FIA drops plan to reduce downforce in 2014

2014 F1 season

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Hungaroring, 2012The FIA has announced a series of changes to its proposed 2014 regulations.

F1 cars will retain their 2012-style aerodynamic packages, the FIA confirmed: “Changes made to bodywork design, originally aimed at reducing downforce and drag for increased efficiency, have reverted to 2012 specification.”

The FIA has also amended the proposed rules for the new V6 turbo engines with energy recovery systems “with the aim of limiting technology in some areas in order to reduce development costs”.

A plan to make F1 cars run on electric power only when in the pits has been postponed from 2014 to 2017.

The minimum weight limit, which is already being increased for 2013, will be raised further in 2014 “to compensate for additional power unit weight”.

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131 comments on FIA drops plan to reduce downforce in 2014

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  1. I just don’t know how I feel about this. Going from V10’s to V8’s was a bit of a shock but the racing has still been great. Now though it’s soon to be V6’s and then goodness knows where. I almost feel like you’re losing one of the wonderful things that comes with F1! The noise when they’re all on the grid and waiting for the lights to go out literally makes your chest vibrate and the speed at which the cars are able to go round corners with the down force is absolutely amazing. Where are they going to draw the line, electric prius style cars?!!

    • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 5th December 2012, 14:58

      Engine noise is/can be tuned via the exhaust (which is the intention when all the engine manufacturers say ‘the new engines will sound as good as the old ones).

      Without a working muffler, even a 1-litre three/four-pot in a city car makes a loud racket.

      • mateuss (@mateuss) said on 5th December 2012, 15:18

        “A loud racket” and “biblically loud V10 symphony” is by no means to be mistaken as to be in the same ballpark.
        I can’t wait for a time when road cars will have become electric safety boxes, driven by AI, when F1 can become the modern horse racing or whatever. When there will be no relevance to the road car, F1 machines can go back to bigger engines larger wings and so on.
        And just to make an other point:In the downforce debate often the argument is made that a spectator does not notice that a car is 2s per lap slower. Even on TV I can recognize 2s to be pathetically slower, never mind 5s or more. And so can many other average casual viewers I’ve spoken with. To make this point you have to have very bad sense of space and time and absolutely no sense of perspective.

        • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 5th December 2012, 15:23

          My point was engine size cannot be reasonably related to the noise they put out.

          If they wanted to, they could theoretically make all the current engines ‘road-car quiet’. They just don’t.

          • It isn’t just the noise plus I would feel cheated if a V6 sounded like a V10 but didn’t perform the same. The speed and performance differential between the two is large. Already we have seen that the qualifying laps have reduced by 2 seconds or so and it is noticeable from the ban on things like EBD, so reducing the downforce and potential engine power is going to make that less!

          • @optimaximal when @coop was talking about that feeling in your chest, he was talking about an effect caused by the frequency of the noise, which is a direct function of rpm, not engine capacity. The new engines will have their limit reduced from 18,000 to 15,000 and for reasons of fuel efficiency will likely run no higher than 12,000. So the 1/3 reduction in revs will make them very different (worse in my mind) and that’s before you add the muffling effect of a turbo.

          • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 6th December 2012, 3:56

            @optimaximal

            Dude, don’t get me started on the engine sound. Your point is incorrect. Read my post here.

      • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 5th December 2012, 16:07

        @optimaximal Yes, but a large part of the sound would be killed by the turbo too, don’t forget.

    • You probably dont remember the I4 and V-6 turbos that made today’s engines look pitiful, and they had their own wonderful sounds.

      • GT_Racer said on 5th December 2012, 15:16

        The turbo’s of the 80s really did sound great, Especially when at the track.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBJOaB6FLNU
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jMkI9S83T4

        This year’s Indycar engine’s which are also V6 Turbo’s (Although 2.2Ltr rather than the 1.6 which we’ll have in F1) also had a nice sound to them.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HH-1gZcpVcQ
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-0zdVhzrjY

        All the drivers who drove an Indycar this year spoke about how great the engine’s performed & how they were much more fun to drive than the V8’s they ran previously.

