F1 floor changes could lead to "front to back" rework of aero

Racing Point Formula 1 technical director Andy Green says a seemingly minor change to the floor regulations for 2021 will require a "front to back" reworking of the current aerodynamic package.

F1 floor changes could lead to "front to back" rework of aero
Listen to this article

The change was agreed during the shutdown as a way of reining in downforce levels for 2021.

The aim is to ensure that Pirelli's current tyres can be used until the end of next season by in effect cancelling out the usual year-on-year increase in downforce.

Aero research by Racing Point since the shutdown ended has indicated that the change has altered the flow structure over the car to such extent that it will trigger a completely new package for the 2021 season.

"We've taken a slice of real estate out of the floor in front of the rear tyre," said Green.

"It takes a really large hit aerodynamically to a point where I would be surprised if anybody was able to develop their way out of it in the time we have available for 2021. So I fully expect 2021 cars to be slower than 2020 cars.

"It's a huge change, believe it not. A small change relatively speaking to the floor has had quite a significant impact on the performance of the car.

"It's not just a redevelopment of the floor, unfortunately, it's a redevelopment almost of the front to back aerodynamics of the car to try and recover it.

"So it became quite clear that our focus has to turn quite quickly onto 2021 because of that. There isn't going to be a significant amount of aerodynamic carry over from '20 to '21. Mechanically yes, but aerodynamically probably not."

Read Also:

Green said some teams had hoped for a change that didn't have such a crucial impact on the flow structure.

"We didn't want a change that was going to significantly change the flow structure on the car. Unfortunately, the change that's come through does do that.

"We understand the reasons why, we understand that we do need to peg back the performance of the car, and for sure this is going to peg back the performance of the car in 2021.

"It's the same for everybody, I don't think anybody's got an advantage or disadvantage relatively speaking compared to other teams because of this change, I think we're all in the same boat.

"It's just never nice when you do a change to a car and get a very large hit, and you realise that it's not a small development."

Due to the shutdown F1 teams were not able to run their own simulations during the discussions about the change – hence the surprise when that work was done.

"When we decided on the change we weren't allow to do any simulations on a current car, the simulations were coming from F1 with their modelling. It wasn't until we got back from the break and started to look at it we realised how big a change it was."

Green says that the aero development on the 2020 car is compromised because the team has to do as much work as it can now for 2021.

That work has to start early because on January 1 the rules allow teams to finally switch their focus to the all-new 2022 car, so that will have to take priority.

"Obviously we've got new restrictions in aerodynamic testing that we're now working to, there was a 20% reduction that everyone agreed to once we came back from the shutdown, and we've got an ever bigger reduction when we get to January 1.

"For sure January 1 is going to be the time when our sights change across to 2022.

"We've got a certain amount of development [for 2021] that we can use up to December 31, and I think the teams that are most efficient are going to get the biggest gain from that."

shares
comments
The 2005 US GP farce: The full inside story
Previous article

The 2005 US GP farce: The full inside story

Next article

Steiner: Haas sale rumours are just plain mischief

Steiner: Haas sale rumours are just plain mischief
Load comments
The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move Prime

The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move

OPINION: Uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton's future has persisted since the race direction call that denied him an eighth world title in Abu Dhabi last month. But while walking away would be understandable, Hamilton has time and again responded well in the face of adversity and possesses all the tools needed to bounce back stronger than ever

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility Prime

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2022
The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins Prime

The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, We pick out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1 Prime

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022