FIA pushes through changes to promote overtaking
Following a presentation made to Formula 1 teams at the Bahrain Grand Prix which discussed proposals designed to encourage closer racing with more overtaking in the Formula 1 World Championship, the Strategy Group, the F1 Commission and the World Motorsport Council have approved a number of regulation changes for the 2019 season.
The changes voted on include a proposal to simplify the front wing in addition to increasing its span in order to minimise its outwash potential, thereby allowing the cars to follow each other more closely, and also simplified front brake ducts which feature no winglets. The vote also came down in favour of increasing the width and depth of the rear wing, giving a bigger rear wing flap and therefore a more pronounced DRS effect. However an extra package of changes pertaining to cars’ bargeboards was not passed.
As it was before the 30th April cut off date, the F1 Commission did not require unanimity from the teams, provided the support of both the FIA and F1. This was the case and several teams are thought to have voted against the measures, including Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren.
The vote follows an intense period of research into the FIA’s initial proposals, which were made with the support of the F1 Commercial Rights Holder, conducted by a majority of the F1 teams. These studies indicated the strong likelihood of a positive impact on racing and overtaking within F1 and as such have now been ratified for implementation in 2019. However these changes are separate to the ongoing work being undertaken in regard to defining the Formula’s regulations for 2021 and beyond.
The only question mark hanging over the voted-on changes is whether Ferrari will attempt to use its technical veto to block the amendments when the F1 Commission’s vote is approved by the FIA’s World Motorsport Council – a process that is usually just a formality.