Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Albert Park, 2018

F1 approves car changes to increase overtaking in 2019

2019 F1 season

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Formula One cars will undergo a series of changes in 2019 aimed at making overtaking easier.

Simpler front wings and brake ducts are among the changes which were approved in a vote yesterday. Rear wings will also be made wider and deeper, increasing the power of drag reduction systems.

However a further proposal to simplify the barge board designs on next year’s cars was not approved.

The FIA is confident the changes will make it easier for cars to race closely in 2019.

“Today’s vote follows an intense period of research into the FIA’s initial proposals, which were made with the support of the F1 Commercial Rights Holder, conducted by a majority of the F1 teams,” said the sport’s governing body in a statement.

“These studies indicated the strong likelihood of a positive impact on racing and overtaking within F1 and as such have now been ratified for implementation in 2019.”

Front wing designs will be reshaped to curb the use of ‘outwashing’ designs. These are believed to cause much of the turbulence drivers encounter when follower other cars closely.

The front wing change was proposed as a result of the research conducted into how to improve racing in 2021.

“The approved changes are separate to the ongoing work being undertaken in regard to defining Formula 1’s regulations for 2021 and beyond,” the FIA confirmed.

“In addition to the aerodynamic changes ratified today, the FIA is continuing to evaluate a range of other measures aimed at encouraging closer racing and boosting overtaking in F1,” it added.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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110 comments on “F1 approves car changes to increase overtaking in 2019”

  1. We will have to wait how it will pan out but that is great news. Especially regarding the front wings, which have become so complex that they are sensitive to dirty air.

  2. Wow, pleasantly surprised that the teams agreed to this – I remember reading that teams might not want to lose their design investment in their current wing designs.

    I bet Adrian Newey will be sharpening his pencils with a smile on his face!

    1. I hope the 2019 rear wings that become more effective under DRS are not combined with FIA’s 2018 trend of increasing DRS zones in certain tracks, it would just end up accentuating the push-to-pass feeling.

      Also, do we know which teams voted against the barge board simplification?

      1. @phylyp No, but the teams that were against these planned changes as a whole, in general, are Ferrari, Red Bull, Renault, Mclaren, Toro Rosso, and Haas according to

    2. We have to wait for whta they thing is a simpler front wing.

      1. Good point, this.

      2. +1

        This is the determining factor. If “simpler front wings” simply means they don’t do the “outwash” then it’s questionable how much this will help. If they mean to limit the number and size of elements on the front wings then it will be helpful.

        The other thing I’m not quite getting yet is the downforce balance from front to rear. They are talking about allowing wider and deeper rear wings which increases downforce at the back end, but it also sounds like they’re going to lose front downforce so will we see understeer all around?

        1. @daved I think it remains to be seen that they will lose front downforce. I think it is more about not being able to outwash as much, but that is different from the downforce component of the wing.

          I think in general why the teams agreed and this is going forward is because the changes will not make a vast difference such that they need to spend vast sums to adapt. I think the changes are relatively mundane, and will help in a small regard toward closer racing. The real and major changes are going to come when the teams have ample notice to adapt for 2021. These proposed changes for 2019 should be minor enough that even the lesser teams will not be caught out adapting, and indeed should benefit if they can follow more closely.

          1. @robbie
            Good point, and I was thinking that was probably what they meant. I guess I’m projecting my desire to see downforce from front AND rear wings reduced and more produced from the floor as that tends to be less prone to problems with turbulence :)

            It probably can’t hurt, but I’m a bit skeptical that the outwash is as much of a factor as they’re saying, but we’ll see….won’t we LOL I’d love to be proven wrong.

            But overall, I’d still love to see a GREATLY simplified front wing (say a max of 4 “elements” with a total of say… 250 cm^2) and a smaller rear wing.

          2. +1 all I saw was the air will get forced under the car vs outside the car. “Inwash” vs “outwash”.

  3. It’s a good news, but was there any FIA/Liberty person who tell us what exactly ‘simpler’ is?

    1. No outwash allowed. This will remove the need for some of the complexities (complex endplates and amount of elements) and I hope FIA prescribes a narrower wing (less room to put all the complex elements).

      1. Hmmm, outwash is a very vague and complex concept. We need something a bit more precise to know what this really means.

