Amid mounting criticism that the new aero regulations for the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship season will have no impact on close racing and is a waste of money, motorsport chief Ross Brawn is adamant that the less complex front wing next season is part of a bigger picture.
The new front wing rules were devised in an effort to reduce the turbulence or so-called ‘dirty air’ caused by this generation of F1 car and their highly intricate front wings which, as a result, has made it difficult for drivers to follow closely and to overtake.
But some teams have built and tested the wings, done the maths and say it’s a waste of time – claiming the changes will hardly be felt – and also question why the need to squander money on developing cars that will be obsolete in 2021. Depending on who you believe – Red Bull’s Helmut Marko in this instance – it has cost teams over $15-million to produce these wings!
In his State-of-Play season summary, Brawn addressed the issue, “What we learn from this aero programme will be very important for the next bigger step, in 2021. The point to stress is it’s a philosophy and a culture, not just a one-stop solution.”
“If we don’t achieve everything we want to achieve with these changes, we’ll learn from it, press on and carry on with the next phase of changes and we’ll keep doing that until we get the cars in a form when they can race each other much more effectively, which they can’t at the moment.”
“It’s useful to see if the teams have been able to evolve and take different directions because we don’t want to discover that in 2021.”
While some teams cite no difference at all, Brawn is taking a wait-and-see attitude, “Until the cars run, we don’t know what solutions they have made, but from predictions, we’re achieving about 20% improvement.”
“So we’re about a quarter of the way there to where we think we could be. But it’s not a one-stop shop in the sense that you do this and then you don’t touch it anymore,” explained Brawn.