As we have heard many times by now, F1 is to undergo another major regulation change in 2021, less than three years away from now. There is current concern at the cost of F1 for teams, as well as making the sport itself more available and more of a spectacle to fans in the hope of recouping the losses it suffered in recent years.
The cars themselves are to undergo a massive cosmetic change, looking simpler and somewhat futuristic, as proposed by Liberty Media’s and ex-Ferrari man Ross Brawn at Singapore prior to this year’s race. These proposed concepts drew mixed responses from fans and drivers alike, with much talk being over the newer proposed 18” tyres being used, as proposed to the current 13” tyres, with also the hope of shortening the wheelbase of the cars.
Brawn also believes that the loss of downforce by cars following each other will be by about only 20% with the 2021 concepts thanks to simpler wings and body designs and the hope of “Ground Effect” coming into play. This would mean that the underbodies of the cars would be more sculpted to aid aerodynamics less focus on the front and rear wings, thus allowing for the mentioned increase in cars able to follow each other, as opposed to the staggering 50% loss with the current 2018 cars.
There is also concern over the power unit itself, where many reports of the hope of dropping the MGU-H unit (Motor Generator Unit – Heat.) of the current power units in the hope of reducing cost and increasing readiness and reliability, but since it has been confirmed that teams have not agreed on this. There are also rumours floating around the paddock that with the different 2021 ideas floating around, we could see manufacturers easily break the 1000 bhp barrier in the years to come, and that Brawn is also hoping to get rid of the use of DRS in 2021 with the hope of the new cars doing their job.
Apart from the things mentioned, there isn’t much more solid information on the 2021 rule changes and regulations so far, but at least these proposed concepts are hopefully going to give what the drivers and fans have being crying out for so many years lately: better, fairer and closer racing. For me, I think the cars look absolutely amazing and I cannot wait for 2021 to come around and the new era dawns. With the current loss of fan interest and driver satisfaction, I think these cars do have the potential to pull a lot of people back, as long as the FIA work to make sure their rules and regulations are consistent enough with everybody on track to not be stupid.
With the simpler front wings coming in 2019 we will get a taster of what is to come, but there is definitely no hiding from the fact that 2021 will be a very big year concerning the future of Formula One.