        1. see above.

  4. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    1st May 2018, 9:00

    Brilliant unexpected news. This is the first real positive sign of political change in the sport since Liberty’s arrival. Well done Ross, I have so much more faith for the sport going forward now.

    1. While it’s true that Ross Brawn pushed for changes, these are mainly aimed at post-2020. The current regulation change was driven very much by the FIA, which recently appointed Nicholas Tombazis, who had a PhD in aeronautics and is a former Benetton, Ferrari and McLaren chief aerodynamicist, as it’s Head of Single Seater Technical. He was extremely active in Bahrain.

      1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
        1st May 2018, 9:45

        Thanks for the info very interesting

      2. Excellent info. Thanks!

    2. Bring in a standard off the shelf front and rear wing and let them build the middle bit!

      1. TeselOfSkylimits
        2nd May 2018, 23:02

        That would go completely against the “teams must develop and build their own car” concept, which is soul of F1.

  5. So, simpler, narrower front wings, wider, deeper rear wings, and keeping the complicated bargeboard arrangements. So if you want to know what that’ll look like, I refer you to any 2008 F1 car.

    1. @mazdachris – Correct, but a 200kg heavier, 2008 F1 stretch limo single-seater with a Todt thong on top. ;-)

      1. @jimmi-cynic Well hey, I think most of us have put on a bit of weight in the past decade, there’s no shame in it.

        1. @mazdachris – LOL! So… you’re saying there’s a chance of a Mansell comeback?

          1. LOL @mazdachris and @jimmi-cynic that is maybe asking a bit much. How about Montoya then, he’s at least still an active racer.

          2. @bosyber @jimmi-cynic an Ide-Inoue Super Aguri, complete with Sato in a Red Bull-Honda?

            Oh and VJM (et al) selling Force India to PSV for Max to join.

      2. Todt thong

        @jimmi-cynic – DONT! Now I can’t get that image out of my mind.

        1. @phylyp – Understood. Also…helps to avert your gaze when the F1 racing thong cars are on track.

    2. I pointed this out a few weeks ago. It’s very ironic that the 2009 changes were implemented to improve overtaking..!

      1. @ecwdanselby Yes but the double diffuser created issues for cars following closely in 2009 which the FIA didn’t forsee.

    3. @mazdachris Not sure the front wings will be narrowed. Sounds like they’ll just be differently shaped to not channel so much air outward, which creates wake for the trailing car. And of course the 2008 cars were still the narrower cars that ran from 1998 through 2016.

      @ecwdanselby What happened in 08/09 pales in comparison to what they are doing now. Ten years ago there was little motivation, nor effort, nor results of their research implemented before the big teams just had their way to do what they wanted and ignore those findings. Now the teams are in agreement with a focused and research based set of findings that is actually going to be implemented with everyone’s best interest in mind. There is little to be compared to what went on then, and what is going on now post-BE.

      1. @robbie, the fact that six out of the ten teams voted against the proposals suggests that there is perhaps not quite as much of a sense of unity as you think there is.

        Equally, I would disagree with your assessment about the 2009 rule package given that there had been a fair amount of research done before those rule changes (they were allowed to run CFD models, coupled with being allocated time at the Aerolab wind tunnel and with direct technical input from figures such as Rory Byrne and Jean-Claude Migeot). In fact, the reason why some of the proposed changes were dropped prior to 2008/2009, such as the central downwash generating wing concept, was because the research that was undertaken in the years leading up to that rule change showed that the concept didn’t actually work.

        In fact, that particular device does explain why I am cautious about the automatic assumption that these changes will work, since at the moment the results seem to be based on a preliminary assessment from CFD modelling only. The central downwash generating wing concept also seemed to have positive results based on preliminary CFD models, but when Migeot was commissioned to undertake full scale wind tunnel testing, it turned out that the results from the CFD models were wrongly calibrated and the results from the wind tunnel showed that the central downwash generating wing design was actually worse than a conventional rear wing.

        1. Spot on Anon.

          It amazes me how short people’s memories are and even more amazed at how many none engineer fans think any change as long as it’s change is a good thing. There is a reason the wings are complicated and the whole aero concept of F1 relies on it. Even down to the front to rear weight balance.

