Concept 2021 floor and previous design

Return of ground effect in 2021 to make “massive” difference to overtaking

2021 F1 season

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Formula 1 will reintroduce ‘ground effect’ aerodynamics in 2021, a change the sport’s technical directors believe will make a “massive” difference to how easily cars can follow each other.

The concept image above, produced earlier this year, illustrates the style of the changes planned for the underbody of F1’s new cars in 2021.

Current Formula 1 cars generate much of their downforce from upper surface aerodynamic components such as wings and bargeboards. Teams have been required to use largely flat floors since the early eighties, when ‘ground effect’ aerodynamics led to a sudden increase in cornering speeds.

The sport’s technical directors intend to change the balance between the two in 2021. Upper surface aerodynamics will be simplified and teams permitted to use ‘venturi’ tunnels in their floors which extend along the full length of the sidepods.

The FIA’s head of single-seater matters Nikolas Tombazis said the purpose of the changes is to make it easier for a following car to stay close to a leading car.

“The first part of the objective is to improve the wake [from] the front car so the rear car doesn’t suffer so much performance loss,” he explained.

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“As an indication, current cars two car distances behind front car may lose almost half of their downforce and that makes it much more difficult to follow closely and creates a situation where you destroy the tyres much more easily, for two reasons. One is because the cars slide more and hence they destroy the tyres and secondly because obviously adding more turbulence and slow-moving air the tyres and the rest of the car don’t cool down as they do otherwise.”

F1 2021 India concept model
How will F1 revolutionise the racing in 2021? Its new concept car analysed
The return of ground effects will work with another significant change on the 2021 cars. New bodywork pieces above the front wheels will improve the wake from a leading car, also helping a following car to stay much closer.

“What the following car receives is much cleaner flow,” Tombazis explained. “Typically we are [going] from about 50 percent loss of downforce for the following car at two car distances [behind] down to about five [to] 10 percent loss. So we have a massive reduction of the downforce [loss] for the following car.”

However the FIA expects the teams’ pursuit of performance will erode some of these gains.

“We are aware that when development takes place from teams – who don’t care about what the following car performance is, they just care about the front car – that that may negate some of these gains and that it’s our task to make rules that try to prevent that as much as possible.”

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89 comments on “Return of ground effect in 2021 to make “massive” difference to overtaking”

  1. Is there a scale for the colours @keithcollantine? Otherwise it doesn’t give much information, actually if they represent the same pressures it looks like is almost the same, but I highly doubt it

    1. Just highlighting the new bits I think.

      1. I think the darker the blue, the more downforce, perhaps?
        Looking at the colour in the current style front wing, that’s the impression I get.
        If that is it, it would also seem the new front wings would play a lot less of a role. Though the mock-up might just be highlighting the floor design with a simpler wing than would be present on the final rules. (The rear wing as well, it seems)

        1. Air pressure perhaps?

          1. yes this are air pressure, which might appear in the same colour but have a completely different scale to it

          2. this is a CFD model btw if anyone is wondering

          3. And if anyone is wondering what that is in english its an computer model ;)

    2. Blue is lower pressure, green means higher pressure than blue and then it goes to yellow, orange and red. The difference in amount of pressure between the colours is not too relevant at the moment, or for the article.

  2. Before the trolls jump in and say none of it will work, why shake up the order just as it’s closing up (clue: because it’s not) blah blah I just want to say all of this sounds fantastic and I can’t wait for 2021!

    1. +4 Imagine if this works and they can dump DRS, heaven!

    2. Jan Rosenthal
      17th July 2019, 21:52


  3. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    17th July 2019, 10:40

    This is fantastic news. The best thing to happen to modern F1 in all my 25 years of watching.

    1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      17th July 2019, 11:45

      Everything’s coming up Milhouse

      1. can we hace a profile pic competition so that we have an excuse to gift @fullcoursecaution an F1 2019 game?

        That’s Lando Norris meme level

  4. Hell to the yea! Can’t wait!

  5. The ground effects will allow the cars to run closer, but they need limits on this as otherwise the teams will have cars that are literally on rails through the corners at greater speeds than we have now. We saw in the ’80’s what ground effects meant then let alone what the engineers can now do.

