Racing Point technical director Andrew Green believes Formula 1 cars will be slower next season, even though they will fundamentally be an evolution of this season's machinery.
The sport has delayed the introduction of new aerodynamic regulations until 2022 - which will see an overhaul of car design aimed at promoting more exciting racing - due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
But with this seasons Pirelli tyres rolling over into next year, a new rule set has been drafted aimed at cancelling out the usual year-on-year increase in performance and thus ensuring the tyres will be suitable at the tail end of 2021.
"We've taken a slice of real estate out of the floor in front of the rear tyre," Green explained.
"It takes a really large hit aerodynamically to a point where I would be surprised if anybody was able to develop their way out of it in the time we have available for 2021.
"So I fully expect 2021 cars to be slower than 2020 cars. It's a huge change. A small change relatively speaking to the floor has had quite a significant impact on the performance of the car.
"It's not just a redevelopment of the floor, unfortunately, it's a redevelopment almost of the front to back aerodynamics of the car to try and recover it.
"So it became quite clear that our focus has to turn quite quickly onto 2021 because of that. There isn't going to be a significant amount of aerodynamic carry over from '20 to '21. Mechanically yes, but aerodynamically probably not."
Green continued by explaining teams had hoped to agree a change to the cars that would require minimal work to negate. Initially pleased with the agreement, things changed when Racing Point returned to the factory recently.
Green added: "It wasn't until we got back from the break and started to look at it we realised how big a change it was."
"We didn't want a change that was going to significantly change the flow structure on the car. Unfortunately, the change that's come through does do that.
"We understand the reasons why, we understand that we do need to peg back the performance of the car, and for sure this is going to peg back the performance of the car in 2021.
"It's the same for everybody, I don't think anybody's got an advantage or disadvantage relatively speaking compared to other teams because of this change, I think we're all in the same boat.
"It's just never nice when you do a change to a car and get a very large hit, and you realise that it's not a small development."
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