          These changes are quite as likely to cause a real front to rear understeering issue requiring further specific rule changes as they are to “help overtaking”

        2. @anon @DrG This proposal may not have unanimity amongst the teams but the majority of the council voted for it, and from what I understand Ferrari could have vetoed it. I’m sure there is still resistance from some teams who selfishly (albeit understandably) are going to resist changes that might harm their own advantage. But overall the teams do seem on board that closer racing is in the works, particularly for 2021, and this is just a relatively quick and inexpensive way of making the cars a little easier to follow each other in the interim. Ten years ago they were not using two cars in a wind tunnel, and there was no real motivation and certainly no unity whatsoever, to try to affect changes to F1 for the good of F1 overall. Ten years ago the teams were very much empowered to do their own thing for their own best interests, and this council vote is an indication that those days of the teams running F1 for their own selfish ends are diminishing.

          I highly doubt these current changes that have been approved for 2019 are going to throw some huge curve ball at the teams, and all I can do from my armchair is trust that since this has been voted in, there is, as the article above points out, a strong likelihood of a positive impact on closer racing, even if some teams would rather just keep their own advantage than work toward benefitting the show overall. The wings are too complicated as it is, and dependence on aero too strong. I have every faith that the teams will be able to sort out any front/rear imbalance that one might suggest from one’s armchair will occur. I would suggest that had the teams felt this was going to be a huge problem, they would have been able to present a strong case against the changes, and would have swayed the other council members away from voting for them, citing costs, danger, etc etc. That does not appear to have happened so perhaps the best argument the teams against this could realistically come up with is that they themselves would lose some advantage.

          I’m just glad they are taking small steps now to improve things rather than waiting for 3 more years before we might see cars a more able to follow each other. I’m sure there will still be a lot of quite damaging dirty air effect next year, but just a little less so than now.

    4. I asked myself this after the technical changes made in 2009, “why not just get rid of the aerodynamic appendages, bring back full slicks, and call it a day?”. Fans wouldn’t have minded and teams wouldn’t had to spend so much on the changes during a recession. Then again, we probably wouldn’t have seen the rise of Red Bull or Brawn GP’s magical season, which encouraged Mercedes-Benz’s return to F1 as a full-fledged team as BMW was on the way out.

  6. increasing the effectiveness of DRS is a serious backward step in my opinion. facilitating a bunch of motorway overtakes is not going to create more close racing – quite the reverse! if (boring) passing is too easy, we will see far fewer risky outbreaking manouvres, all the action will be one straight, and the order or the race will be established before half distance. in recent years we’ve seen mercedes drivers racing from out of position and it hasn’t been that exciting because of their massive performance advantage and DRS. if DRS is more effective then this will only happen more often. also there is a safety question already given the huge speed delta, but that is another matter.

    if you shake a bag of muesli, all the raisins fall to the bottom – we don’t want all the raisins to go straight to the bottom.

    1. Guybrush Threepwood
      1st May 2018, 9:59

      It’s the disparity in engines that causes motorway passes, not DRS. Take a look at the last race, Ricciardo vs. Verstappen. Equal equipment and the racing was phenomenal – up until Max ruined it.

      Without DRS most of the cars without a Mercedes engine wouldn’t get close to being able to pass.

      1. ‘Equal equipment and the racing was phenomenal – up until Max ruined it’

        Riccairdo was using DRS against Verstappen who didnt have it and there was a difference in tyres. That’s not the same ‘equal’ ‘phenomenal’ racing that preceded that lap.
        We could argue that the unequal circumstances caused Verstappen to defend harder and Riccairdo to lunge harder.

        1. There was no difference in tyres.

      2. It’s the disparity in tyre compounds/age which causes the easy drive by’s. Not DRS

    2. Yup, it’s a shame. The front wing stuff sounds great, rear wing, not so much…

      They’ll have to drastically reduce the length of the DRS activation.

    3. if you shake a bag of muesli, all the raisins fall to the bottom – we don’t want all the raisins to go straight to the bottom.

      Just tried that. In my case the raisins (and nuts) rise to the top. @frood19
      Let’s hope the FIA were a bit more scientific when proposing the 2019 changes.