    1. “Leemits!? We don’ need no steenking leemits!”

    2. The cars are already on rails in the corners compared to the 80s so this wont change anything.
      The only thing that can change that is to allow for engine power that isnt dwarfed by the aero but obviously that will never happen.

    3. I agree. I thought they might be better stripping the aero and aiming to make the cars 150kg lighter (excluding fuel), bearing in mind being much lighter will boost power-to-weight. Part of this could be achieved by shortening the wheelbase significantly. Unfortunately, with the current V6 t h, it’s unlikely.

      Still, they know better than I. I really do hope they shorten the wheelbase though.

  6. They know a lot more now than they did back in the day. I hope it works. This could single-handedly save F1. Very exciting.

  7. Indycar did exactly this last year and it made a huge difference in road and street course racing.

    1. pastaman (@)
      17th July 2019, 13:36

      The more ideas they take from Indycar, the happier I get. Next… no more power steering!

  8. Paul (@frankjaeger)
    17th July 2019, 11:53

    Really great steps.

    I would like to see refuelling (lower total weight and another strategy dimension), slightly stricter cost cap, tyres without a cliff, shorter wheelbases, unrestrictive fuel-flow limits.

    I would also say juicier, normally-aspirated engines but I think that’s wishful thinking with the way the world is going. Does anybody have any comparisons in acceleration between normally-aspirated engines and the current hybrids? I’m pretty sure the top speeds are higher but how do they compare in terms of acceleration?

    1. I believe acceleration is better due to higher torque. I don’t have the data though.

    2. unrestrictive fuel-flow limits

      As I’ve said before, the fuel flow limit is exactly the same in principal as a rev limit for a natasp. Remove it, and the teams could produce a ridiculous amount of power by using ridiculous boost levels (as long as they spent a ridiculous amount of money making the engine able to take it).

      Does anybody have any comparisons in acceleration between normally-aspirated engines and the current hybrids? I’m pretty sure the top speeds are higher but how do they compare in terms of acceleration?

      Acceleration is a function of power (well, force, but near enough) and weight (mass). The cars are heavier than they were, but more powerful. In addition, these engines produce that power across a wider rev range, so average power output will be even higher comparatively speaking. I haven’t seen figures, but the amount of extra power available is much more than the weight increase, so I would be very surprised if acceleration wasn’t significantly higher too.

      1. Paul (@frankjaeger)
        17th July 2019, 22:45

        Unrestricted is probably the wrong word to be honest, more like ‘higher fuel flow limit’. I’m just sick of this fuel flow limit and lift and coasting. It’s less of a problem now but I don’t know why they ever made the fuel flow regulations when it created such lame racing.

        That’s interesting about the acceleration. Speaking 0-100mph, would the current cars be quicker do you think? Whenever I watch old clips from the 90s and 00s they always seem a bit more agile and racey in motion – maybe it’s to do with the aero and shorter wheelbases?

        1. @frankjaeger @drmouse the fuel flow limit was put in place partly to reduce the amount of saving that had to be done. Without the limit, there’d be nothing to stop teams burning all the fuel at the start, and coasting around for the rest of the race – or alternatively coasting then burning it all at the end.

          However, it is flawed because the geniuses decided that cars can only start with maximum 105kg of fuel, and the flow limit is 100kg per hour. Doesn’t take a mathematician to see that in a 1h 30m race, this will still lead to management – especially as some teams deliberately under-fuel the cars at the start because it works out faster to cruise lighter.

          The solution would be to have a minimum race fuel load that is more than the projected length of the race. For example, if they predict a race will be 1h 30m, mandate that teams start with at least 150kg of fuel (or more just in case the race is a bit longer than anticipated). Combined with the fuel flow limit of 100kg and you would end up with cars running to the permitted limit the entire race – there would be little benefit not to, beyond reliability and tyres.