        • Nick (@nick101) said on 6th December 2012, 12:50

          @GT_Racer

          By posting the links to those videos, you have simply highlighted how TERRIBLE the F1 cars from the 80’s sounded!!!!

          Total crap! Sounds like some sort of junior formula at Brands Hatch on the weekends.

          • MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 6th December 2012, 23:24

            @Nick, that is what people like to call being subjective. Just thought I’d let you in on that.

            You may think they sound awful, and perhaps love V10s. While others would say all of those are awful and V12 sound the best.

            Those videos highlighted (to me) cars that sound great and are not like any other form of race car outside of F1

          • DaveD (@daved) said on 7th December 2012, 15:29

            Nick,
            You’re essentially saying “Blue is awesome and everyone who thinks red is better is stupid!”. Magilla is right….it’s just your opinion.

            LOL

      • Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 5th December 2012, 15:17

        I agree. There is nothing wrong with having only 6 valves. Being turbos do add to the challenge though, so it should be fine. The only thing not fine is the significant cost of developing the units. I hope all four engine provider will do a reasonable job.

        • timi (@timi) said on 5th December 2012, 15:34

          @dmw THANK YOU! Finally someone who knows the history of the sport speaks sense. We’ve had similar engines before which sounded great.

          I just think people are complaining because 6 is a lower number than 8. And they haven’t even heard the sound of the new engines..

          • Nick (@nick101) said on 6th December 2012, 12:43

            Yeah well Bernie and Luca have, and they think they sound bloody terrible!

          • MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 6th December 2012, 23:36

            I agree with @timi and @dmw, the engines sound fine if we look at the past. @Nick Bernie and Luca are highly subjective (that word yet again). If it were up to Luca they would be running anything goes or at the least V12s and then we might have to say bye-bye to more teams due to a significant jump in cost. Of course Luca is going to say this is awful in a stupid attempt to try and not see V6s all due to not having a production car to feed into with said regulations.

            Bernie will just do Bernie and say things to grab racing headlines. He too is much like Luca and rather see regulations allow for all types of engines, and of course go against the FIA.

            If the teams and every other major party could come together and find a budget cap to work in. Yet also make some sort of agreement that would help the lesser teams (perhaps additional benefit to big teams), then maybe aero and engine regs wouldn’t be so tight. V8s, V10s and perhaps V12s all could be made into a Hybrid system (we know v8s can), but it is the cost that is worrying.

          • MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 7th December 2012, 0:00

            also I remind some of you that dont seem to privy to F1 history. The 80s era proved that V6 turbo engines can be as powerful/efficient as a V10 or V12. And when Bernie has Brabham they ran an I4 tubro

        • drmouse (@drmouse) said on 5th December 2012, 16:24

          There is nothing wrong with having only 6 valves.

          Just about true for a 2- or 3-cylinder engine.

          I guess you meant 6 cylinders. The V6’s (6 cylinders in a V formation) will have at least 24 valves (2 exhaust and 2 inlet per cylinder). They may even use more, I don’t know.

          Personally, I like the fact that they are changing the engines. I also like the use of energy recovery systems, especially their use within the turbo charger. F1 needs to be the pinnacle of motorsport. How can it be if it ignores new technology, just sticking with old petrol engines and not adopting the new motor and battery technology available?

          • maestrointhesky (@maestrointhesky) said on 6th December 2012, 12:57

            My sentiments exatcly. The point is that eventually the technology should get these cars back to the point where they start breaking lap records and methods have to looked into to slow the cars down for safety reasons. A period of stability is needed following the changes to allow this to happen.

