project of 22 years ago, but Mark Gallagher believes struggling Aston can avoid a similar fate.

Formula 1
May 15, 2022