          As for the acceleration, these engines produce a lot of torque, a lot more than the V8s, mainly due to the batteries/ERS. This gives them very fast acceleration at low revs. Additionally the wide rear tyres they have used since 2017 give them far more traction to make use of the torque.

          However, the increased traction makes the cars faster but easier and smoother to accelerate, as there is less wheel spin and it is more stable. Furthermore, the engineering is so advanced these days, that even without traction control, the power delivery is very smooth (for a racing car). All this makes it look easy compared with 20, even 10 years ago.

          1. The fuel flow limit had nothing to do with lift-and-coast. It is there to limit the energy input to the engine, just as a rev & capacity limits do on a naturally aspirated engine. It’s an accurate and effective way to limit “boost” from the turbo (it’s easier to accurately measure the flow of the fuel than the air).

            Without it, there would be nothing to stop teams running ridiculous and dangerous levels of boost, just as without RPM limits there would be nothing to stop them running the engines at ridiculous & dangerous speeds, and without capacity limits there would be nothing to stop them bringing in 10l engines. All are equivalent in terms of limiting the air & fuel going into the engine, and therefore roughly equalising the playing field in terms of engine performance.

  9. I wonder how this will impact the lines the drivers take? I am not an expert, but I would guess that riding the curbs is not going to be a thing anymore. Because lifting the car up on one side by riding the curb it will break the ground effect. Sure in the super slow corners it will probably still happen, or maybe nor because you can damage your aero, which is now underneath. Maybe I am completely wrong, but logically in my mind this is how it works. Staying on a flat surface all the time will be desired.

    1. That’s a very good point, hopefully teams develop different solutions and we get some variations.

    2. A good insentive to stay within track limits!

      1. And a potentially big bonus for forcing a competitor wide ;)

    3. The seal on the venturi tunnels that are used in the India model are different to those used in the 80’s, skirts. As they are raised above the floor unlike the skirt, I would have thought that riding over kerbs is unlikely to affect the GE much, if at all.

      1. Are powerful ground effect and kerb-using risky?

    4. It will be very similar to what you see going on in Indycar at the moment. The 2 concepts are very similar.

  10. Finally, we’ve been calling for this for years. This will improve things massively I think.

  11. Like Kimi and J. VIllneuve say, forbid data and drs and you will have better f1. The rest is superficial.

  12. I’m excited.
    BUT I hope the FIA does some really tight and bulletproof rules on the whole engineering. If any loophole is found and exploited by one team, it’s going to be 2009 all over again.

    Good idea to only mandate the area below the side pods for now. I was hoping for a (very slight) smaller area that gradually increases with successive seasons to prevent any team annihilation.

  13. We have this discussion many times before and I am still going to say that it is a retrograde step.

    Once the ground effect is broken, even , as mentioned by AliceD above, something as simple as running a kerb, the car becomes an unguided missile with the driver being merely an observer.
    Also, think of those skids we have had this year where the driver lost control of the rear and ended up hitting a high kerb at right angles to it . The front lifted. If this happens that flat floor will generate lift with the possibility of the car doing a back flip.

    It will be dangerous.

    1. This old article on RaceFans seems to agree that ground effect is too dangerous:

      It even states it was:

      one innovation that the governing body were surely right to get rid of.

      1. That was then and this is now. They will have learned from the 80’s. They have been doing unprecedented wind tunnel testing.

    2. It doesn’t look like the same level of ground effect that we had in the 70/80’s. There are no skirts on the side of the car, completely locking in the underside of the car to the road. It looks to be similar to the level of ground effect they have in Indycar. For me, the concern will be a couple of years down the line after a few years of development, will the cars be generating such high G with cornering speeds that the drivers will be on the verge of blacking out (similar to some of Mario A’s comments back in the day)

      1. Gubstar, the thing is, there have been a number of IndyCar drivers who have commented in recent years that the increased reliance on the floor of the car to generate downforce has made the handling of the cars less predictable and more prone to suddenly and inexplicably breaking traction – so, although it might not be the same as in the 1970s and 1980s, some of those questions do seem to be valid.

