The approved 2019 regulation changes were approved last week and they were centered on a new front wing design, larger rear wing for more DRS impact and a few other tidbits of importance. This happened while F1 and the FIA are also trying to forge a new set of regulations for 2021 and on one hand, you could understand if next year’s changes are a sort of precursor for 2021 but that didn’t sit well with Red Bull boss Christian Horner:
“I find it a little surprising,” Horner told Autosport.
“Going from the Strategy Group where no one supported it to a week later a couple of big teams supporting it, it was amazing.
“The regulations have been rushed through, a lot of them are in conflict with existing regulations, so there’s going to be a meeting on Sunday to tidy it up, whether that’s achievable or not.
“The problem is that it’s very immature research, it’s focused on 2021, and so there’s no guarantees that it’s going to have the desired impact that’s required. Cherry-picking invariably never works.
“But in the meantime it’s a completely new car, because obviously the front wing dictates everything that goes over the car.
“So everything changes for next year. The cost involved in that is absolutely enormous.
“For some of the smaller teams it’s going to have a much bigger impact fiscally.”
Now, with a guy like Adrian Newey on staff, I would submit that calling a set of aerodynamic regulation immature is probably well within your right to do so such is his command of the discipline. I did fine the nod to 2021 an interesting issue, however.
If F1 and the FIA are trying to nudge the series forward with regulations that improve the series year on year until we get to 2021 with a rash of new regulations, the knock-on impact could be exactly what Horner suggests. Everything on the car flow from the front wing and I am curious to see if that actually means that all the teams will now need a completely new car next year.
It’s one of the trump cards in the FIA trinity (cost, sustainability, safety) that is used to thwart any subject and the trinity is inarguable—I give you HALO as an example. Horner says that tires and circuits are an area to look at instead of creating an all-new car for 19 and 20 and then do it all over again for 21.
“When you look at the first four races, OK Melbourne was a static race, but it always is,” he said.
“The last three races have been fantastic. It’s better to look at circuit layouts and the role that tyre degradation can or can’t play in a race.”
Christian is a sharp cookie and knows the sport much better than I but I tend to think that changing circuits to accommodate the car designs is a very expensive way to go about business and most track owners don’t have the funds to make such drastic alterations. It seems to me it would be better to change the cars but what do I know?
Hat Tip: Autosport