F1 working to avoid "GP1 with silhouettes" after team concerns

Formula 1 team bosses remain concerned that the 2021 regulations will not allow enough design differentiation as the parties involved work towards avoiding "a GP1 formula with silhouette cars"

F1 working to avoid "GP1 with silhouettes" after team concerns

Among the raft of changes being planned for F1 in 2021 are new technical and financial regulations designed to reduce spending and close the performance gap between teams.

However, a mix of standard parts and tighter technical rules remains concerning to teams, with Alfa Romeo team boss Frederic Vasseur admitting: "I'm just a bit scared that if the room of freedom is too small at the end, we will end up with [a car] like a monotype.

"But it won't be a monotype, and we will have to spend millions for this."

Many teams have voiced concern that the designs will become too "prescriptive", while the rulemakers have undertaken an unprecedented research and development programme to refine the 2021 rules.

This has included a 50% scale model undergoing windtunnel testing and a new front wing idea presented to teams on Monday.

Speaking before this, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said he had been encouraged by a meeting between the teams, F1 CEO Chase Carey and FIA president Jean Todt over the Singapore Grand Prix weekend.

"It's clearly nobody's intention to have a GP1 formula with silhouette cars, cars that look that," said Wolff.

"Aerodynamics should still be a differentiator, that is acknowledged by all stakeholders on the table.

"We've got to make another loop around the regulations, have another look at them and see if we can find a compromise between what's on the table on the moment, which is very, very limited in terms of the aero development, and on the other side as much freedom as we have today."

F1's deadline to cement the 2021 rules is at the end of next month, which does not leave much time to try to find a compromise.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said he doubts there is "any aero department that's read those rules and got particularly excited about them".

"For any aerodynamicist, prescriptive design is not in their DNA," Horner added. "There's probably a few long faces in the aero department, but that's not just unique to Red Bull and our strengths over the last few years haven't purely been solely down to aerodynamics.

"It's more digesting those rules, they raise some questions which will no doubt be put forward in the coming meetings which we seem to have endless amounts of and we will see where they end up."

Haas F1 team boss Gunther Steiner has joined the throng of team bosses to call the new rules "too prescriptive", while McLaren F1 CEO Zak Brown believes "more freedom expressed" in the technical rules would complement the budget cap.

"If the rules were a little bit more opened up, whether it was aerodynamics or others, then you'd have some more choices to make and you might see cars coming out looking a little bit more different than they do today," said Brown.

Renault believes there is merit in tighter control initially while the new ruleset settles down.

"Looking at 2021, it's going to be such a step-change I think it's not bad to start with some things that are fairly prescriptive," said Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul.

"We need to be careful because last time there was such a massive change to regulations, it was 2014, and that created a cycle that I understand people criticised a lot.

"It locked up a performance differentiator, so that's why I think it's not bad to do that initially and open up."

shares
comments
Drivers united F1 can be improved without ideas like reversed grids

Previous article

Drivers united F1 can be improved without ideas like reversed grids

Next article

Verstappen and other Honda drivers get F1 Russian GP grid penalties

Verstappen and other Honda drivers get F1 Russian GP grid penalties
Load comments
Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool Plus

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool

Windtunnel work forms the bedrock of aerodynamic development in Formula 1. But as PAT SYMONDS explains, advances in virtual research are signalling the end of these expensive and complicated relics

Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Plus

Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. STUART CODLING weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising

Formula 1
Jun 12, 2021
Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture Plus

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture

Sergio Perez has spent most of his career labouring in Formula 1’s midfield, wondering whether he’d ever get another shot at the big time. Red Bull has handed him that chance and, although life at the top is tough, the Baku winner is doing all the right things to get on terms with Max Verstappen, says BEN ANDERSON

Formula 1
Jun 11, 2021
What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight Plus

What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight

Formula 1 has been tracking car performance using timing loops mounted every 200m around each circuit – to the extent that it was able to anticipate Ferrari’s 'surprise’ pole in Monaco. PAT SYMONDS explains what this means for this season and beyond

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with Plus

The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with

OPINION: After consecutive street races with contrasting highlights, one theme stood out which has become a prevalent issue with modern Formula 1 cars. But is there a way to solve it or, at least, reach a happy middle ground to help all parties?

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The changes behind a ‘feel-good’ F1 result in Baku Plus

The changes behind a ‘feel-good’ F1 result in Baku

OPINION: The Azerbaijan Grand Prix had elements that make Formula 1 really exciting – unpredictability and shock results. This resulted in heartbreak for several of the championship’s regular contenders and joy for others who rarely reach the ultimate limelight. And one of those on the Baku podium is riding a wave of form he’s keen to continue

Formula 1
Jun 9, 2021
The human cost to replacing Formula 1's cancelled rounds Plus

The human cost to replacing Formula 1's cancelled rounds

OPINION: With the global pandemic still lingering, Singapore's grand prix has been cancelled for 2021, with more looking likely to follow. Although Formula 1 has TV deals and profits to chase, retaining a 23-race calendar could be most harmful to those who sacrifice the most for the championship

Formula 1
Jun 8, 2021
Azerbaijan Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Azerbaijan Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An eventful weekend in Baku full of incident and drama lent the race result an unusual feel, as three drivers scored their first podiums of the year. But it wasn't the eventual race winner who scored top marks in our driver ratings

Formula 1
Jun 7, 2021