Formula One is seemingly heading towards a future where the impact of dirty air will be drastically reduced. All this was revealed by sporting director Ross Brawn as part of the 2021 regulations.
As a result of F1’s switch to higher-downforce cars in 2017, there was a huge reduction in overtakes and wheel-to-wheel action. This was because everyone struggled to even get close to other cars. Running nose-to-tail ended up with an increased loss of performance due to turbulent air.
For Formula One and the FIA, the primary objective in the last few years has been to raise the quality of racing. The championship’s next rules cycle for 2021 aims to make good on that promise. So far, F1 has shovelled in a host of changes with the aim of increasing overtaking for 2019. But now, F1’s bosses have promised a more significant impact from 2021.
Last year in Singapore, F1’s initial 2021 car concepts were revealed to the public. According to Brawn, F1’s designs will theoretically allow cars to maintain 80 percent of their performance even in dirty air.
“There’s a massive difference already,” he said, speaking to Motorsports.com. “With the current car, two car lengths behind, you lose 50 percent of the performance.
“The car we have [in the works] now, you lose 10 percent of the performance. So it’s a huge improvement over where we are today.”
“I’ve heard it commented that we should get rid of the wings and the downforce and just rely on mechanical grip and then the cars will be able to race each other,” the former Ferrari strategist continued.
“The problem with that is they’ll be slow. And the speed of the Formula 1 car is what takes your breath away.”
“We don’t want to lose the speed of the Formula 1 car. We want it to be the fastest racing car on the planet, the most impressive racing car on the planet – and you can only do that by harnessing the aerodynamic performance.”