Ross Brawn: 2019 simulations show 'tangible' overtaking gains
Formula 1 director of motorsport Ross Brawn has revealed that initial simulations based on the 2019 technical regulations, which have been designed to boost overtaking, have shown tangible gains in allowing cars to follow more closely.
The new rules mandate simplified front and rear-wings and changes to the brake ducts and bargeboards. The aim is to reduce the amount of dirty air and turbulence that comes off a car, allowing the following car to get closer without losing downforce which, in theory, should make it easier to overtake.
The rules are a precursor to more radical changes coming for 2021, when the cars are expected to look dramatically different.
Brawn revealed that the initial data showed positive gains had been made, but warned the true picture will only be known once the 2019 cars hit the track in Australia in March.
"Once again we saw in Brazil that when the performance level of two cars are more or less the same, then overtaking is almost impossible," said Brawn. "That raises the question as to how to make it easier to make a move on the car in front.
"During 2018, we have made significant progress in defining next year’s technical regulations, especially regarding they key area that is the front-wing and in the last few weeks, we have worked out the fine details.
"Our simulation work and from what the teams with which we have worked closely on this tell us, the effects are tangible, even though we are well aware that the real proof will only come next March in the Australian Grand Prix.
"The changes introduced are a first important step, but not necessarily an exhaustive one, towards defining the new technical and sporting regulations that will shape the long-term future of Formula 1.
"It’s a foretaste of what we are defining for 2021 and we are pleased with what we have already achieved for 2019, but clearly we have high hopes, even in the short term."
He added: "This year, Formula 1 produced some really exciting racing, I’m thinking immediately of Baku, Shanghai, Silverstone and Mexico City and there is every sign that there will be more of the same next year."