Tougher crash tests are being planned for the 2021 F1 season, which will contribute to a further rise in the minimum weight of cars.
Since the draft 2021 technical regulations were published last year, teams have discussed a range of potential further changes with the FIA. RaceFans understands stronger crash tests at the front, side, rear and underneath of the cars are among the changes being considered.
“The crash tests are under review,” AlphaTauri technical director confirmed to RaceFans. “There’s changes in there regarding that, there’s been a lot of dialogue on that as well.
“Some of the proposals put forward have been more challenging to achieve than others. The content of the latest regulations sits within the two extremes. For the work we’ve done quietly in the background, we’re comfortable we can achieve what we want.”
Changes to the crash tests are understood to have been prompted partly by the rising weight of the cars and consequent increase in energy dissipated in a crash. Input from the FIA’s Serious Accident Study Group which investigates major crashes, such as Anthoine Hubert’s fatal crash at Spa last year, has also been considered.
The increased use of standard specification parts in the 2021 regulations will also contribute to the further rise in minimum weight levels, Egginton explained.
“There’s been a lot of dialogue on where the mass increase will go,” he said. “You’ve got standard supply parts, which could be heavier in some instances. You’ve got more demanding crash regulations, which adds extra mass.”
“At the end of the day, car mass is going to go up and there’s going to be a tighter set of safety requirements,” he added. “The current proposals [are] a challenge, but the rationale is clear why we want to do it, but it will result in a heavier car.”
[smr2020test]The exact dimensions of the wings on next year’s car are also being reconsidered for reasons of costs, performance and sponsor visibility, said Egginton.
“For a while now there’s been a dialogue in TWG [the Technical Working Group] regarding front wing, rear wing. Do the rear wing boxes give you enough adjustment range? There’s been a dialogue there.
“Do we have the right range of rear wing, do we have the right aero balance range? There’s differing of views. Some people might think we’re over balanced, some people under balanced, and you bring into the equation what the tyre wants and, and, and. There’s been a dialogue there.
“Then obviously [in] the Strategy Group meeting there’s been a discussion on the marketing aspect. How much available space is there? And then there’s been a discussion on the rear wing itself, it’s got a lot of roll on the end plate. That’s quite an expensive part. A team went away and looked at the cost of that compared to a conventional end plate. There’s been two or three different strands going on.”
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