F1 looking to break its own rules with 2021 in mind
Formula 1's chiefs have taken to attempting to break the regulations they have written for 2021 and beyond in an attempt to prevent teams from finding loopholes.
A 2021-model car has been tested in Sauber's wind tunnel, with F1 and the FIA confident that it will result in cars losing just 10% of downforce when following others. Current cars lose up to half of their downforce, making closer racing more difficult.
With such a sweeping change of the rules set to be brought in, the potential for teams to exploit the rules is not lost on F1 chief technical officer Pat Symonds, who hopes to avoid a repeat of Brawn's 2009 success, which was based on finding a wrinkle in the rulebook that their rivals had to catch up on mid-season.
"We are trying to see where the rules we have written are robust and where they might be a little weak," Symonds told F1's official website.
"I'm sure ultimately the wake characteristics of a fully developed 2021 car are not going to be quite as good as we have got running at the moment, but I think they will still be very good, and it will be massively better than a 2019, or 2020 car. I'm absolutely certain of that.
"There are certain areas we know already where you can add performance but in doing so you damage the wake, so we have been quite prescriptive in those areas, because we've been trying to break the rules.
"There are other areas where we feel the design is robust so we've been less prescriptive in those areas.
"We're trying to look for the loopholes, look for the unintended consequences. That's actually a difficult thing to do when you have written the rules.
"That was my experience when we were working on the 2009 cars: Because I had been involved in writing the rules, I found it difficult to think of the loopholes as I knew what was intended.
"That was a lesson learned, we have taken it on-board. We're trying to forget what the intention was and looking at what we have actually written down and see if we can put our team hats on."
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