      PS let’s hope they reduce the DRS zone to compensate.
      PPS DRS should only be allowed to catch the car in front, not to overtake and drive away. Maybe DRS when within 3 sec and to close automatically when within 0.5sec; the rest should be slipstreaming and skill.

      1. Oops, missed a backslash there.

    4. @frood19 You are assuming some ‘huge’ increase in DRS, and that is yet to be established. This is just Liberty implementing small and affordable changes temporarily while they have to deal with the car format they inherited, to try to make the racing a little closer. The big changes will be for 2021. Don’t get me wrong I have disliked DRS from day one and still do, but I understand and appreciate what they have to do for now, and that is far different from what we will see in the next chapter, which will have no DRS at all.

      1. @robbie I wouldn’t mind seeing them keep an active or moveable rear wing from 2021, but obviously without the artificial rules

    5. @frood19 – good comment. But the way I read that, and @dieterrencken seemed to confirm FIA are looking at this as a temporary solution until the new 2021 regs start. So we get some overtaking in the next three seasons until Ross Brawn has the seemingly impossible job to ‘fix F1’.

      The sport certainly needs some vast improvements, but it isn’t broken as such. The last 3 races have been awesome, great overtakes and very exciting. To a casual F1 fan that looks great.

      But since 2010 F1 has been dominated by two teams. Ferrari have had a sniff at WDC a few times but as a constructor not even close- and given their resources a massive under performer. 3 teams can win this year, better on the last decade, then 7 making up numbers and struggling.

      So I take this as a positive move, even if a quick fix, if they can throw out the cash a bit better come 2021 we may get F1 back to being where it should be!

      1. @garns ”FIA are looking at this as a temporary solution until the new 2021 regs start. So we get some overtaking in the next three seasons until Ross Brawn has the seemingly impossible job to ‘fix F1’.”
        – Two seasons (2019-2020) to be precise, but I get your point.

    6. The only problem with DRS is the 1s rule. If any driver could use it whenever they want it would be OK.

  7. Closer racing and more overtaking is nice, but I hope people realise it’s going to come at the price of slower cars. The intricate wing designs are there to give the car more downforce; remove them and some of that is lost. Wasn’t the aim to make them faster a short time ago? Can’t help but feel this is a shallow, narrow minded solution that’s going to have unintended consequences. Why not come up with an integrated plan across the whole car? That the barge board changes were not approved underlines this piecemeal approach.

    I’m all for measures that will help overtaking, but wary when it comes at the cost of pure racing.

    1. Closer racing and more overtaking is nice

      If that turns out to be true the slower speeds will not be so bad, a bit more power and/or wider tyers may help. If overtaking does not improve then Houston we have a problem.
      I have my fingers crossed it will improve :)

      1. @johnrkh I agree – slower speeds in themselves aren’t necessarily a bad thing, it just feels like it’s just being dealt with in isolation, without thinking about the bigger picture.

      2. @johnrkh wider tires make for slower top speed. no need to have higher speed in corners as well, as that is taken care of by bigger wings.

    2. @fluxsource ”but I hope people realise it’s going to come at the price of slower cars.”
      – Not necessarily/automatically. The only intention is to simplify some parts of the car to make following easier through the corners especially the high-speed ones, not to reduce downforce. I don’t think the attempt to make the front wing, for example, simpler than it is now would reduce the amount of downforce.

      1. @jerejj I’m sorry, but I don’t see why you think this. What other possible reason would teams have for creating such complicated wings? You’re correct in saying ‘not necessarily’ as the deficit may be picked up somewhere else. But it’s the ‘may’ part that worries me – it feels like it hasn’t entirely been thought through.

      2. @jerejj I was going to say the same thing…that this does not necessarily signify a significant drop in downforce. As mentioned in the article above, the outwashing wings create a lot of wake for the car behind. With less disturbed air behind the leading car, the trailing car could easily have more usable downforce than now.

        @fluxsource I would reverse what you are saying/asking. I don’t see why you think this has not been entirely thought through, when everything has pointed to the fact that post-BE it is the exact opposite. Everything is being analyzed, and research based facts are being acted upon. This is no longer BE’s F1, but for now they still have to deal with the last BE format, this current one.

