F1 2021 Rules - Everything you need to know
Car regulations have been a huge problem in the recent years of Formula One. Cars have been unable to follow each other when they get to around a second behind their rival due to the dirty air. At the time of writing, I am watching a replay of the 2007 US GP and the cars are able to follow each other in a way we have just not seen in recent years - it's fantastic!
F1 have released the official rules for the 2021 season - the season that is set to change Formula One as we know it, for the better. Let's take a short, but sweet look at the new regulations.
#1 - Budget Caps
Firstly, Formula One has decided that a budget cap needs to be assigned to the teams in order to keep production of cars fair. Previously, the top manufacturers such as Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull have spent around the half-a-billion pound margin, other contstructors spend a lot less than that. This is evident based on the performance of these teams in comparison on track.
In order to fix this problem, F1 have introduced a budget cap of £175m excluding the marketing of their products, the salary of their drivers, and the salaries of the top 3 members of staff for the team. Anything that relates to on-track performance is included within this budget! This is massive for Formula One as it gives every team a better shot at producing a championship-winning car! Teams can be fined or punished in other ways if they don't follow this rule
#2 - The car's body
The shape of the F1 Car is set to change drastically, with the FIA implementing a more curved and smooth body, compared to the rather flat surfaces we see on the present generation. An all new rear wing will change the aerodynamic performance massively with the vertical 'pillars' become more of an obtuse angle and sticking outwards.
The front wing also looks different, with a thicker flap towards the centre, eventually thinning out the further away from the nosecone it gets. Finally, there is a little flick where the endplate stands up vertically and is not connected to anything else. These endplates are much taller and could make driving really difficult if a driver loses it!
Another visable change is the area around the halo - which F1 is keeping for the start of the new era. The engine intake (the bit above the driver's head) curves away at the bottom, leaving more space for the seat to be. The Halo also expands into this space and is filled in towards the back. More changed have also bee made to the floor to help redirect air.
#3 - 18-inch tyres
The tyres on current F1 cars are 13-inches in diameter. These are going to become bigger for the 2021 season with 18-inch tyres following testing of them earlier on this year. These tyres are bigger in roder to reduce the amount of dirty air (wasted air coming from the car ahead). There is also a wake device in the form of a little arm placed above the wheels of the cars to control the airflow towards the top of the following car rather than the bottom.
As a result of raising the direction of airflow, the dirty air will not cause drivers to lose downforce and have their brakes overheat. Instead of seeing drivers avoid the slipstream on the straights, they will be able to stay as close to the back as possible.
#4 - Standardised parts and upgrades
The amount of development a team can make to their cars during the course of a race weekend will be limited starting from the 2020 season. Teams won't be able to bring new parts to a race as frequently to encourage closer racing between teams.
There will also be standardised components - which means that every team has to use the exact same component rather than making their own. Furthermore, the teams will be restricted on how many times they can replace some smaller parts during the season. The engines used will remain unchanged with the 1.6 litre V6 turbo hybrid engine.
But don't worry! Not all parts are standardised - only a select few of them are. This should keep the field close as everyone will be running the same.
#5 - The race weekend
The structure of a race weekend has been changed. The weekend is becoming 'more condensed to improve fan experience and help teams deal with an expanded calendar.'
Crucially, every team must have two or more practice sessions a year that have a driver in the car with 2 or less grand prix under their belt. F1 is trying to make rookie drivers more well known and give them their first shot in a Formula One car as they may be racing in the field in the next. 10 years.
Another change is the pre-race press conference, which is being moved to before Practice 1 on Fridays.
The FIA have made many aerodynamic changes to the F1 cars in order to help them race closer together and provide more entertainment to fans at the venue and those who watch at home. What do you think of these changes? Let me know in the comments below!
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