Tost calls for '40-50%' cut in downforce levels

  • 09 Jan 2019 14:14
  • comments 7
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost has called on Formula 1 bosses to slash downforce levels in F1 by 40-50%. In 2017, new regulations increased the downforce significantly, and has seen the levels build further as the teams develop their cars.

While the new rules made the cars faster, it increased the amount of dirty air they produced, resulting in poor racing as the cars struggled to follow each other. Next year, new regulations are in place to attempt to decrease the downforce levels and improve racing.

But some teams have already reported that not much will change as they have managed to find new ways to produce the same levels of downforce as 2018 despite the new regulations. Tost wants bosses to take away a large portion of the downforce, as it will show the instability and ruggedness of driving the cars.

"We have so much downforce, which means high corner speeds, no one can follow because of the dirty air behind and we have hardly braking zones," said Tost. "How should you overtake?

"That means the FIA, FOM, and there are the experienced people over there, like Ross Brawn and Pat Symonds, they know exactly what you should do: to come down with aero side, with the downforce.

"I would cut minimum 40-50% of the current downforce, to make the car much more unstable in the corners. Then people see that drivers have to fight with the car.

"Cars will be much faster on the straight, you have chances to overtake someone because of [increased] braking and you can follow in the corners. This regulation could be easy to be realised. They just have to want it."

The Frenchman added that Liberty Media shouldn't discuss and negotiate the rules with the teams, and instead be much more cutthroat: "Never ask the teams!" he exclaimed.

"[The rule makers need to] come with the regulations, say 'accept or go'. But they ask the teams. They come to the Technical Working Group. Who is in the Technical Working Group? Engineers. Never ask the engineers!"

Replies (7)

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  • So basically go back to the 2016 regulations or what? Doesnt 40-50% sound a bit too much? But he is onto something when he says dont ask the teams. They should however consult the drivers, since they are the ones who actually drive the stuff.

    • + 0
    • Jan 9 2019 - 14:51
    • Finally some comments by Tost that don't annoy me deeply. I agree that in a post Ecclestone era and experienced people at the helm, decisions shouldn't be democratic. Sure ask the teams for input, but no voting. Also, definitely ask the drivers. Although I know Tost is suggesting out of selfish reasons, I also think every other team would be selfish, which is fine, and also why they need to be removed from decisions about the sport.

      • + 1
      • Jan 9 2019 - 15:38
    • I actually tend to find Tost, along with the now departed Key, to be among the more benevolent Red Bull figures. They tend to be pretty up-front, and at the very least puts up a good show when they talk as Tost did here. I do however think F1 could work as a democracy, but it shouldnt be a direct democracy, where teams have equally much, or even a quarter as much, to say as Liberty and the FIA and the likes. They could have some input in some areas, but generally speaking they should at most act like consultants, like how drivers get to supply feedback.

      • + 0
      • Jan 9 2019 - 20:38
  • Problem with this cars don't look so fast on the track, but since the majority watch on TV, suppose that doesn't matter!

    • + 0
    • Jan 9 2019 - 17:18
    • It depends on where to look. I remember Silverstone well enough though, cars looked really fast in those corners (I particularly remember thinking Leclerc looked really quick in a chicane in said track).

      • + 0
      • Jan 9 2019 - 17:48
  • 2GRX7

    Posts: 63

    Just go back to ground effects-tunnels underneath the car. They worked for F1 back in the 70's, and they can work today.

    Hum, I wonder why they won't? Maybee they don't want to be seen as borrowing from an "inferior" series? Maaaaaaybe it's because tunnels are easier to design/optimize, so they'll need less engineers on the team (Hey-isn't the TWG made up of....engineers??)

    LOL, they know if they have simplified wings and less add-ons, they'll no longer need countless hours to develop flicks, turn-ups, and separators to move the air "around" the car because it'll all go through and underneath it!

    I guess you can't get mad at folks trying to stay relevant and employed. But it seems as if they're deploying their own pseudo union with this TWG.

    • + 1
    • Jan 9 2019 - 18:01
  • mcbhargav

    Posts: 886

    "accept or go" approach works only if there are other interested parties waiting in the wings to join F1, like in 2014/15.

    • + 0
    • Jan 9 2019 - 20:01

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