As the 2020 Formula 1 season winds into its final five rounds, we already have our first clue into how next year's cars will look. Although this year's chassis will be carried over into 2021, thanks to the financial consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a few changes that must be made to cut the overall downforce produced.
The technical overhaul ushering in the return of ground effect cars will have to wait until 2022 and the introduction of Pirelli's 18-inch tyres will also be delayed, meaning that the tyres designed for 2019 will get yet another year of service. There are a few aerodynamic changes to address this for next year, including the removal of part of the floor and from the diffuser, estimated to bring a 10% reduction in overall downforce to ensure the Pirelli tyres work within the load window intended.
Without those changes, tyres designed for 2019 aero loads would be forced to then work under the increased downforce added by two years of aero progress. Although Pirelli can increase the tyre pressures, as it has done on certain occasions in 2020, it would risk having to inflate them further and risk running them in a condition they were not designed for.