F1 creates aero group to find 2021 loopholes in same way teams try

Formula 1 has established a 'rule breaking' group using its top aerodynamic engineering staff to try and expose potential loopholes that could stop the 2021 regulations successfully improving racing

F1 creates aero group to find 2021 loopholes in same way teams try

With F1 and the FIA now in discussions with teams about finalising the details of the new rules, there is a determination to ensure that the aim of delivering better racing is not derailed by grey areas in the rules being exploited.

The main concern is that teams could find ways to exploit the regulations to boost their own speed, while at the same time wrecking F1's efforts to help cars follow closely.

Data from the latest 2021 car concept shows that the downforce loss when following another rival closely has been reduced from the current 45% to between 5-10%.

Nikolas Tombazis, the FIA's head of single seater technical matters, says that an unprecedented effort is now being made to ensure work on rules that encourage good racing is not derailed.

"There is work there to [stop teams looking to] 'break the rules' - what was lacking in previous attempts [to change things]," said Tombazis.

"With new regulations, it is an opportunity to really try to push them to the extreme, and see ourselves if certain areas have loopholes, or if other unintended consequences would emerge from the rules.

"If we have an opportunity to do this ourselves, then it means we may avoid some certain rules that otherwise could create problems later.

"My colleagues at F1, in their aero department, have now put a hat on.

"It is not as a rulemaker, it is like an aero team trying to do the work of the aero [team at an F1 squad] and seeing how much they can stretch the rules.

"Part of that is also to establish whether finding a wing that creates more downforce and is much more efficient, if it negates some of the good things have been achieved with the following car's performance.

"If such cases are found, then we will react to try to avoid these issues."

While it is hoped the teams and the FIA can agree on the rules by September 15, ahead of ratification by the World Motor Sport Council by October 31, F1 is clear that work on improving the regulations and removing further loopholes will not end then.

F1's managing director of motorsport Ross Brawn said: "The group we have at FOM will not stop work when the rules are issued. That group is going to carry on working.

"As we see the team's solutions evolve, we will analyse those solutions and, if we understand they are starting to negate the objectives, we will steer it back again."

Tombazis added: "We are aware that when development takes place from teams who don't care what the following car performance is like, and just care about the front car, that may negate some of these gains.

"Our task is to make rules that try to prevent that as much as possible. This 'breaking the rules' process is to avoid this happening, to keep all the gains."

shares
comments
The underrated driver who could 'Albon' his way to F1
Previous article

The underrated driver who could 'Albon' his way to F1

Next article

Aston 'stands ready' for Formula 1 but hopes Honda stays

Aston 'stands ready' for Formula 1 but hopes Honda stays
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats Plus

How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats

The 2022 Formula 1 season will be remembered as a record book rewriting Max Verstappen masterclass, a completely different challenge to his maiden world championship last year, and a clear sign he is still raising his own level. But where does it stack up against the all-time great F1 campaigns?

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph Plus

The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph

Max Verstappen ended the 2022 Formula 1 season in fitting fashion with a dominant drive to victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. But behind him, early season rival Charles Leclerc achieved his target of securing the runner-up spot with a well-executed a one-stop strategy to beat Sergio Perez, whose pursuit on a two-stop strategy was hampered by several critical factors

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge Plus

Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge

Faced with drivers complaining about the long-term health effects of car ‘bouncing’, the FIA stepped in to deal with it. JAKE BOXALL-LEGGE explains how the so-called ‘Aerodynamic Oscillation Metric’ works, and asks if it is fit for purpose?

Formula 1
Nov 20, 2022
Where Vettel stands in the list of the greatest F1 drivers Plus

Where Vettel stands in the list of the greatest F1 drivers

As Sebastian Vettel’s Formula 1 career has come to a close, figuring out where he fits into the greatest of all time order is a tough and subjective call. With the aid of statistics, attributes and history, here’s how the four-time world champion stacks up in the debate

Formula 1
Nov 19, 2022