FIA pass 2019 aero tech regulations

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As I’ve stated many times before, “passing” isn’t the holy grail of Formula 1 for me. I’m not interested in constructs or contrived methods to induce passing and especially not a fan of DRS which penalizes the leading car regardless of how quick it is or not.

Multiple fan surveys (I have no idea who they asked) resulted in a cacophonous outcry for more passing. I’m not so daft as to not understand what they were asking for an if pressed, I respect the heck out of F1 fans and like to think that the community we’ve built is a decent sounding board for general fan opinion.

As such, I think what fans are asking for is what I would like to see. Not prolific passing for passing’s sake or even NASCAR style passing but more importantly…THE ABILITY TO PASS!

There is a big difference between designing a DRS system that just makes a leading car a sitting duck so a pass can occur and cars actually designed to not prevent other cars from following them and destroying the ability to pass. It’s not the amount of passes I am concerned over rather the number of opportunities or ability to pass.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out and I am sure F1 technical boss Ross Brawn knows even more about it than I would ever pretend to know but seemingly, F1 teams have known it for years yet done everything antithetical to achieving it. They’ve doubled down on aerodynamics that not only make their car quick but also destroy the opportunity for trailing cars to attempt to pass. Sure, it’s the art of war but it’s also killing F1.

Not to worry, the FIA have just pushed through their 2019 aero package that will, according to them, make more passing possible. How will they do this? Here’s how:

FIA Press Release:

Following a presentation made to the F1 teams at the Bahrain Grand Prix regarding proposals aimed at promoting closer racing and more overtaking in the Formula 1 World Championship, the Strategy Group, the F1 Commission and the World Motor Sport Council yesterday approved a number of regulation changes for the 2019 season.

The changes, approved by e-vote, are as follows:
– Simplified front wing, with a larger span, and low outwash potential
– Simplified front brake duct with no winglets
– Wider and deeper rear wing

Yesterday’s vote follows an intense period of research into the FIA’s initial proposals, which were made with the support of the F1 Commercial Rights Holder, conducted by a majority of the F1 teams. These studies indicated the strong likelihood of a positive impact on racing and overtaking within F1 and as such have now been ratified for implementation in 2019.

The approved changes are separate to the ongoing work being undertaken in regard to defining Formula 1’s regulations for 2021 and beyond.

In addition to the aerodynamic changes ratified yesterday, the FIA is continuing to evaluate a range of other measures aimed at encouraging closer racing and boosting overtaking in F1.

Rear Wing means more DRS

If I am reading the team leaves correctly, the wider and deeper rear wing is intended to allow DRS to have even a bigger impact and for me, that’s just silly. We don’t need more contrived passing by hobbling the leading car, just make the cars less disruptive and reduce the rooster tail of dirty air coming off the back of the cars so other cars can close, in, slip stream and pass.

The knock-on effect of DRS is awful and it has reduced the series to a wait and pass mentality. Part of the reason people love Max Verstappen is that he doesn’t wait for the DRS zone knowing that the leading car will be disadvantaged and he will not. He passes when he sees and opening (or not as the case may be but you get my point).

Still, we’ll have to wait and see how this plays out. As always, I could be completely wrong and the changes will convert my into the biggest fan of DRS in these United States but somehow, I doubt it.


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Peter Riva

Bigger rear wing also means more understeer? Kimi won’t be happy.


I figure the teams will just trim a deeper wing back to maintain the same top speed and downforce so where’s the gain?

sunny stivala

This is the result of power struggle. This is a clear message to liberty as to who is supposed to make the rules.
Aero changes that the FIA wished to introduce for next year ahead of Liberty researched changes for 2021. These FIA plans were guided by the FIA own aerodynamic specialist Nikolas Tombazis, the FIA proposed these plans at the Liberty presentation to the teams in Bahrain. In short this 2019 impetus belongs to the FIA and not Liberty. This is a clear message to Liberty as to who is supposed to make the rules.

sunny stivala

these are aero changes that the FIA wished to introduce for next year ahead of Liberty researched changes for 2021. these FIA plans were guided by the FIA own aerodynamic specialist Nikolas Tombazis. the FIA proposed these plans at the Liberty presentation to the teams in Bahrain. in short this 2019 impetus belongs to the FIA and not Liberty. this is a clear message to Liberty as to who is supposed to make rules.

sunny stivala

excuses for double posting, i was having captcha trouble posting.


Yes. The bigger Rear wing would increase the Effect of the DRS. But i think it would help when following another car. Because of the greater area covered by the Wing.


Looks like the FIA are out to pull the rug out from under Liberty Media’s technical group. Pushing this through before the outcomes of the technical group on aerodynamics carries on F1’s tradition of implementing untested technical solutions. I hope it works out, but we’re not going to know until the cars hit the track next year. History is not in its favour. Also this is the third significant change in regulations in three seasons, requiring yet more redesign and redevelopment of the cars. That puts more financial strain on the smaller teams, at a time when the stated aim… Read more »


 jakobusvdl I do realize that I am probably a little on the optimistic side with regards to what is going on behind the scenes. However I believe this actually shows that FIA are working together with the FOG and it is a show of unity. I’ve always believed these two organizations are basically joined together if for no other reason than self preservation. One cannot exist without the other. I also would never believe the technical details of this change were not considered without direct cooperation of the FOG. I look at it this way. If the FIA can get… Read more »


Cheer SubC, maybe you’re right to be optimistic, and I’m being too pessimistic. I found an article on the Sky site that includes this quote from Ross Brawn, “The decision to approve a number of aerodynamic modifications, aimed at promoting closer racing and more overtaking, to the cars already for 2019 season is definitely an important step in the right direction. It’s also important to note that the decision has been taken after an intense period of research into the FIA’s initial proposals, which were made with the support of Formula and, conducted by a majority of the teams. A… Read more »

sunny stivala

“FIA working together with FOG?” The following is not for the eyes of JAKO.
“2019 change is the FIA’S, not Liberty’s. The FIA position is ” lets not wait for two yesrs with somthing that doesn’t work well”, Whereas Liberty’s is “why risk introducing something that may not work ahead of propely researched 2021 solution?”.


Where are your quotes from?

sunny stivala

Not from the likes of or with any input from Joe Sawaed.


Feel free to list any others…


Another thought, will this also require more changes to the tyres?
If there isn’t enough downforce with the current wings to get tyres into their effective working range, won’t ‘Ultra-hyper-mega-soft’ tyres be necessary with ‘simplified’ front wings?


Do we know how the groups voted. Its obvious Ferrari did not use their veto power, but how did the others including the Formula One Group vote?


Its ‘interesting’ that in other articles about this change, lots of reference is made to the Australian GP being cited as the trigger for urgent action on overtaking.
If the season had started at China, Bahrain or Baku, would the FIA /FOG have decided urgent action wasn’t required?

Richard L Bunce

I think you nailed it, not passing for passing sake, just end the aero blocking. FIA seems to be on the right path in Formula 2. Details of Formula 2 aero changes this year are hard to find but what I see on track is little aero blocking. IndyCar also seems to be on the right track. Hopefully the front wing changes will get rid of significant turbulence effecting trailing car… making DRS more efficient to improve overtaking not a step in right direction, making DRS less disruptive to reduce turbulence on trailing car would be a step in the… Read more »


This doesn’t address the problem: DRS. I love that they want to simplify the aero, but in the end the drivers will just wait till the DRS Zone because they know the poor idiot in front of them can’t do a thing when that wing opens. But let’s be honest, the only way they are going to deal with this mess is they need to take the wings off the cars. When did it get written that F1 cars MUST have wings?

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