F1’s 2019 wing changes a ‘big hit’ to teams

We, for good reason, have been focused on the 2020 regulation changes but there are 2019 front and rear wing changes that will impact the car performance for all the teams this year. How much it will impact the performance is anyone’s guess but as Autosport points out, it could be significant.

According to Racing Point’s technical director, Andy Green, the simplified front and rear wings may be a real challenge for the teams.

“It’s been a big hit,” he told Autosport. “And when we first put it in the tunnel a few months ago, we’re talking a few seconds of lap time, and a poorly balanced car as well. “It was the worst possible outcome.

“Hopefully, it has some positives with respect to closer racing.

“We, like everyone else, have been trying to crawl our way out of the hole that we jumped into with these new regulations.

“It’s significant and it’s right up there with, not-quite a complete change of car, but it’s pretty close.”

There is no doubt that simplifying the front and rear wing will have an impact on downforce and the balance of the car. We’ve advocated a reduction in the wing complexity but might we see a positive impact to the racing or simply a development war that claims back much of this loss and a low net impact in 2019?

I’m not hung up on lap times so long as the impact results in terrific racing and closing the performance gaps in the midfield but will this achieve that? It’s difficult to know and perhaps we’ll see the first signs of it during winter testing.

I recall Red Bull suggesting that these 2019 changes to wings will cost them millions in development and while that number is debatable, there is no doubt that every change in F1 offers a knock-on effect of cost. IS a marginal march toward the 2020 regulation changes a good move knowing this financial impact or is it better to wait until 2020? Pat Symonds recently suggested the former.

The concern is midfield, smaller teams and their ability to marshal resources needed to develop throughout the season. Trying to claw back this aero loss will be expensive but development resources have always been a concern in F1.

Hat Tip: Autosport

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Someone as old as I will remember Chapparal and the brou-haha over their wing… it changed everything at the time.
My feeling? Chop them all off and make the bodywork do the job without “appendages.”


“In 1966 the Chaparral 2E was the first race car in the world to be fitted with a wing, sucking the car to the ground from the rear suspension mounts. It ushered in a new era for race cars, one that the FIA begrudgingly allowed. (“I saw it written somewhere, ‘isn’t it wonderful what Colin Chapman invented, that wing he put on the car in 1968?'” Hall reminisced. “I said, ‘it took them until 1968?'”) Hall added instant adjustability to these tall, spindly wings, able to change their angle at the press of a pedal. The FIA banned that innovation.”… Read more »


I don’t know what the correct answer is to the do it now or wait until 2020 question is, but it does seem easier for the FIA todo the incremental changes as they seem to have gone only a short distance on the 2020 side. I agree with you on the speed issue. It doesn’t need to be the fastest car In racing, I think the NHRA has that covered anyway, but I want to see the driver work the car over. I don’t see that in today’s F1 unless the teams have missed the setup. I’m keeping an eye… Read more »