        • MattB (@mattb) said on 5th December 2012, 17:33

          I think I might be on my own in this camp, but for me it might improve the sound of these engines. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good loud engine, but when I go to an F1 race, I feel like my ears have been battered by a supercharged mosquito. When I see a vintage F1 car going around, the sound is fantastic. I’d love to go back to that!

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 5th December 2012, 22:22

      I don’t get where all this dislike for the new engines based on the noise is coming from.

      Formula 1 is all about engineering excellence. The new engine regulations will see smaller engines producing the same power output as the current engines, which is exciting. But for some reason, people seem to think it will be the death knell of the sport simply because the engine noise will change.

      I think people are just valuing the wrong thing.

      • @prisoner-monkeys I feel like we often disagree, I am not trying to be argumentative (this time!) but as someone who does not like the new drivetrains, let me explain why.

        First, yes, the noise. A reduction from 2.4 litres to 1.6 litres, 8 cylinders to 6 cylinders, 18,000 rpm to (effectively) 12,000 and adding a big muffler (turbo) will result in a substantial change for the worse. Yes they will still be loud, but for those who miss the V10’s the step change will be much much bigger.

        People may not think that is a rational reason to oppose change, perhaps it isn’t but there is little about motor racing which is, at a fundamental level, rational. For me, the sound is an integral part of F1.

        For those who say you don’t remember the 80’s, well that’s when I started to watch F1 and I do remember them. The engines won’t be like that, depsite the superficial similarities. You are not going to see (or hear) 1500bhp qualifying specials, or anything like them. The compression/ignition components of these drivetrains will be fuel limited systems producing about 600bhp, about a quarter less than the current engines.

        The next big issue is cost. We are in the midst of the biggest financial crisis in at least a generation. Most if not all F1 participants and observers agree that costs need to be significantly reduced, and here is a major technological change which will do the opposite. I understand that they were talking about a doubling of engine costs, at least, from around (I’m going from recollection here) 8 million euro to 15 million euro per year. I think they are talking about increasing the regulation freeze to 8 years or so to allow the engine manufacturers to amortize the development costs over a longer period, and therefore reduce the annual costs charged to the teams. Even so, the potential costs increases are a real concern.

        I am genuinely concerned about the risk that these new drivetrains will pose to the smaller teams. When the CEO of a team as well established as Sauber expresses concerns, you have real reasons to worry.

        Costs feed into my next issue, which is competitveness. First, you can’t buy a third of an engine. So unlike say aerodynamic development which can be cut back incrementally, teams must buy engines at their full price. If you’re a small team on (say) a 50 million euro annual budget, you might be spending say 8 million on engines and 42 million on the balance. If that goes to 15 million, you’ve only got 35 million to spend on the rest which for the smaller teams is a massive proportionate change, much greater than if the bigger teams have to spend and extra 7 million a year. I’m using these numbers as examples only, but the point is that a significant increase in the costs of the engines is likely to disproportionately affect the budgets which the smaller teams have for car development, and therefore their competitiveness.

        Of course, we are also likely to see some engine manufacturers adapt better than others to the new regs, increasing the performance gap between different teams. So that factor, combined with increasing costs as outlined above will (it seems to me) spread the field in 2014.

        The new engines were supposed to attract new manufacturers, but that hasn’t happened, or even looked like happening except for PURE which went belly up. Indeed, Costworth is likely to drop out in 2014. So on that count, the new regs have failed on one of their supposed aims (and yes, I know Renault threatened to drop out. I remain sceptical that they would in fact have dropped the substantial marketing leverage generated by F1 involvement, which they achieve for minimum cost thanks to the current design freeze. However even if they did, better than the new engines in my view).

        I like technological development, and yes I want to see F1 continue as the pinnacle of motorsport. In a perfect world, everything about it would be at the cutting edge of motor technology and its development. But we don’t live in a perfect world. Costs are a huge issue, and some costs measures have to be implemented to ensure we have a reasonably full and competitive grid. The existing engines sound fantatic, are relatively cheap and provide one area of reasonable parity between teams. To give them up seems crazy to me.

