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CONFIRMED: FIA ratify aerodynamic changes to improve overtaking for 2019 season

CONFIRMED: FIA ratify aerodynamic changes to improve overtaking for 2019 season

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CONFIRMED: FIA ratify aerodynamic changes to improve overtaking for 2019 season

CONFIRMED: FIA ratify aerodynamic changes to improve overtaking for 2019 season

The governing body of Formula One, the FIA, confirmed on Tuesday that new aerodynamic regulations are to be introduced before the 2019 season aimed at making overtaking easier during races. Their managing director of motorsport, Ross Brawn, used the crash between Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen in Azerbaijan as an example of how changes could benefit the drivers.

A proposal was made to the constructor teams at the Bahrain Grand Prix which would aid closer racing and overtaking attempts. Even though Ferrari and Red Bull opposed the idea at the time, the Strategy Group, the F1 Commission and the World Motor Sport Council approved the following changes:

  • Simplified front wing, with a larger span, and low outwash potential
  • Simplified front brake duct with no winglets
  • A wider and deeper rear wing

Vast research has previously been undertaken by the FIA in order to find out how to increase the spectacle of Formula One for spectators in the stands as well as the television viewers, and the results indicated that the above changes should have a positive impact on proceedings after implementation.

The changes are separate from the proposed alterations for the 2021 season which could see a standardisation of engines, but several more could be made for 2019.

An increase in race fuel allowance, the separation of car weight from driver weight, and the introduction of biometric gloves are all set to be in place before the next campaign.

Brawn released a statement citing the reasons for the changes, and mentioned the crash between Ricciardo and Verstappen in Azerbaijan at the weekend as an example of a situation which could have been avoided if these changes were in place currently.

“One of the key episodes of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix was the collision between team mates Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen," the statement read.

I don’t want to comment on who might be held responsible or how a team should manage these issues during a race, but I do think the Steward’s decision to reprimand both drivers was the right course of action.

"But I would like to highlight a technical point. Once Daniel had settled for his line, and Max had changed direction blocking that line, the Australian became a passenger. The downforce loss experienced by Ricciardo in the wake of Verstappen’s car would have made it unstoppable. We often think of downforce applying in cornering, but the impact the extra grip has in braking is huge. Take away that grip in braking and what happened on Sunday was inevitable.

"Whilst this was a very severe example, it did highlight once more the need of finding a way to develop the rules to make the cars more raceable in these conditions.

"The decision of the Strategy Group and the F1 Commission taken yesterday, sanctioned by the FIA World Motor Sport Council, to approve a number of aerodynamic modifications, aimed at promoting closer racing and more overtaking for the 2019 season is definitely an important step.

Brawn insisted that the alterations have been confirmed after extensive research, and that the decision was made with everyone's best interests in mind.

"It’s also important to note that the decision has been taken after an intense period of research into the FIA’s proposals, which were made with the support of Formula 1 and, conducted by a majority of the teams. A good spirit, a good way of working together for a better and more spectacular Formula 1, which is what the FIA, Formula 1, the Teams, and most importantly, the fans want. Bravo."

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