      2. There is a much better understanding of aerodynamics now than there was in the late 70’s early 80’s. The cars don’t necessarily need a physical seal nowadays, it can be created using aerodynamic structures. I am surprised that there is no mention of any form of active suspension in this new package though, Ground effects work best when accompanied with a stable platform. Pitching and rolling will affect the downforce generated by the floor.

      3. @anon Yes, but given a year to adjust to the new aero kit, IndyCar’s drivers have mostly gotten on with it, and the number of full course yellows has dropped significantly this season. I don’t see why it would be any different in F1. Plus, whether road course or street circuit, F1 track surfaces areµ billiard smooth compared to some of the circuits IndyCar runs on, so if anything, F1 is better suited to ground effects cars.

        @gubstar Don’t think we have much to worry about on that front. The current cars are already way beyond what Mario was driving! Were there ever to be concerns, there’s no reason the FIA can’t simply change the rules, as they say they’re already committed to doing to counter the teams’ gains.

    3. No skirts like the Lotus 79 and others of that era which created the seal and if broken when lifted could cause a dangerous incident. The venturi tunnels are higher up off the floor so even running over the kerbs the seals is still not broken. In a previous article I read from Scarbs who said the that this solution was far from full length ground effect from the 80s.

      Dont I think they’ve thought a lot about this.

    4. groundeffect without skirts is much safer and that is what they are designing here.

    5. They just need to run active suspension and that danger will go away for the most part

    6. People seem to have very wrong idea about what the ground effect is. It is not an on/off thing. Any wing that is close to the ground gains downforce (or lift) from ground effect. Planes gain lift when they fly closer to the ground. Front wings in f1 cars gain downforce because of the proximity to the ground. Because of ground effect. Diffusers and splitters rely on that effect a lot more. Currently about 60% of the car downforce comes from ground effect. More if you count the front wing. Even the rear wing generates slightly more downforce because of ground effects (while it works together with the rear wing).

      The key to safe ground effects is in how stable your aerodynamics are. In the 80s the cars ran skirts and relatively basic stiff suspensions. This meant two things. The cars very extremely sensitive to changes in ride height. Millimeter too high or low and you lose downforce and speed. The cars also used mechanical devices to seal the tunnels under the car. Modern cars can use airflow. As the old cars roll in corners, pitch down under braking and nose up during acceleration and do all that differently at different speeds you have very complex problems. The suspensions at the time made this problem worse because the suspension could not keep the underside of the car at the optimal heights. As such any bumps, corners, tire pressures and fuel loads and such caused the ride height to move around a lot which caused the downforce levels to change rapidly all the time. Worse off the front/rear balance of the downforce also changed rapidly. There was a term called porpoising which mean that as the downforce levels change they cause the car to go nose up nose down very rapidly as the downforce balance moves front to rear to front.

      We can now understand ground effects and airflows much better and do computer simulations to make sure you don’t get those nasty surprises. The teams in the 80s did not have these advanced tools and budgets so they had much more basic understanding trying to make things work on what they had. Modern ground effect based car simply does not suffer from the same issues anymore. They are still sensitive to ground height and car pitch/roll and yaw angles and tire angles and what not but those issues can be minimized and elimated to certain degree. After all modern f1 cars generate 60% or more from ground effects. The suspensions on the car are several multitudes more complex than what they had. Ground effects are not dangerous. Every f1 car has generated some part of its downforce using ground effects since the first car in the late 60s put wings on the car that were not on top of sticks.

  14. I followed the link under the image back to Craig Scarborough’s excellent analysis piece of April this year, and read this

    On this model at least, there is no DRS, the theory is that these cars should be able to overtake legitimately without it.

    It still looks this way, so is this really the end of DRS? I hope so.

    1. Drs was a bandage to try to relieve some of the dirty air effect. It won’t be needed once the cars can follow closely and not lose nearly as much downforce. Put another way, if the cars actually still have drs in 2021 then imho they will have massively failed to redesign the cars with closer racing in mind. I find it impossible to fathom drs in 2021.