        The new drivetrains won’t kill F1, we will all still watch it and probably get used to them fairly quickly. I just think they’re a big step backwards for the reasons I’ve explained, and they carry a real risk of harming the sport.

        • GT_Racer said on 5th December 2012, 23:17

          As I understand it while there will be an initial cost increase in the long term the V6 Turbo’s will actually prove cheaper than the current V8’s.
          It was the same when the current V8’s were introduced in 2006, Initially they were slightly more expensive than the previous V10’s but 2-3 years down the line the cost’s came down.

          It is also worth remembering that the V6 Turbo was decided on based on what engine manufacturer’s wanted. Indycar went for V6 Turbo’s for the same reason, Its the specification that engine manufacturer’s were most keen on.

          Sadly for Indycar the internal team owner/series management bicking (Which shows how bad an idea it is for teams to have a great deal of say running anything) put a lot of the engine manufacturer’s that had shown interest (And been involved in coming up with the engine formula) off getting involved.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 10th December 2012, 22:28

      @coop There’s no challenge with bigger engines though. Anyone can make a big engine and a noisy engine. It takes real ingenuity to retain similar lap times with a heavily reduced engine capacity and torque…that’s what F1 is about, the pinnacle, not power.

  2. tomccoll (@tomccoll) said on 5th December 2012, 14:56

    “Changes made to bodywork design, originally aimed at reducing downforce and drag for increased efficiency, have reverted to 2012 specification.”

    – surely that’s bad news for the teams that are gambling on radical bodywork changes to bring them a chance to catch up (Merc in particular).

  3. Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 5th December 2012, 14:56

    I’m not that familiar with technical regulations in Formula One, but does that mean that those major changes to rules that Mercedes was talking about and Hamilton is said to count on won’t happen after all?

    • The question for Mercedes et al is whether it is easier to catch Newey by making him start with a clean slate or by holding the rules steady and hoping he just runs out of ideas for the current formula version. Unless you think you are smarter than him, and will crack the secrets of a new formula faster, I would think the latter option is better. There are lots of theories how how Brawn caught him napping in 2009, but going forward, it’s probably better to have a fixed target.

      • Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 5th December 2012, 15:08

        @dmw But reducing downforce would’ve surely helped Mercedes, since Newey is the master of aerodynamics, right?

        • drmouse (@drmouse) said on 5th December 2012, 16:27

          Maybe so, but by changing regs it gives him more opportunity to spot better ways of doing things or loopholes. Having a fixed target means the gains he makes will become smaller and smaller, and allows other teams to catch up (or at least we can hope). It’s the law of diminishing returns.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 5th December 2012, 19:53

          likely it would have indeed helped the others but Newey a bit more, yes. Although Newey would probably come up with a great solution again even with these new rules.

      • I believe Mercedes were betting on integrating the rule changes with the new engine package from a much earlier stage than Newey or anyone else, hence getting a large step ahead. That is not going to happen when it is only a matter of integrating the new drive train to the existing package.

        Am I the only one smelling something is rotten? Wondering who is making FIA change their minds so drastically here….

  4. Dizzy said on 5th December 2012, 14:57

    So there basically going to continue to rely on DRS, Wonderful.

    DRS was meant to be temporary, Thats how it was sold to us back in late 2010 & temporary solution to be replaced by a reduction in aero in 2014.
    Now the aero reduction is gone & DRS looks to have become the more permanent thing that I feared it would.

    Can’t see myself following F1 for much longer in that case :(

    • Armchair Expert (@armchairexpert) said on 5th December 2012, 15:23

      Firstly they backed off from bringing back ground effect. Now they did the same with bodywork changes. Laughable really.

