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Hakkinen: 2021 rules should see more teams winning races

  • Published on 09 Nov 2019 16:15
  • comments 0
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Two-time Formula 1 world champion Mika Hakkinen believes that the 2021 regulations will allow more teams to win races.

Last week in Austin, F1 revealed its vision for the future, introducing cars that are easier to follow, which will allow for closer racing on the circuit.

It is also hoped that the new rules will bring more teams into contention for podiums and race wins, which Hakkinen believes will be a successful outcome.

Since the start of the turbo hybrid era in 2014, only three teams (Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull) have won races, pulling out a large gap to the midfield outfits. 

While Hakkinen holds that the bigger teams will continue to win the world championships, he predicts the $175 million budget cap that will be enforced alongside the regulations will mean more race wins for smaller teams.

"It is sometimes hard for fans to imagine how difficult it is to follow another Formula 1 car due to the turbulence created by its airflow," he wrote in his Unibet column.

"In my time in racing the aerodynamics were already quite sensitive, and you could really feel the loss of downforce when the air in front of you was disturbed. 

"These days the aerodynamics are even more sophisticated and sensitive, so running close to the car in front causes a drop in aero performance which means you also generate more tyre wear.  At a time when tyre wear can be so critical, this is not a good situation.

"If Formula 1 has solved that problem with its futuristic design, simpler front wing, and body profile designed to enabling much more efficient slipstreaming, we should see much closer racing and more changes of position. 

"The new cars will feature very low profile tyres mounted on much taller wheels, and this should help the smaller teams because the complexity of the current tyres, and how they work under load, is a major area of development," Hakkinen continued. 

"There is also a budget cap of $175 million per team, which means the very biggest teams will have to spend less. The smaller teams already struggle to reach that level of expenditure, so we will have to wait to see how well this works at making the racing more equal. 

"I fully expect the larger teams will continue to win the races and World Championships, but perhaps we will see three or four teams winning more regularly which will be a good step forward for the sport."

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