  15. Great. Then they can remove DRS.

    1. They have to and I’m 100% confident they will.

      1. Unfortunately I’m 90% confident they won’t remove DRS.

          1. F1 prefers quantity over quality. The more passes the better. Plus having drs on qualifying makes the cars look faster so they can brag about faster lap times when the drs gives them second or more.

          2. @robbie The answer given by socksolid (@socksolid) is a good answer. My reasoning was DRS is addictive, so now that it’s been allowed taking it away will cause unpleasant withdrawal type symptoms. So DRS will remain rather than go down the “painful” path of not having it.

          3. @socksolid @drycrust No I don’t believe F1 prefers quantity over quality, but under BE and with their lack of motivation at the time to do anything about too much aero dependence, they brought in drs to at least invite some passing rather than processions. Brawn is now taking the cars away from being too clean air dependent so that won’t be a problem. I don’t buy that they would want it to ‘brag’ about faster lap times on Saturdays. I also disagree entirely that there is an addiction to it and that removing it will be ‘painful.’ Why would it when they will be driving much better cars meant for closer racing? Come 2021 they will immediately forget about having drs for they will have a much better substitute…cars that are not processional and that will invite back the art of defending. So for me both of your reasonings have no merit based on everything I’ve heard Brawn say on F1’s new and pending technical direction. Brawn who btw has never been a fan of drs.

          4. If you read any of brawn’s statements and interviews you should figure out two things very quickly. First I think he wants to get rid of drs. But he also measures overtaking with just one number. Number of passes per race. Drs for sure increases that number very easily. Brawn is not the only person who makes decisions on this:

            And it seems drs is on the menu 2021 onwards as well:

          5. @socksolid I think you are missing some nuance in what Brawn has said as well as in the two articles you have cited. But for sure he has said he has never liked drs.

            But as to number of overtakes, the verbiage in the second article refers to drs and this current era of cars, and what tweaks can/will do this year vs last as well as for next year wrt to overtaking. And why? Because with these cars, without drs there would be far fewer passes and much more endless processions, and far fewer car to car ‘combats’.

            But this topic of numbers of passes shouldn’t be confused with the need for drs to create more with these current cars vs. what is planned for the next chapter and what Brawn has said, which is that it is NOT about numbers of passes for the new era but the number of close battles. I believe veteran F1 insiders such as Brawn completely get that in F1 passes should be somewhat rare and difficult (at least involving two fairly equal cars/drivers), not just for the excitement that creates, but it makes passes rare and memorable. That simply doesn’t exist with drs passes. Nothing memorable at all there. We all want, or should want, passes to be hard earned, and drivers able to defend, again, neither being the case with drs involved. Number of chances is what can create as much if not more excitement than sheer number of passes let alone number of weak and meatless, unmemorable drs passes.

            I do look forward to, for example, Max vs Charles without the influence of drs taking away from their skill, but rather the types of battles they have had recently only without the crutch of inevitable drs passes, and just pure driver/car combos unaided by a push button gadget making passing moves indefensible. Oh I’m not saying all their combats and passes were via drs, a few were, but drs certainly influences every driver’s positioning all day and hence the way the whole race plays out.

            I think the first article you cite does a weak job of trying to claim drs could stay for the next gen, but note that this article is from 2018, and see Brawn’s wording and my interpretation is that he is saying for the 3 years 2018, 19, and 20, they won’t be developing the cars away from drs. It’s going to take the ground up restoration to do that. The complete overhaul of the cars. I don’t trust the few sentences on the topic this author has put together as being anything other than a weak attention getter with no real substance and moreso a twisting of Brawn’s words from early days of three years prior to the new gen.

          6. @robbie
            If you look into brawn’s interviews over the recent years you can see how in 2017 he was all for removing it and he openly talked about how he is not a fan. In 2018 he was more careful about it but was still hopeful of seeing it removed. 2019 it seems he is carefully admitting it will stay and likes the idea of having it “just in case”. Maybe we read into his interviews differently but I just don’t see drs going away if the man who writes the rules openly admits having drs 2021 is likely despite being known for not liking it.