      I share the same feelings. DRS took lot of excitement out of F1. There’s no overtaking anymore, it’s all meaningless passing with few exceptions :( Screw DRS, they day they will bin it to the trashcan, will be the best decision since re-introducing slicks in 2009. Meanwhile we got another seasons of stupid and fake DRS passesn ahead :/

      • timi (@timi) said on 5th December 2012, 15:41

        @armchairexpert Nothing laughable about backtracking on the ground effect. Collisions can turn very bad, very very quickly with ground effects in the regs. We’ve seen enough cars travelling through the air this year, we most definitely do not need more.

        • GT_Racer said on 5th December 2012, 15:52

          Ground effects would not have seen more cars flying through the air as what was been planned was similar to what GP2 have been running since its inception in 2005 & what the Indycar series ran this year with great success.

          I don’t get why people believe ground effects makes cars more prone to flying through the air as thats simply not the case. If ground effects is so dangerous then why do so many racing categories around the world use it in a similar way to what F1 was planning to in 2014?

          • drmouse (@drmouse) said on 5th December 2012, 16:34

            I have to agree that ground effect cars are NOT intrinsically more dangerous.

            The main problem with ground effect, however, is that it gets lost when you are too far away from the road. Therefore a bump in the road during a corner causes a loss of downforce, which could result in an accident. This, I believe, is what most people are scared of.

            However, it is a much more efficient way to produce downforce and it is not affected as much by turbulence from a car in front. I believe it should be implemented. It would, in itself, encourage more overtaking, and discourage the aggressive use of kerbs by the drivers.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 5th December 2012, 19:58

            I guess people still think back at how ground effects were implemented in F1 30 years ago GT_Racer. Thereby fully ignoring what we are now able to calculate, study and simulate up front to make them work far better and more precise than anything teams came up with then.

            For me this is another one where the FIA listens to the current teams who are reluctant to change much. First the most visible (and likely nearest to normal life experience with hybrid) part of the new engines (running them electrical only in the pitlane) was ditched, now the Hybrid powertrains will be further limited in what they can do and additionally the aero will not be reworked at all.
            Sure, it all can be said to help with cost, but to me it feels like taking parts of what made the new bits interesting away, and limiting the scope for anyone to spring a surprise come 2014.

          • javlinsharp (@javlinsharp) said on 6th December 2012, 18:31

            Ground effects are dangerous because of their power, and the way the system works. Basically, a vacumn is created between the track and the bottom of the car. This effect can be tuned to be extremely powerful, adding tremendous downforce to the car.

            The problem is, this condition is completely dependent on the car’s ability to maintain its relative distance from the track. When this gap is changes, the downforce is completely gone. The car goes from 100% downforce to like 25%.

            As we have seen over the past few years, there is a great potential for open wheeled cars to get airborne in a crash. Now, imagine what would happen if a car where to lose a huge percentage of its downforce INSTANTLY in the event of even a minor shunt. Most of the control would be lost, and the follow-on effects would be much worse then what they are today.

        • timi (@timi) said on 5th December 2012, 16:44

          @GT_Racer “If ground effects is so dangerous then why do so many racing categories around the world use it in a similar way to what F1 was planning to in 2014?”

          So many is an overstatement.

          My, “cars flying through the air”statement was a bit over-the-top, but @drmouse your second paragraph is a situation applicable to cars with ground effect, not today’s cars. Thus you actually prove my point that in theory, ground effects on cars, are less safe than the cars we currently have. Thank you

          • JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 5th December 2012, 17:26

            If the fact that cars are more prone to accidents due to loss of downforce in a corner because of riding over a kerb, or something similar is considered dangerous, then surely banning traction control and abs is the same, as both make it harder to drive the car, and therefore more dangerous.

            If that’s correct, then I think it’s a good thing. Less aggressive use of the kerbs and more controlled, precise driving.

