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 times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Prime

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi...

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1 Prime

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Prime

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. Damien Smith brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1.

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Prime

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus Prime

How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Prime

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Prime

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says Stuart Codling.

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Prime

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021