          7. @socksolid As I say, I don’t at all agree that Brawn has openly admitted having drs in 2021 is likely.

          8. @socksolid Just to reiterate, upon googling ‘Ross Brawn on drs’ what comes up is several articles from Feb 2018 providing the same quotes that he is hopeful to remove drs for 2021, and then several articles in Sept 2018 saying the same quotes that they will keep drs in their pocket. I see no articles from 2019, and the one you cited above speaks of drs and the non-outwashing front wings on the current 2019 cars, not on the 2021 ones.

            I strongly believe that the verbiage from Brawn in 2018 has it sounding like drs might stay only because it was early days in the process of compiling and nowhere near formalizing the technical regs, and their research in the wind tunnel was only starting and Brawn could not commit to a solid answer as to exactly what their findings would ultimately reveal, along with what consensus he was going to get from them teams.

            If you can literally find me a more recent quote from Brawn where he says as you have suggested that drs is ‘likely’ for 2021, then I’ll eat my words, and be very sad and concerned for F1 as well. I think they MUST remove drs or they will have failed to adequately get off the aero addiction at a time when there is much recent verbiage about the 2021 cars creating much less wake, having more ground effects, and losing much less performance while in dirty air. Everything they have spoken about wrt these things hints that drs should not at all be necessary and that they can remove it from the cars and their pocket. And I think that is what has happened as the technical regs have been honed via their wind tunnel research and via consensus from the teams that Brawn just couldn’t speak to in 2018 as it was early days.

    2. Daniel Cronise
      18th July 2019, 1:16

      I think they should keep DRS, but let everyone use it on straights. It’s already been developed, and it’s fun to see the cars go that much faster. (It’s way more noticeable when you’re actually there)

      1. @Daniel Cronise DRS has already been developed, but for these cars that are so clean air dependent that they need a gadget or else there would be mostly processions. Same reason they’ve had to resort to terrible tires to try to create the show with cars that would otherwise be processional. And no it is not fun to see a gadget aid a driver to fly by a car/driver who is helpless to defend. Those are easy and cheap passes that are never memorable for they do not take an admirable feat to achieve.

  16. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
    17th July 2019, 14:43

    @johnmilk I don’t often make memes, but when I do, I steal them from other F1 sites

    1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      17th July 2019, 14:45

      I don’t often reply to João, but when I do, i put it in the wrong part of the thread

      1. @fullcoursecaution I’m not even mad, that’s amazing

  17. Current f1 cars generate about 60% of their downforce with ground effects. More if you count in the front wing which is close enough to the ground to be effected by ground. What’s this percentage for the 2021 car? 70% or 80%?

    1. @socksolid I don’t think they consider the front wing as part of ground effects just because it is close to the ground. The front wing is an aero device, while ground effects refers to non-wing related downforce by creating a vacuum under the car by using the shape of the floor and diffuser. By all accounts it sounds very much like the front wings (and tear ones) will be smaller and/or much more simplified. I think the wings will be shaped like nothing we have seen before in F1, for part of their function along with the ground effects work will be to minimize the amount of wake they make.

      1. There is two different ways to use the word ground effect. Either as a physical phenomena in which case it is always there. Or use it as a word to describe an era of f1 aerodynamics in which case it is very imprecises as it has nothing to do with the physical phenomena but just a time period of the sport. Going back to ground effects is like saying going back to 1920s when you visit a museum for example.

  18. Super formulas old car and the new car are far better than f1 and f2 cars, big visual difference, massive diffuser.

  19. There seems to be considerable enthusiasm for ground effect amongst the commenters here, but one must consider why it was banned way back. It was a revolution and it worked, Mr Chapman’s and his engineers those with UK tv also saw the demo of the original car recently.

    Back then wings were not so developed or anything like as efficient in providing downforce, so when the ground effect was broken/came unstuck when the car hit a high kerb the result was dramatic.

