FIA planning F1 car changes from 2025 following driver complaints

Henry Valantine
F1 cars set off at the start of the FIA Dutch Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen leads the pack away at the start of the Dutch Grand Prix.

FIA single-seater director Nikolas Tombazis has confirmed the sport’s governing body is looking at changes to bring to F1 cars from the 2025 season, in order to help them follow more easily.

The changes put in place for the 2022 season, chiefly the switch to ground effect aerodynamics, were aimed at helping the cars race each other without losing aerodynamic load in the same way as their predecessors.

While progress was made on that front, the developments made to the cars since last year have increased downforce and aerodynamic efficiency, but that has had an adverse effect on how well the drivers can follow one another – which the FIA will look to address.

FIA to to address car following concerns for 2025 season with technical tweaks

Carlos Sainz, who finished third at the Italian Grand Prix last weekend, summed it up by saying that the current cars are becoming like their 2020 or 2021 predecessors in how difficult it is to follow in close proximity.

“In 99% of the tracks, I think we’re going to need DRS and we’re going to need a powerful DRS because these cars from the beginning of the year, like Max said, it’s starting to become a bit like 2021 or 2020 where it is difficult to follow,” he told media including PlanetF1.com after the race at Monza.

Tombazis agreed with Sainz’s assessment of where the current cars stand, and explained where they are in terms of how difficult the drivers are finding it to follow each other in close proximity.

With that, he confirmed the governing body are looking at ways of tweaking the cars in time for the 2025 season to help bring the cars back to their 2022 levels of ‘raceability’.

“If we take the 2021 F1 cars, based on being two lengths from the car in front, they were losing more than 50% of the [aero] load,” Tombazis told Motorsport.com in Italy.

PlanetF1.com recommends

Explained: The 2026 engine regulations set to seriously shake up Formula 1

Red Bull’s RB19 secrets uncovered… and why they are so difficult to copy

“With the 2022 single-seaters, there was only a 20% reduction in load. But now we are at about 35%. Surely there has been a worsening and, on this point, Carlos is right. We have identified what we should act on.

“We are studying solutions for 2025. We have identified some parts of the cars to act on, such as the endplate of the front wing, the side of the floor and the fins inside the wheels [around the brake ducts]. We could lay down somewhat more restrictive rules in these areas.

“It is clear we no longer have the advantage of 2022 and, therefore, we know that there is work to be done.

“Sometimes we have tried to change things, but we have not always achieved the result we wanted. I believe that 90% of the regulations are in line with what we wanted and there is 10% that, with hindsight, we would have done in a different way.”

Read next: Christian Horner exclusive: The secrets to F1 success and his Red Bull future