The FIA consultation on the future of Formula One clearly demonstrated that the vast majority of the viewing public (94% according to the FIA/AMD survey) want more overtaking. This is at a time when overtaking in Formula One has become increasingly difficult.
Most aerodynamic research aims to improve a car's performance when running in what is known as 'clean' air which has not been disturbed by the wake of a car running in front. However, in race conditions when cars follow each other closely, the wake of the car in front significantly reduces the aerodynamic performance of the following car, making overtaking extremely difficult and often impossible.
As a general rule, the better the aerodynamic performance of a car on its own, the worse its effect on the car behind and the greater the loss of performance for that car.
In order to encourage overtaking, the FIA initiated a programme of research into improving the aerodynamic performance of a car when trying to overtake. The objective was to produce regulations for a car shape which would create a wake in which a following car would generate more downforce with reduced drag.
With the help of the FIA's technology partner AMD, the FIA's research team have reached a preliminary conclusion which the FIA is now able to publish. The CDG Wing (Centreline Downwash Generating Wing) will be presented to the Formula One Commission meeting in London today (October 24).
It is intended that the CDG Wing, together with wider wheels and slick tyres, will form part of the 2008 FIA Formula One Technical Regulations. With the support and collaboration of the teams it may be possible to introduce these changes as early as 2007.
Max Mosley, FIA President said: "This new research is important for the future of Formula One. By introducing the CDG wing we can give motor sport fans exactly what they have asked for, wheel-to-wheel racing with much more overtaking."
"It is our hope that the teams will collaborate with us in the optimisation of this radical new idea so that the aerodynamic benefits can be introduced into Formula One in 2007 rather than having to wait until 2008."
Henri Richard, AMD Executive Vice President said: "It's clear the FIA has listened to the feedback of its key constituents - F1 fans around the world - and has taken a bold, innovative approach to improving overtaking and therefore creating a more exciting race experience. AMD is committed to encouraging innovation and creativity and to helping the world's leading organizations take advantage of the phenomenal impact of our technology."