          • timi (@timi) said on 5th December 2012, 18:38

            @jamiefranklinf1 I disagree. Reason being, if the air flow for the ground effect is disrupted enough, pretty much all DF it produces is lost, which would be a significant portion of the car’s total DF. If this happened on Eau Rouge, or 130R I can assure you it wouldn’t be pretty.
            You can’t compare if to the ban on traction control and abs, because a driver can nullify wheelspin with use of skill, same with locking brakes. But no driver would be able to do much about a car with little to no DF at 190+mph..

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 5th December 2012, 18:45

            So stay off the kerbs?

          • JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 5th December 2012, 18:50

            @Timi – Of course not. But the complete downforce of the car wouldn’t solely rely on the ground effect alone, there would still be downforce generated from the ‘top’ aerodynamics e.g the front and rear wings, diffuser, exhaust etc. This alone wouldn’t produce the same downforce that the components generates nowadays, but it wouldn’t be a loss of all downforce resulting in a huge crash, that many seem to think would happen.

          • GT_Racer said on 5th December 2012, 18:51

            But again look at Indycar, They race on circuits with bigger bumps than anything F1 runs on & have way bigger kurbs than whats used in F1 & cars are easily able to negotiate these things with zero issues.

            Champcar was the same, Used ground effects to generate most its downforce & was able to run over big bumps & kurbs without problems.

            The problems people are talking about relating to airflow been disrupted is only an issue when your using full-on ground effects with cars running on the ground with side skirts & rock solid suspension like in the early 80s.
            That is not what was planned, they would still have had the plank to prevent cars running too low (As indycar/gp2 does & champcar did) & suspension would remain as it is now.

          • timi (@timi) said on 5th December 2012, 19:26

            @jamiefranklinf1 While you may be right, we sit on either saide of the fence here. And we’ll only ever found out who is right if ground effects are brought back, and what proportion of the total DF they can produce. That too is a huge factor, but you may be right.

            @GT_Racer Do you have a link to the proposed ground rule changes so I can take a look please?

  5. Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 5th December 2012, 15:00

    So are the noses being lowered, as intended or not?

    • Dizzy said on 5th December 2012, 15:06

      No, That was part of the 2014 aero changes that have been scrapped.

      I believe the only changes to the noses will now be the so called modesty panels that will cover up the step in the nose from next year.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 5th December 2012, 16:19

      @optimaximal We’ll have to see when the final regulations come out but this part may end up being kept as safety concerns was part of the driving force behind it.

  6. crr917 (@crr917) said on 5th December 2012, 15:06

    Nothing is set in stone. It is FIA we are talking about here. 2014 rules will be known no earlier than December 2013.

  7. raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 5th December 2012, 15:10

    I don’t like this one bit. With regulations staying stable, and tightening rather than loosening, cars inevitably converge to the single design that is the peak optimal for a set of regulations. With an extra year of aerodynamic knowledge through 2013 running, staying with the same aero regs would mean cars that are growing closer and closer aerodynamically.

    With new engines though, it could mean that whoever has the best engine, and packages it in their car the best – will have an advantage. And with packaging being such an integral part of design, it will be pretty much a locked-in advantage. I don’t like it at all.

  8. Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 5th December 2012, 15:17

    They are always raising weight limit. After 20 years F1 car will be as heavy as a bus.

  9. necrodethmortem (@necrodethmortem) said on 5th December 2012, 15:17

    There goes my last bit of hope that DRS was only temporary…

  10. Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 5th December 2012, 15:19

    I like that there are less changes on the agenda. I personally think 2011-2012 was unmatched in terms of spectacle for very very long year, perhaps since the early 1980s. Why change what works, one might ask…

    • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 5th December 2012, 15:31

      Everyone was/is worried that with the regulations fixed as they are, being both stable and heavily dependent on aerodynamic efficiency, that the bigger teams can just try and out-invest each other – we wouldn’t have had the Brawn fairy story without the regulation change.

