FIA say rule changes could see overtaking increase 'by 50%' at some tracks
The FIA have been encouraged by the car changes they have introduced to improve overtaking for the 2019 season, and have claimed that after performing simulations they believe that overtaking could increase by as much as 50% at some circuits.
Improvements in the drag reduction system which allows cars to follow each other more easily have been met with praise.
Though the effects weren't immediately obvious in Melbourne at the opening race of the season, a notoriously difficult track to overtake on in any case, Bahrain proved more encouraging.
Nikolas Tombazis, head of single-seater technology at the FIA, said in an interview published in AUTO magazine that simulations showed a clear improvement in overtaking manoeuvres season-on-season.
He said: "Some simulations were showing a +10% increase of overtaking, assuming a similar evolution of a race, of course. In other races the same simulations expect a more sizeable increase, possibly to the tune of +50%.
"That's the feedback we've had so far, but it will really only become clear as we progress through the season. We weren't expecting miracles in round one at Australia, but generally we are expecting a step in the right direction as far as aerodynamics are concerned."
Tombazis added that he believed there was still work to do in order to ensure competitive, exciting racing, but added that the changes that have been made will lay the foundation for more comprehensive changes as part of the 2021 overhaul.
He added: "Overall, I'm pleased with the direction of the aerodynamic characteristics. I certainly don't think we have arrived at the final destination point and we can never sit back and say, 'OK, it's all fine'.
"However, I think that if we hadn't gone through this process and we were sitting here writing the 2021 rules we would be in a much weaker position. For what we are trying to achieve, 2019 has been a very useful exercise."
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