Formula 1 reveals 2021 auto concepts

Lewis Collier
September 16, 2018

"When we started looking at the 2021 vehicle, our main objective was to allow the cars to race well together", Brawn detailed in Singapore. Preliminary sketches of how that might make the cars look have gone through three phases.

"What our research showed early on is that the current cars are very bad at following each other".

"F2 cars can lose less performance when they are racing together, but the new IndyCar is great in that respect".

In a presentation at the Singapore GP, Ross Brawn said plans for the next generation of cars had evolved across three different concepts over the past 12 months with all teams engaged in providing analysis and feedback.

"Rather naively I put up this image on the screen and all the phones came out and that was it", he said.

The aim, then, is to reduce how following closely a vehicle ahead affects its aerodynamic efficiency.

"So the prime goal of the work we are doing is trying to produce cars which are more raceable".

"It is like a force field". "One of the things you'll see is the bigger wheels".

"When you get into that condition where you're two or three auto lengths behind, then you're losing grip, the tyres degrade more, and it becomes very challenging".

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"Once the cars get within a few vehicle lengths of each other, they lose 50% of their downforce".

"At the moment, we've got designs which only lose 20 percent [of aerodynamic performance], so they're 80 percent of their performance".

The designs have a strong family resemblance to current cars, but feature farings near the wheels to clean up the airflow.

F1 have been working with the governing body throughout the process of designing the sleek new designs for the cars while keeping in touch with all the teams. So a vehicle running in dirty air doesn't just lose downforce from the front wing, it also affects the rear because that front tire wake control is no longer effective.

Brawn said Formula One wanted drivers in cars that "young people want to stick up on their walls".

"I'm definitely going to be driving if cars look like this".

He said next year's cars would probably be a little slower than this year's as a result and added that the same would be true of the 2021 cars because there was a risk if development was allowed to continue the cars would become dangerously fast.

Around the sidepods, bodywork appears less complicated, and the joining of the engine cover and rear wing could suggest an extension to the DRS system, despite Brawn's desire to remove the overtaking tool.

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