Formula 1 teams have expressed concern the new aerodynamic regulations for the 2021 season offer them too little freedom to innovate.
Documents seen by RaceFans indicate the cars will be governed by considerably longer and more detailed technical regulations under the current plans. Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said his team are unlikely to be pleased by the regulations.
“I doubt there’s any aero department that’s read those rules and got particularly excited about them,” he said. “For any aerodynamicist, prescriptive design is not in their DNA. Some of the regulations were released yesterday I think and there’s probably a few long faces in the aero department today.
“That’s not just unique to Red Bull and our strengths over the last few years hasn’t purely been solely down to aerodynamics. It’s more digesting those rules, they raise some questions which will no doubt be put forward in the coming meetings, which we seem to have endless amounts of, and we will see where they end up.”
Alfa Romeo team principal Frederic Vasseur warned the rules could amount to a more expensive form of a specification chassis. “I’m a bit scared that if the room of freedom is too small at the end we will end up with like a ‘monotype’ but it won’t be a ‘monotype’ and we will have to spend millions for this.”
However Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul suggested teams could be granted greater technical freedom after the new rules are introduced.
“Looking at 2021, it’s going to be such a step change I think it’s not bad to start with some things that are fairly prescriptive and according to the result that we see, then to progressively open up.
“Because the world is not going to stop in 2021, there will be years after that, we will have to come up with evolution like always to the regulations and it will always be the time to free up a bit. We still have our aerodynamic capacity and departments’ strengths and weaknesses so it will still be a possibility.
But I think we need to be careful because last time there was such a massive change to regulations – it was 2014 – and that created a cycle that I understand people criticised a lot for the fact that it locked up a performance differentiator so that’s why I think it’s not bad to do that initially and open up.”
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