        Also let’s keep in mind that for all we know next year’s tires will be providing more mechanical grip. If I’m FIA/Liberty I know that’s what I’d be mandating. That and less finicky optimum operating temps. More the tread wear type of degradation than thermal, which is what they had said they were going to do but never did when the new dimension cars were introduced last year.

      3. The change in concept from out to in reduces downforce dramatically. A huge amount because the airflow is directed out round the car and pulled back in under the floor before the rear wheels. This increases the effectiveness of the diffuser by a huge amount.

        Inflow operates completely differently and as we know there is a huge flat floor with a lump of wood in the way.

        If inflow was a better option why on earth would teams spend so much money on outwash complex front wings?

        This piecemeal change may well have huge ramifications for a cars balance let alone downforce and they will without doubt be slower.

        1. @DrG The main impact of outwash front wings seems to be to reduce the drag created by the front tires after the front wings had been made wider and therefore were in front of said front tires. Some of that out washed air makes it around the front tires and affects the diffuser and floor as it is pulled back in. I would suggest that is why they will increase the width and depth of the rear wing…to find that balance that you think will be lost when air will no longer be wrapping around the front tires and getting sucked back in at the back.

        2. Hi Robbie.

          Actuallly it’s not the main benefit.

          The main benefit is to energise the diffuser via pulling the air back under the car.

          Weakening the front wing without a major rethink on the floor, y250 f/r balance, weight distribution and other aspects and simply unbalances the aero map. Not an issue for those with funding and may have benefits for overtaking but it will cause understeering cars and will reduce downforce.

          It would be better intergrated with other changes.

          The floor or barge board for instance.

          It is just not a cure all and I suspect it’s full of issues for lesser funded teams.

    3. @fluxsource Why not come up with an integrated plan across the whole car? Because that is the goal for 2021, the format which, when agreed and settled, will be far different than we have now, and which the teams will have plenty of advance notice for which to design and build. For now Liberty/Brawn are just working with what they have, which isn’t ideal, to do relatively inexpensive tweeks. The last thing they are looking to do right now is spring a bunch of integrated work across the whole car on the teams, thus advantaging the have teams and disadvantaging the lesser teams, when this car is not what they will be going forward with for 2021. The last thing this is is shallow and narrow minded. It is considerate and well thought out, and the teams agree. The second last paragraph is particularly telling and sums it up beautifully…these changes are not to be confused with what they are planning for 2021.

  8. Ben (@scuderia29)
    1st May 2018, 9:39

    It all sounded positive until I read about the even more powerful drs systems, drivers won’t need to attempt risky overtakes in the bends if drs passes on the straights are about to become even simpler than they already are.

    1. Every overtaking attempt on Verstappen is risky.

      Yeah cheap shot I know but I had to say that.

      1. Martijn (@)
        1st May 2018, 12:05

        Lol. Guess that has been his strategy all along. Taking your junior years to set the scene (which is 100% what Senna, Schumacher, Seb and Lewis did in their junior years, but everyone conveniently seem to have forgotten). Subsequently take home all awards because people fear you which puts Max in an advantage for every future battle.

      2. JohnH (@johnrkh)
        I don’t think its a cheap shot at all. The Verstappen does not know when to fight or concede an overtake. One mistake is ok, 2 mistakes in 2 races is annoying, 3 mistakes, and obvious ones too, just does not cut it anymore. Sometimes you get overtaken, everyone does. He needs to learn and deal with it.

      3. But it’s true!

    2. TeselOfSkylimits
      3rd May 2018, 1:10

      The issue on risky overtakes is that they are… well risky. To finish first you must first finish, like Rick Mears once said. A pragmatic driver will prefer to take lower spot and loose few points then risk DNF and lose many more points. So if you’d really want risky overtakes back, you’d need a scoring system with jokers that canceled your 6 or so worst scores.
      BTW, that is how Senna won the ’88 WDC, despite having less points in total to Prost.

