F1 to investigate overtaking again..pssst, it’s the aero

F1 technical wonks have been summoned by the F1 Strategy Group to bring their ideas on how to improve overtaking in Formula 1. According to an AUTOSPORT article, the group was to meet over the break but now will meet around the Belgian Grand Prix weekend.

“Recently we’ve had a directive from the Strategy Group that they want to improve the overtaking.

“It’s something we’ve not yet discussed. There was supposed to have been a meeting before the summer break, but that was postponed, and it’s now the Tuesday before Spa.

“All I can say is the design we have on the table [for 2017] is not necessarily something that would cover that.”

Now here’s the kicker for me:

“At the moment we’re still very dependent on the front of the car generating downforce for the whole car,” he said.

“The effect of that is as a car approaches the one in front it doesn’t just lose downforce from the front of the car, but the whole of the car, so maybe that’s something we will be looking at in the next meeting.

“Is that something we can do something about, or is that a function of the cars as they are? That’s what I expect to be discussing.”

Ok, so this goes back to what Paul and I have said many times, spec rear wing prevents radical front wing design as it would produce a seriously unbalanced car. Others have suggested a spec front wing and that would do the trick too and perhaps Gary Anderson is more positioned to know the overall impact of using the front instead of the rear but I’m pretty sure reducing aero is the answer and perhaps they will all get together to discuss the elephant in the room but I would be damned shocked if they did anything about it. More baubles, trinkets and constructs please.


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They already have the mandated aero-neutral zone in the centre of the front wing, could they just extend that?


Can someone explain how the group of the same technical people who helped create a situation are going to be the right choice to determine his to alleviate that same situation? To be sure, these are very very bright people and, were you to sit down and discuss this over a few beers would probably all admit that they were aware if the problem – and the best solutions. But in this proposed group meeting nothing productive will happen because it is in all of their interests to keep things as they are, lest they have to throw away so.much… Read more »


Trying to argue with an engineer is like wrestling with a pig in the mud, after an hour you realize that they love it.


Sad but true….


The problem is that the egg-heads have taken over the sport. Don’t get me wrong I appreciate the technical wizzzardry but the lunatics are running the asylum. You need someone running the show who has more passion than sense.

Richard Bunce

Limit overall downforce to a number, perhaps the weight of the car or some percentage of it like 120% of the weight of the car. Open up ground effects again as the consensus appears to be ground effects downforce less effected by running close to car in front than front wing. Problem with first ground effects cars was little regulation allowing very high cornering speeds and issues with strength of available materials. Having an overall downforce limit and the advancement in materials makes revisiting ground effects worthwhile.

peter riva

Look, this is not hard. Solution: No body part outside the inside of the wheels. Problem solved. Remove all other restrictions.


How about a maximum width (save for wheels & suspension bits) of 1 meter?

peter riva

okay, but since the width of the car is set (outside wheel measurement), and the wheel width is set for all cars, making the inside of the wheel the maximum width would kill two birds with two stones: return to open wheel racing and limit aero.


the issue is the wake of the front car. when you watch a F1 car in the rain you can clearly see they are flicking the air upwards to create a low pressure area in the car. this also robs the chasing car of any down force. the fix is simple. have the diffusers produce a wake straight out the back. have a simple smoke test that determines that the rake of the wake can not be at any more then 5 degrees upwards that way the front wings of the other cars will get some down force back. it… Read more »


How about removing the wings completely? Let the engineers develope the underside of the car. Let them go crazy with ground effects and mechanical grip. The blown diffuser didn’t upset the car behind. Let them use the exhaust in any way they want. Maybe have a rule that bans a “sucker fan”. Then also work on low drag aero. Make the rules simple to enforce but open to ingenuity. We can’t let it turn into a spec series, there are plenty of them already. One more rant, Remove the current fuel flow restrictions, but leave a total fuel quantity usage… Read more »


Having finally listened to the Dr. Wolfgang Warnecke Downshift episode I thought it was very telling that he thinks WEC is a better platform for innovation than F1. The F1 spec has too many rules. The whole notion of specifying to the millimeter where you can have a part or bodywork, or aero or the cup-holder is ridiculous.

New F1 Technical Regulations: 50kg fuel, open-wheel, 200% chassis + driver weight of downforce, any engine spec, no-deg tires (no marbles), no wind-tunnels. Open testing for any team not getting prize-money.