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.