F1 working towards ‘ground effect’ return

Mark Scott

FIA defends 'quick' start procedure

The latest blueprint for Formula 1 in 2021 has been revealed and a return to ‘ground effect’ looks set to be on the cards to help bring back the wow factor.

Ahead of the official proposed revealing of the 2021 regulations in October, Formula 1 have further outlined the vision they are working towards, which include four core principles: more raceable cars, more competitive grids, cars that make you go ‘wow’ and a financially viable championship.

To help with the first element, Formula 1 are actively working away from complex bargeboards and front wings in favour of producing the downforce by the shaped underside of the cars.

“There’s a diffuser going right under the car, with a Venturi-type channel running through it. The tunnels go right from the front to the back,” Nikolas Tombazis, the FIA’s head of single-seater technical matters.

“[With the 2021 car] typically, we will go from about a 50 per cent loss of downforce for the following car at two car distances [in 2017] to about a 5-10 per cent loss. So we have a massive reduction of the loss of downforce for the following car.

“The two strong vortices we are creating take a lot of the wheel wake up and over the car behind. As a result what the car behind sees is much cleaner flow.”

Tombazis also revealed that the move to more simplified front wings this year has not yielded the results they wanted, so more work is being carried out on that front ahead of the 2021 season.

“The front wing, we’re still not completely pleased about,” he added.

“Both from an aerodynamic point of view and from an aesthetic point of view. So we’re trying to make it a bit better in both aspects.

“There’s good reasons why the wing is very wide aerodynamically, but we all will appreciate that it’s not the best aesthetic result, so there’s work going on there.”

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