      Also, 2011 wasn’t ‘unmatched in term of spectacle’. It was another ’92/’93, although the big difference being it wasn’t a privateer doing the ‘running away’, it was a team funded by a multi-national entertainment/food brand with a fishy development budget that went some way to exploiting grey-area rules.

    • Lewisham Milton said on 5th December 2012, 16:19

      Because the cars are so ugly, that’s why.
      From the side towards the rear they look great, smooth and sleek.
      But the noses are way too high, the drivers can’t see out, the wings are too wide and they’re covered in little bits of aerodynamic ******* that get spread all over the track whenever two cars get near each other…although that brings out the safety car and closes the race up, so it’s good for the show of course.

      • Joey Zyla (@) said on 5th December 2012, 22:13

        Really? You care more about how a car looks than how it performs? Come on, it’s a freaking car, and they’re moving so fast most of the time that there are more important things to look at, such as RACING! And aerodynamics make cars go faster and have more downforce, but that seems to be a problem with you as well. What do you want, bloody BUS RACING?

  11. Armchair Expert (@armchairexpert) said on 5th December 2012, 15:29

    Yay, 2014 will be another season of punctures, because these fools somehow don’t get that majority of punctures is caused by ridiculously wide front wings. Fantastic :/

    • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 5th December 2012, 15:34

      I thought a lot of the punctures were down to the design of the tyres (thinner walls), hence why the tyre’s have been modified to compensate.

      A number of high-profile punctures were the result of running over debris, not just wheel-to-wheel racing.

    • GT_Racer said on 5th December 2012, 15:55

      The current front wings are no more prone to causing punctures than the one’s we had pre-2009.

      There has also been no rise in the number of punctures caused by contact with the front wings than what was seen with the older narrower wings.

      • Armchair Expert (@armchairexpert) said on 5th December 2012, 16:09

        I don’t agree. I can hardly remember punctures before introducing wide front wings, but right now it’s common thing. Vettel was just touched by Hamilton at Silverstone in 2010 = puncture. Perez the same in Barcelona this year by Grosjean. Hamilton slightly his Barrichello at Intelagos in 2009 = puncture. All these punctures wouldn’t happen with narrower front wing.

        • GT_Racer said on 5th December 2012, 18:44

          And the same sort of contact would create punctures with the narrower front wings, Remember Fisichella clipping Schumacher at Brazil in 2006 & giving Schumacher a puncture?

          Have any teams or drivers complained about the bigger wings generating punctures? I haven’t heard anyone complain.

          We had wider front wings up until 1998 & again nobody complained about punctures.

      • andrewf1 (@andrewf1) said on 5th December 2012, 16:54

        you sound as if you knew that for a fact. if you did do a count of the punctures, show us the numbers.
        having a wider front wing automatically makes you more prone to an accident, regardless whether it’s losing your wing or causing a puncture.

        besides that, the wings looks ridiculously disproportionate.

        • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 6th December 2012, 1:47

          Remember Fisichella clipping Schumacher at Brazil in 2006 & giving Schumacher a puncture?

          That was Rosberg’s Williams’ debris after his crash which caused Schumacher’s puncture, according to Ferrari mechanics. Not Fisichella.

          Regardless. It is a fact that having a wider front wing automatically makes you more prone to an accident. On top of that, the front wings look ridiculously ugly and like if someone took a larger cars front wing and stuck in on the current ones.

  12. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 5th December 2012, 15:36

    As it stands, 2014 will be the fourth time in five years the minimum weight has been increased:

    2010: 620kg (+15kg)
    2011: 640kg (+20kg)
    2012: 640kg
    2013: To be increased
    2014: To be increased again

  13. 1saeed9 (@1saeed9) said on 5th December 2012, 15:38

    I like the flatter and wider look of the F1 cars of pre 2009.Damn I was looking forward to 2014.