  9. It’s so good to see a consolidated vision of how the series will oh no wait. Sticking plaster.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      1st May 2018, 16:17

      @splittimes – to be fair though, that’s all it was ever going to be. 2021 is the real change. This isn’t trying to change the formula – it’s trying to make the pre-2021 cars a little better (and to feed in to the eventual 2021 regs)

  10. While it’s positive they can make changes to simplify the car and hopefully improve close racing, the fact they, yet again, moved to further ingrain DRS and make it more powerful, shows it’s still only small steps. Then again, at least now they won’t have to wait two more years to try some of these things now (so if they don’t work out, we’ll know it in advance and could chance again …).

    It remains the case, as so often in F1, that this tries to partly undo the new ‘faster car’ rules from 2017, showing how much lack of fore-thought and well thought out purpose there was to those rules.

    Now, I do like the look of wider cars we now have, and especially the wider,lower, rear wings, and this may improve that (perhaps nostalgic) look. But it all points to the 2021 rules producing slower cars (need more fuel because lack clever MGU-H, further simplification which will likely reduce downforce), and likely already slower cars next year (unless DRS really becomes overpowering …). I wonder who’ll complain.

    1. @bosyber Not necessarily/automatically. The only intention is to simplify some parts of the car to make following easier through the corners especially the high-speed ones, not to reduce downforce. I don’t think the attempt to make the front wing, for example, simpler than it is now would reduce the amount of downforce. BTW, the total fuel capacity is irrelevant for the ultimate lap times as they’re set with as little fuel onboard as possible regardless of the maximum amount of fuel available.

      1. @jerejj, the current front wings are as complicated as they are to get the best and most stable airflow to the back/floor of the car, under the current rules. Simplifying them, without changing much else, will either lead to a slowdown, or a lot of money being poured into working around the new limitations.

        Fuel amount indeed does not matter for ultimate pace, but one thing I do hear a lot of people saying is that these cars are so heavy, including fuel, that they are a lot slower than they might be, and 5-7s off that pace in the race, which will not likely improve with allowing more fuel.

  11. As the DRS is now going to get even more powerful, why not decrease the opening of DRS or even adjust it from track to track. I think today the DRS opens 65mm but for 2019 it could look like this:
    Australia: 65mm
    Bahrain: 40mm
    Monaco: 65mm
    Monza: 30mm
    So the FIA decides how much everyone’s DRS can open depending from track to track, like for example in Australia it’s hard to be close and overtake; increase DRS. Monza; easier to follow and alot slipstream opportunities; decrease opening of DRS

    1. @Adis DRS is more or less entirely ineffective around Monza due to how little drag there already is to reduce by using it. The same applies to Mexico as well.

      1. You’re right and that’s why I think you should adapt the effect of DRS depending on how much you need it at a track

    2. I think we need to deviate from the “FIA chose this,” “Pirelli chose that” concept.

  12. If the rear wings are getting bigger and front wings simpler, how will that affect the front/rear downforce balance?

  13. There is enough overtaking, but if these changes mean that DRS can be abolished, then I’m happy. Unfortunately, it seems they are also trying to make DRS more effective.

  14. Good. Incremental changes are positive and a good way to verify each step. If everything is changes for 2021, it might turn out to be a mess if something simple doesn’t work.

  15. Simplified wings could be OK but why do we need a more powerful DRS? The issue is following in the corners, if we remove that DRS will already be more powerful.

    This sounds like too much change at once.

  16. I must admit to being shocked that there was unanimous agreement.

    The only thing I can think from that is that the top 3 believe they can gain a significant advantage via one of the changes (most probably the rear wing)

    Kinda surprised the second tier agreed – surely there’s going to be a significant increase in cost as it’s a “redevelopment” and not a refinement of their 2018 chassis.

    1. There wasnt unanimity at all. Teams were roughly 50/50 with notably Ferrari opposed and Mercedes the opposite.

      Rest of the votes were made up by the FIA and other bodies.

      Read the story on Autosport for the detail.

      1. Wow just read it again and SAUBER went against Ferrari and voted for the changes! Unprecedented.

        They were joined by Mercedes, Williams and Force India.

  17. Excellent news. Good that they’re finally going to simplify the front wing to make following easier. The planned changes to the rear wing, on the other hand, weren’t really necessary, though.

  18. Excellent and very surprising news to wake up to this morning

  19. Need more details! Will front wings be narrower?

  20. IF they think the changes to there making to the wings is going to allow cars to follow closer & make overtaking more possible I fail to see why they need to also make DRS more effective.

