Overtaking could increase by 50% in some F1 races

Simulations carried out to gauge the impact of Formula 1's 2019 aerodynamic rule changes have indicated overtaking could increase by as much as 50% at some races this year.

Overtaking could increase by 50% in some F1 races

Simpler front wings, bargeboards and brake ducts, plus a simpler and wider rear wing, were all introduced for this season to make it easier for cars to follow one another and increase the effect of F1's drag reduction system.

Drivers were unsure it had made much difference after the season opener in Australia but seemed more encouraged last weekend in Bahrain, at a more conventional circuit, where a third DRS zone was also added.

The FIA's head of single-seater technical matters Nikolas Tombazis has revealed that simulations of cars following each other in races from 2018, using the 2019 aero rules, were more encouraging depending on the circuit.

"We were not expecting a huge delta in Australia, which is a difficult track at which to overtake in any case," Tombazis said in an interview conducted prior to the Bahrain Grand Prix, published in the latest edition of the FIA's AUTO magazine.

"Some simulations were showing a +10% increase of overtaking, assuming a similar evolution of a race, of course.

"In other races the same simulations expect a more sizeable increase, possibly to the tune of +50%.

"That's the feedback we've had so far, but it will really only become clear as we progress through the season.

"We weren't expecting miracles in round one at Australia, but generally we are expecting a step in the right direction as far as aerodynamics are concerned."

The 2019 rule changes were a reaction to the power and complexity of the cars' aerodynamics reaching a new level in 2018.

Tombazis described the wider rear wing, which has resulted in a much bigger gain from utilising the DRS, as a "safe bet" to complement the other changes to address "a worsening trend".

He added: "Looking at the cars in testing and seeing certain solutions [to the changes] there are undoubtedly a few things we might have done slightly differently in the rules, but that's always the case.

"Overall, I'm pleased with the direction of the aerodynamic characteristics.

"I certainly don't think we have arrived at the final destination point and we can never sit back and say, 'OK, it's all fine'.

"However, I think that if we hadn't gone through this process and we were sitting here writing the 2021 rules we would be in a much weaker position.

"For what we are trying to achieve, 2019 has been a very useful exercise and has lessened the wake effect.

"Whether this season proves to be an exciting championship depends on how closely matched the teams are. And like everyone else, that's something I'm very anxious to see."

shares
comments
Revealing the full scale of Racing Point’s expansion

Previous article

Revealing the full scale of Racing Point’s expansion

Next article

Why the Brawn GP story was no fairytale

Why the Brawn GP story was no fairytale
Load comments
The Mercedes lap that puts F1 victory fight back on a knife-edge Prime

The Mercedes lap that puts F1 victory fight back on a knife-edge

Red Bull led the way after the first two practice sessions for the 2021 French Grand Prix, but only just ahead of Mercedes. There was all the usual practice skulduggery complicating the performance picture, but one aspect seen at the world champion squad gave it a ‘surprise’ lift, as it looks to leave its street-circuit struggles firmly in the past.

Formula 1
Jun 19, 2021
How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working Prime

How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working

After its worst campaign in 40 years, the famous Italian team had to bounce back in 2021 – and it appears to be delivering. Although it concedes the pole positions in Monaco and Baku paint a somewhat misleading picture of its competitiveness, the team is heading into the 2022 rules revamp on much stronger footing to go for wins again

Formula 1
Jun 18, 2021
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Prime

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
The F1 figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again Prime

The F1 figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again

OPINION: An interloper squad got amongst the title contenders during Formula 1’s street-circuit mini-break, where Red Bull left with the points lead in both championships. But, as the campaign heads back to purpose-built venues once again, how the drivers of the two top teams compare in one crucial area will be a major factor in deciding which squad stays in or retakes the top spot

Formula 1
Jun 16, 2021
Why Alfa's boss is up to the task of securing a stronger F1 future Prime

Why Alfa's boss is up to the task of securing a stronger F1 future

Two tenth places in recent races have lifted Alfa Romeo to the head of Formula 1's 'Class C' battle in 2021, but longer-term the Swiss-based squad has far loftier ambitions. With the new 2022 rules set to level out the playing field, team boss Frederic Vasseur has good reason to be optimistic, as he explained to Motorsport.com in an exclusive interview

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
How Barnard's revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction Prime

How Barnard's revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction

The MP4/1 was pioneering by choice, but a McLaren by chance. STUART CODLING relates the tangled (carbon fibre) weaves which led to the creation of one of motor racing’s defining cars

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool Prime

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool

Wind tunnel work forms the bedrock of aerodynamic development in Formula 1. But as Pat Symonds explains, advances in virtual research are signalling the end of these expensive and complicated relics.

Formula 1
Jun 13, 2021
Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Prime

Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. Stuart Codling weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising.

Formula 1
Jun 12, 2021