Last-minute vote to decide 2019 Formula 1 overtaking changes

A last-minute vote on Monday will decide whether Formula 1 cars are modified for 2019 to improve overtaking

Last-minute vote to decide 2019 Formula 1 overtaking changes

April 30 is the last date for changes to next year's F1 technical regulations to be passed without requiring unanimity.

On Monday the F1 Commission, which includes all 10 teams, will vote on a proposal to modify front wings next year but views on the changes remain mixed.

FOM and FIA research into ways of allowing cars to follow each other more closely was initially conducted by a group led by F1 chief technical officer Pat Symonds, and concluded that 'outwashing' front wing elements have a detrimental effect.

No consensus on removing the elements, designed to control the airflow over the front wheels, was reached in an initial Bahrain teams' meeting and it was agreed teams would conduct their own CFD research.

Williams chief technical officer Paddy Lowe said eight teams had contributed and their work had been collated into a report that would inform Monday's vote.

"What the teams had analysed supported [the FIA/FOM's] proposal as being suitable and supported their analysis that it would improve the ability of the cars to follow," said Lowe when asked by Autosport.

"They wanted to gain more confidence in their proposal by involving the teams, and I believe that's been achieved.

"I don't believe there were any teams' results which contradicted their own analysis."

Lowe is keen the changes go ahead.

"It all makes sense," he said.

"We've got another three years of this formula, and if we don't make changes at this point it becomes a bit pointless because there are a huge set of changes for 2021.

"So this is the time that F1 should act and act decisively for the good for the show."

Lowe sees the wing changes as much more relevant to the racing than the already confirmed 5kg fuel allowance increase.

"Some of the chat around that is about it improving the show and improving overtaking, which I honestly don't believe," he said.

"To me it would be a great shame if the end result of all our efforts to improve the show for 2019 ended up just being a misplaced change of fuel level rather than doing some proper work."

Some teams have still expressed doubts about the front wing proposals, hinting that they might not get passed on Monday despite the apparently positive CFD results.

"I'm not sure it's mature enough," McLaren racing director Eric Boullier told Autosport.

"It's only been discussed for a couple of weeks. We know we have a big change coming in 2021.

"Do we start now, or do we wait? I don't know, I'm 50-50 on this one."

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said he "would be surprised if it's agreed.

"They're a snapshot of 2021, but taken in isolation.

"There are consequences that are detrimental, so better to leave things alone as they are for now, and then do a complete package for 2021 that encompasses everything."

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