F1 has overtaking weapon it didn’t have before - Lowe

Formula 1's newest push to improve overtaking can avoid previous pitfalls because grand prix bosses have a weapon they did not have before, according to Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe.

F1 has overtaking weapon it didn’t have before - Lowe

An independent research and development project is looking at making it easier for F1 drivers to race one another, with an initial change being implemented for 2019 ahead of a bigger overhaul as part of F1's 2021 revolution.

Lowe, one of the key players in F1's Overtaking Working Group a decade ago, said F1 has not benefitted from such a dedicated approach before and will help avoid unintended consequences of its planned regulation changes.

"The more work you can put into it the better," said Lowe. "The good thing now is that F1 are actually spending money on a central R&D for aerodynamic performance which never existed before.

"The OWG was just a one-off project with a fixed amount of time that was paid for by the teams with an outside contractor.

"I think if the OWG had continued another year they would have looked at the cars that had been created and thought up another round of tests.

"So, I think it is good that F1 have a permanent staff dealing with that subject.

"It will improve the ability to track what is happening and stop unwanted side-effects much more quickly should they occur."

However, he cautioned: "These things are always possible, it is difficult to say they won't happen again.

"In the end the rules are more and more complicated and they are not fully explored or tested by any means."

Lowe says the detail that has been talked for the 2021 overhaul about could be more important than the style, with F1 teams still assisting by supplying data and reviewing suggestions.

He also highlighted the sort of problem that occurred with the original OWG efforts for 2009, which could be avoided this time.

"I know in the OWG, whatever the number was, we roughly halved it," said Lowe. "I've seen he [F1 sporting boss Ross Brawn] is quoting 50-80% with some particular reference to distance, which sounds like an achievement.

"It would be more than was achieved by OWG. The interesting thing about the OWG is that as soon as people brought in outwashing front wing endplates, which was immediately I think, what was seen in the tunnel was not delivered.

"So, it will be interesting to see the step we make next year and then what we can build on that into 2021."

F1 released concept images for its 2021 cars last week after a photo was leaked prior to the Singapore Grand Prix.

Those concept cars have been played down by some teams already and Lowe suggested he agreed.

"[Look are] an important part and you do need to try and guide it in some way," he said. "It will be difficult for the cars to look exactly as they have been drawn.

"I don't think we want all the cars to look identical anyway."

shares
comments
What Singapore GP can teach other F1 races

Previous article

What Singapore GP can teach other F1 races

Next article

Red Bull now has best car in F1, says Verstappen

Red Bull now has best car in F1, says Verstappen
Load comments
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.

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
Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture Prime

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture

Sergio Perez has spent most of his career labouring in Formula 1’s midfield, wondering whether he’d ever get another shot at the big time. Red Bull has handed him that chance and, although life at the top is tough, the Baku winner is doing all the right things to get on terms with Max Verstappen, says BEN ANDERSON

Formula 1
Jun 11, 2021
What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight Prime

What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight

Formula 1 has been tracking car performance using timing loops mounted every 200m around each circuit – to the extent that it was able to anticipate Ferrari’s 'surprise’ pole in Monaco. PAT SYMONDS explains what this means for this season and beyond

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with Prime

The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with

OPINION: After consecutive street races with contrasting highlights, one theme stood out which has become a prevalent issue with modern Formula 1 cars. But is there a way to solve it or, at least, reach a happy middle ground to help all parties?

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The changes behind a 'feel-good' F1 result in Baku Prime

The changes behind a 'feel-good' F1 result in Baku

OPINION: The Azerbaijan Grand Prix had elements that make Formula 1 really exciting – unpredictability and shock results. This resulted in heartbreak for several of the championship’s regular contenders and joy for others who rarely reach the ultimate limelight. And one of those on the Baku podium is riding a wave of form he’s keen to continue

Formula 1
Jun 9, 2021
The human cost to replacing Formula 1's cancelled rounds Prime

The human cost to replacing Formula 1's cancelled rounds

OPINION: With the global pandemic still lingering, Singapore's grand prix has been cancelled for 2021, with more looking likely to follow. Although Formula 1 has TV deals and profits to chase, retaining a 23-race calendar could be most harmful to those who sacrifice the most for the championship.

Formula 1
Jun 8, 2021
Azerbaijan Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Azerbaijan Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An eventful weekend in Baku full of incident and drama lent the race result an unusual feel, as three drivers scored their first podiums of the year. But it wasn't the eventual race winner who scored top marks in our driver ratings

Formula 1
Jun 7, 2021