Fans of Formula 1 are experiencing unprecedented tension and dramatic duels this season. Before the start, the experts assumed that the British series world champion Lewis Hamilton would celebrate his eighth title in the end. After all, nothing seemed to have changed compared to previous years. His team Mercedes had been technologically superior for years, but this time it quickly became apparent that the competition had caught up. Red Bull managed to catch up with Mercedes and Max Verstappen is now proving that the future belongs to him.
The Dutchman was already considered the logical successor to Hamilton. People even speculated about his move to Mercedes repeatedly. But that may not be necessary at all as it could very well be that the technological superiority of the German team is coming to an end. The great Formula 1 reform wanted to ensure that it will take effect in the next season, but the fight between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen is already captivating fans.
Yet, next year everything should be even more exciting. For years, new regulations have been discussed and finally the changes on two core objectives were announced. The cars should look more modern and aggressive, and they should be able to follow each other more closely. That should lead to more duels and overtaking maneuvers. To achieve this, racing committees tapped into teams’ data. The engineers then checked the car models and calculated possibilities in the wind tunnel. The teams’ tests were allowed to start in January 2021, so the technicians only have 14 months to build the new generation of Formula 1 cars.
Heavier, Safer and Slower
The new rules also try to limit the possibilities for individual solutions. This should bring the field of teams closer together. Now the creativity of the units is required to create advantages for themselves. So, if a team finds a loophole in the new regulations, this could offer a decisive advantage. But experts assume that this will hardly happen since many mechanics with practical experience worked on the creation of the new regulations. Critics already fear that the new Formula 1 cars will be too much alike, but the teams’ technicians disagree. The engineers’ hands are tied when building the new cars, because the design of the new vehicles should prevent advantages for creative teams. It would help if they now look at the vehicles from a whole new perspective. The teams still see enough opportunities to find individual solutions.
However, one thing seems clear: the new cars will be significantly heavier and therefore slower. Instead of the previous 752 kilograms, the new vehicles will weigh at least 790 kilograms. This is mainly due to the issue of security. The new generation of Formula 1 cars offers more safety to the drivers. The new nose absorbs 50 percent more energy and the pilots are twice as well protected against side impacts. Therefore, the vehicles will lose around three seconds compared to the current cars. Now, the fans are eagerly waiting for the new cars and hopefully exciting duels on the racetrack.