Explained Why is F1 Changing The Aero Rules For 2019
Have the FIA decided to bring back the art of overtaking?
Although 2018 has been thus far been an incredibly enthralling title battle, both in the constructors and drivers championship, the best in the new hybrid era with the renaissance of Ferrari, since the 2017 rule changes the cars aerodynamics have hindered the ability for driver's to race, consequentially causing many race reviews this seasons to include the phrases ' boring' and 'too predictable'.
Due to an F1 car's aero package unless two car's have a significant difference in pace or one is slip-streaming another down a back straight following each other closely for even consecutive laps is extremely difficult. As a result overtaking this season has suffered evident in tracks such as Monaco, where there was four on-track overtakes, and Canada. However on tracks such as Monza, Baku and China where the toe on straights reduces this overall aero effect, allowing driver to attack from further back, we have seen great races with lots of on track overtakes. It’s clear to see then that the aerodynamic sensitivities of the Formula 1 cars is reducing the number of entertaining races we have had this year.
All racing cars produce a wake of turbulence (dirty air) due to the air that passes over aerodynamic sections of the cars. This wake can helps cars slipstream one another, punching a hole in the air, but it also hampers the air quality passing over the following car reducing the efficiency of the cooling systems and aerodynamics henceforth a reduction in downforce . In F1 cars the amount of turbulence produced is quite significant. Consequently overtakes have to occur relatively fast otherwise the following car will lose tyre and brake temperatures and a will lose a substantial amount of downforce, which prevents a car from taking the optimal racing line, increasing understeer and reducing speed.
So what are the FIA new rules?:
1. The front wings will be simplified with a larger span (1800mm to 2000mm) and lower outwash potential. 2. The front brake ducts will be simplified with no winglets. 3. The rear wing will be made wider and deeper.
1. The new front wings proposed far more simplistic nature and less aggressive vortices created will increase downforce potential but most crucially this will limit the outwash effect which is used by teams to deliberately reduce a following cars overtaking potential.
Source: Chain Bear F1
2. The new brake ducts will prevent the air flow vortices from the front wing being maniplulated, instead doing its sole job of funnel the fast flowing air through the brakes to carry away the heat produced under braking.
3. The new rear wing dimensions are aimed at strengthening DRS making the new rear wing more powerful at generating downforce and drag (greater potential) so when activated the overtaking car has a significant amount less drag giving it a greater relative speed aiming to eliminate the turbulence completely.
All of these combined will reduce outwash and produce less turbulence theoretically increasing overtaking potential, decreasing the rate of which a following cars speed is affected, and reducing the time that the rate of brake and tyre temperatures decrease.
Negatively, the speed of the 2019 cars will be slower but hopefully we will at least see great racing most weekends. Mainly great news, right? As promising this may seem let’s not get too carried away. In the past when cars have ‘standardized parts’ teams have always found a way to manipulate the functionality of it to suit their packaging, what’s to say that a team won’t utilize a loophole in the regulations? After all this is racing and teams will do everything possible to win even if that means making races ‘boring’.
Sources: Youtube: Chain Bear F1 video- New Aero Rules in F1 2019 explained - use of same images