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McLaren label F1 aero changes "a shame"

McLaren label F1 aero changes "a shame"

F1 News

McLaren label F1 aero changes "a shame"

McLaren label F1 aero changes "a shame"

McLaren technical director James Key has said "it is a shame" Formula 1 introduced rules reducing aerodynamic loads for the coming season but conceded "it had to be done".

Through a number of changes to the floor, rear bargeboards, and diffusers, F1 teams have been pushed back to levels of aerodynamic downforce similar to those seen in 2019.

These changes were made for safety reasons after it was decided to push back the radical 2021 aerodynamic regulations to 2022 in a bid to minimise spending with teams and automotive manufacturers suffering reduced income due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"It is a shame it had to be done," said Key. "There were some good reasons for it with the third year of these cars and they are getting quicker and quicker.

"They are honestly incredibly quick at the moment to the revolution of the drivers through some of the corners where they go by instinct more than making decisions in some cases in some of the faster corners we have seen.

"I think it was sensible to reign them in a little bit to ensure that Pirelli could cope with even higher loads on the third year of the same spec of tyre."

With higher cornering speeds comes increased loads and temperatures experienced by the Pirelli rubber. Had the sport not tweaked the regulations, it is likely, even with new constructions being introduced this year, the number of tyre failures seen across the season would rise.

Key added: "I think it does make sense to do some bespoke aero development for '21 in areas which, it's not like you have the answer for all of that, effecting the floor in that way and the rear tyres and diffuser and so on.

"It does lead to completely new development but you have to relearn some areas, quite critical in certain areas. So in that respect, it is a shame that we couldn't carry over because it would have been a much more natural progression but of course, it has affected everyone the same and there is a good reason behind it."

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