    Since then two things have changed, they used to have what we old gits called proper suspension where the wheel could move up and absorb a good deal of the upward thrust on the chassis. Nowadays there is very little movement indeed with actual movement passed out to inerters in many cases (instead of springs) However having said that there will also be low profile tyres, which will require much greater suspension movement then current; as presently the high tyre wall provides most of the suspension movement.
    So will the greater suspension movement required by the new wheels/tyres counteract the critical loss of downforce when a kerb is encountered? Will modern wings be effective in regaining control? Could this even make drivers use the track instead of the surrounding paved areas and countryside as we see often in this and the last few seasons?

    1. I have often wished for an edit facility on here!

  20. I see the rear wheels don’t have anything behind them to dampen the turbulence from them at speed. I still think there needs to be some sort of damping device behind them to make life more pleasant for the car behind. I suspect it could make the car faster too, but of course that’s sort of irrelevant with these cars.
    The front wheels do have a wing above them to counter the natural lifting effect produced by rotating at high speed. I’m guessing if there is DRS then there will be enough residual downforce to counter the lifting effect from the rotating rear wheels.

    1. Please no fenders. They are ugly on Indy cars and they will be ugly on F1. If this is beneficial, let the designers petition for them. I was under the impression Indy car added fenders to keep the cars for launching if they touch wheels. With the fenders, they will employ more corner marshals cleaning up all the debris.

  21. I really hope they will add active suspension to go with the GE bc they would work very nice together andthat would be an area for teams to have some freedom on design since they will be losing a lot of the aero design. I really hope this is implemented at some point. Also it’s just cool to see a active car. They will have to run the cars crazy stiff if they don’t go in that direction. If the teams were smart they would be working on this car now before the budget cap goes into effect. Someone like Williams should just throw in the towel on this year and next year and put all their money to that. Could you imagine them getting it right and coming out as a top car? One can only imagine. They were the kings of active suspension back in the 90’s

  22. change sounds great. will the car following suffer overheating problems ?

  23. This has been well past due for quite some time.

    However, let’s face it, floors on today’s F1 cars have so many appendages on them, it would be very hard to say that they are “flat”

    I suspect that we may find that the improvement isn’t quite as large as everyone says it will, because current floors are already utilising ground effects to an extent.

    1. @dbradock You can’t look at floor work alone. The new cars will be entirely different on many fronts. Tweaks to these existing floors has nothing to do with an entirely differently shaped floor underneath.

      1. I’m aware of that @robbie nevertheless there has been a huge amount of work done of floors over the past couple of years, all designed to increase downforce based on quasi ground effects.

        I didn’t say that the proposed change won’t make a difference, what I said is it possibly won’t be as great as people think because some advantage has already been taken of ground effects.

        1. @dbradock Fair comment. I think more in terms of 2021’s regs being a complete reset and hence throwing out what they are doing now as the floors will not even be recognizable vs today’s, but you’re right that they can’t unlearn what they have learned. My thinking is really that everything is going to be changed so much at once that it will be hard to separate the current amount of ground effects vs the new amount when there will be vastly new wings, wheels, tires, suspensions, floors, diffusers, side pods, etc such that the way ground effects is going to work and feel for the drivers will be wholly different than now, so I suspect and think is safe to say.

  24. Jose Lopes da Silva
    17th July 2019, 23:47

    We’ve been waiting for this since, probably, 1996.

  25. I think Ground effects provide more downforce at the expense of less drag. I suspect all teams will dump the complex wings as fast as they can to rely more on the tunnels. I worked on an Anson Sa5 formula car with large tunnels. That car was fast in the turns and never really had a problem with the ground effects letting go. The teams will figure this out pretty quickly.

    Finally F1 is returning to the pinnacle of racing. However I suspect Pirelli will need to make some really good tires to cope with the stress.

    Ground effects will put the drivers talent more on display separate the kids from the grownups.

    20th July 2019, 23:01

    Ground effects improving overtaking is obvious to any aerodynamicist. I posted this years ago, and got bored of and stopped watching F1. In 2021 I will tune in again to see the vast improvement. Curious if they will eventually allow double chassis to return to further improve low speed handling. Or perhaps a high tech solution makes that obsolete. BS Aeronautical Engineering, 1995.

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