    To be honest given where I am with DRS currently, If it does prove to be more effective next year & proves to be too powerful then I’m switching off after 30 years of watching with no guarantee that i’ll come back because i’m simply sick of DRS at this point. Every time I see a DRS ‘pass’ I just lose interest that little bit more.
    I hate it, More so than any other gimmick & I also hate that just because F1 has it lower formulas such as GP2/F2 which never needed it have felt the need to adopt it for no other reason than to copy F1. DRS as well as to a lesser extent the High-deg tyres are the reasons I no longer bother watching F2 live, A series i’ve loved since it’s inception as GP2 in 2005.

    1. @stefmeister I have a feeling these relatively minor and inexpensive to implement tweaks are not going to make a vast difference, but what might happen is that if cars can stay a little closer to each other than this year, perhaps they won’t have to wait for a DRS zone to make a fake pass. DRS has certainly been no guarantee for an easy pass these days anyway, and let’s see what tires they will have next year too. If they have a little more mechanical grip, a little less aero (or at least a little less wake from the car ahead) perhaps as I say we will see more non-DRS stuff.

      I think it is important that you keep your hopes up that come 2021 there won’t be DRS. At least that is what I am fully expecting. But they just need to do a ground up rethink, which we know is exactly what is in the works, and they can’t just spring that on teams with cars meant for DRS.

    2. @stefmeister To quote another user from above: ”It’s the disparity in engines that causes motorway passes, not DRS. Take a look at the last race, Ricciardo vs. Verstappen. Equal equipment and the racing was phenomenal – up until Max ruined it.”
      – People are always a bit too eager to blame DRS alone for all easy-looking passes and also eager to call DRS-assisted overtaking moves fake in general even if the passing move itself was only completed in the braking zone for the upcoming corner and not before it. The reason I decided to copy-paste another users comment from above was that he has a very valid point that contradicts your claim about DRS to a certain extent at least.

      @robbie ”DRS has certainly been no guarantee for an easy pass these days anyway”
      – I fully agree with you on this one: That’s precisely how it is and has been since at least the start of the current engine formula era.

      1. @jerejj Engine disparity can play a role at times but there are plenty of examples from not just the current V6 era but also the V8 (When engine performance was more even across manufacturers) where DRS passes were far too easy purely because of DRS.

        There has also been examples of Honda powered McLaren’s getting easy passes on other cars thanks to DRS & I don’t think anyone would argue that Honda has a performance advantage over the other 3 manufacturer’s.
        For example Alonso on Massa at Abu-Dhabi last year, It’s very even until they hit the DRS line at which point DRS drives Alonso straight past with ease despite having the worst engine/slowest car in a straight line:

        @robbieI know that DRS isn’t always a guarantee, But all the cases where DRS does make things too easy or where it’s so powerful that it does make the outcome of a certain battle for position a bit too predictable for me outweigh all the cases where it doesn’t because everytime I see DRS work in a negative way it just really hurts my enjoyment of that race.

        I’ve never been as down on F1 as I have been since 2011, DRS & to an extent the High-deg tyres which I equally despise…. Those things more than anything else have been slowly but surely killing my love of F1 as well as GP2/F2 (Which I don’t bother watching live anymore primarily because of these same gimmicks).

        I want to see good, Competitive, Hard fought racing with some exciting & competitive overtaking based on the skill of drivers attacking & defending….. I don’t necisarily want or need to see lots of overtaking because for me overtaking isn’t the most important thing, Never has been & never will be.

  21. I think we all need to slow our roll and consider the wording of the release…

    These studies indicated the strong likelihood of a positive impact

    Strong likelihood is the key for me. As these changes haven’t been tested on a race track, they’re hoping that these changes will work. However, once the engineers start working on how to maximize the revised wings within and sometimes outside of the rules, the hoped for result may not be the same as the actual result. This may be why they’re also hoping for an improvement of DRS.

  22. I’m no fan of DRS myself, but I think that “increasing the power of drag reduction systems” is just an effect of increasing rear wing size, ergo the size of the DRS flap, ergo its ‘power’ when opened – and I imagine that they’re increasing rear wing size to compensate for smaller front wings? ….and there’s always room for reducing DRS zones…. as temporary solution I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt – anything that reduces front wing size is good with me, I think the big complex wings have been a bane to better racing (and a major reason for DRS in the first place).

