Formula 1 and the FIA have released footage of the first wind-tunnel testing undertaken on a scale-model F1 car built to prospective 2021 regulations.
A revamp of the rules is hoped to provide better racing and closer action by reducing the aerodynamic wake that current cars spit out as they cut through the air.
According to the wind-tunnel analysis, 2021 cars will lose just 10% downforce when following another. Current cars lose as much as half of their downforce when in the wake of another.
Ground-effect aerodynamics is hoped to keep speeds high without producing turbulence, with further tweaks set to follow – particularly to front wing designs.
F1 chief technical officer Pat Symonds said: "The wind tunnel testing we are doing is slightly different to what the teams might do.
"The teams concentrate solely on the forces on the car, through a variety of attitudes as they move the car around.
"While we naturally have an interest in what those forces are and particularly how those forces change as the car moves, we're even more interested in what is happening to the turbulent air behind the car.
"For that reason, although we are doing most of our development in CFD, and that CFD is using some pretty advanced techniques which aren't commonly used by the teams, we want to back up the virtual simulations with a physical simulation."
The FIA's single-seater chief Nikolas Tombazis added: "The fundamental point of all of this is that we are trying to reduce the losses that the following car would face.
"The simplification of the leading car's aerodynamics also helps for wake performance because on the one hand the front car doesn't have as many methods to control its wake. On the other hand the following car, not having all these little, very sensitive devices is less susceptible to disruption."
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