The FIA has revealed that it expects the 2019 cars to be 1.5 seconds a lap slower than the 2018 machines. Next year, the cars will undergo another aerodynamic change, in a bid to allow the cars to follow each other more closely.
However, it will come at the cost of lap time, according to the FIA's Head of Technical Matters Nikolas Tombazis. The changes to the cars include a simplified front wing with a larger span, a wider and deeper rear wing and simplified front brake ducts with no winglets.
"We expect this rule change to be approximately half way to one third less performance than the delta between ’16 and ’17, so we expect to lose about 1.5 seconds maybe," Tombazis said. "It’s a bit difficult to predict exactly the amount of development the teams will put on [the 2019 cars], but we certainly expect to lose performance."
The development of aerodynamics since the 2017 rule overhaul has seen complaints from drivers, who find it hard to follow their rivals through corners due to the dirty air. Tombazis is confident that the 2019 rules will allow for closer and more exciting racing.
"We invited the teams to do their own simulations [with the data]. Most teams participated in this initiative and we’re very grateful for their support," he said. "Clearly all of the teams did different things and the results ranged from small benefits to big benefits.
"There was no result that showed a worsening of any characteristic. Our expectation, if we didn’t do this rule change, is that for ’19 and ’20 it [overtaking] would be gradually getting worse. So part of the rule change was to stop that."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing
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