  23. I think these changes will have a drastic affect on racing. The larger wing will better couple to the diffuser creating a new type of “blown diffuser”. With the larger drs, this could effectively be a new type of “f duct”. So the drs slso dumps the undertray drag too. So during wually, very fast times will be set, regardless of no one in front. I think the teams with rake would have an advantage too since there disturbed air will dtill be intense close to the ground. But what do i know.

    1. Yep – but spare a thought for the pretty much useless front wing and how you now have an unbalanced understeering monster on your hands….

      I wish people would do just a smidgin of research before declaring their excellence as arm chair aero supremos and applauding changes that have never been tried before.


  24. I did not anticipate this. Good job .. Things must be really bad, for teams to stick toggether.

  25. Michael Brown (@)
    1st May 2018, 15:54

    Here’s hoping we can get rid of DRA by 2021

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      1st May 2018, 15:54


  26. Good news in general. Maybe increasing the effect of DRS is a bit too much, but as @robbie was saying, the current cars there is no guarantee for an easy pass right now.
    But many here assume the front wing will be made smaller and the rear wing will be larger. I don’t think that is the case, although I’d like to have more information on it.
    As I read it they will forbid the outwash on the front wing meaning the shape of the endplated will be restricted. And for the rear wing it’s just a bigger area that will open for the DRS. I don’t think the size of the rear wing will increase.

  27. Btw, any ideas why the Mercedes teams have voted in favour?

    1. Mercedes seem to have more trouble following than Ferrari and Red Bull, the rules don’t impact their complex bargeboard design.

  28. I would say don’t get hung up on stronger DRS, and instead look at the words about following closer more easily as this is the important piece of this change.

    Outwash has long been pointed at as the main issue creating dirty air and to see the rules start limiting this is an amazingly positive move by both Liberty / FOM and the FIA and an in your face hallenge to the teams to say “we are committed to create a closer racing series, no matter the fallout”.

    Such a significant aero change is an opportunity for some teams to make a substantial gain if they get it right.

    If cars can follow closer more of the lap and through corners then more unassisted by DRS passing is hopefully what we will see.

    As DRS design specs for next year come out this will give us an idea of whether it will get an increase in power or not, but the FIA may also choose to shorten the DRS zones to offset this performance gain.

    A lot of people are surprised that Merc have voted for this change after previously being against it. The way I interpret this is that they are seeing the performance equalisation as threatening to them over the next few years and are hoping that Ferrari (their main competition) are unable to capitalise on aero changes as well as they can.

  29. I’d have got rid of the bargeboards and all the aero clutter between the front wheels and the sidepods altogether …

    … thanks for blocking that, whoever did.

  30. As a sign of my lack of understanding on this issue, I think the larger rear wing will create more turbulent air behind a car, and the simplified front wing will be less capable of handling it, consequently I am expecting following distances to increase, not decrease.

    1. @drycrust, me too, but what do we know about the voodoo of aerodynamics, after all none of us ever suspected that adding even bigger wings would nullify any improvement in racing brought about by wider tyres, not.

  31. My main concern is about wider front wings: they could increase the likelihood of punctures or other damage from otherwise minor contact. This was problem several years ago before the narrowed the front wings.

  32. So will we finally get rid of the bits and pieces on the front wings that make them so complex that they’re an eye sore?

  33. digitalrurouni
    1st May 2018, 20:25

    Just bring back the lighter 2008 cars.

    1. I’d be all for that if it didn’t mean we’d be seeing parts sticking out all over the bodywork again. I know this is an unpopular opinion, but the MP4-23 was an eyesore.

  34. I was watching changes Indy made to their cars. It works a treat. F1 must respond. Changing front wing design to not look like jewlery would only improve the car.

    You don’t see La Ferrari, McLaren P1 feature this kind of front end jewleries, yet are awesome cars.

    F1 needs to science the hell out of car design to make racing epic.

  35. Broader tail wing to improve drs. Great for statistics not so good for great ontrack battles as drs quickly ends those

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