  14. John H (@john-h) said on 5th December 2012, 15:43

    Going electric in the pits is surely a case of green washing. Exactly how much fuel is going to be saved by doing this? Hardly any. The embodied energy in manufacturing the special parts probably outweighs it anyway. Ridiculous idea and happy it’s been postponed (& hopefully got rid of).

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 5th December 2012, 15:56

      @john-h I liked the idea, it gave the engineers one more challenge, I don’t see what the harm in that is.

      • @keithcollantine – Webber will be hoping that he doesn’t continue to get so many KERS failures!

      • I don’t see what the harm in that is

        @keithcollantine:-

        1. Costs, in the design of what are already complex and costly drivetrains.

        2. Safety. You can’t hear them when running on electric, and you’ve got lots of people running around the pits. Hearing a current F1 car behind you is not an issue.

        And that is before you get to the silly tokenism of it all.

        As you may be able to tell, I am not a fan of these new drivetrains.

        • javlinsharp (@javlinsharp) said on 6th December 2012, 19:11

          @tdog

          Costs, in the design of what are already complex and costly drivetrains.

          How so? They already have battery powered electric motors injecting some 80BHP into the drivetrain in the current spec.

          Safety. You can’t hear them when running on electric,

          Really? Have you ever been to an F1 race? The sound of an F1 car at pit-speed cannot be perceived over the hellish scream of the other cars circulating at full song. Further, anybody with any sense is wearing ear protection already, they cannot appreciably hear a pitting car even anyway. That is why people use their eyes to detect danger when they cross the street, in F1 and in normal life.

          • Tyler (@tdog) said on 9th December 2012, 2:30

            @javelinsharp

            As to costs, I was relying upon an article from a little website called Autosport:-

            However, sources have revealed that engine manufacturers Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari all wrote to the governing body recently to ask for the rule to be postponed.

            It is understood that they were concerned about both the costs of developing bespoke electrical systems just for use in the pitlane, as well as safety concerns about having fast cars rushing through a pit lane without a loud engine noise to warn working personnel of their presence

            Here is a to the full article.

            You’ll note that the quoted text also refers to the safety issue.

            And yes, I have been to formula one races, and I know that up close to an F1 car (particularly accelerating out of the pit box) you can still hear it, even with ear protection.

          • javlinsharp (@javlinsharp) said on 10th December 2012, 15:22

            @tdog
            Thanks for the links. Still seems counter-intuitive to me from my armchair, but Im obviously no F1 insider. Thanks for taking the time to support your fellow f1fanatic.

    • necrodethmortem (@necrodethmortem) said on 5th December 2012, 16:55

      The idea is that F1 has a role to play at the forefront of technology. Whether any of this will ever be transferred to a road car remains to be seen of course, but that’s the general idea.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 5th December 2012, 20:03

      Actually I think its one of the few parts that help connect people with use of hybrid power in normal life @john-h, as those run on electric too in close traffic. In effect it would just mean using the energy stored in the laps before to run through the pitlane and the same electrical drive that can be used as the starter motor.

  15. Roald (@roald) said on 5th December 2012, 15:44

    I´m so disappointed. Might as well keep the V8 now as well, since no one seems to want ANY change at all. Everything has to be postponed and scrapped at least 10 times before they realise change can be for the better. The cars are much too dependant on aerodynamics and we could´ve seen an increase in the factor of driver skill if they would´ve been drastically reduced.

    Just get it over with, cut the wings and give us ground effect, I bet that´ll make for the most exciting racing we´ve ever seen!

    • timi (@timi) said on 5th December 2012, 15:49

      @roald

      Just get it over with, cut the wings and give us ground effect, I bet that´ll make for the most exciting racing we´ve ever seen!

      It’ll definitely give us the most exciting crashes..

      • Roald (@roald) said on 5th December 2012, 15:52

        It´s 2012, not 1982.

        • Ilanin (@ilanin) said on 5th December 2012, 17:03

          It’s not as if the laws of physics haven’t changed to make ground effect any more stable in the last 20 years…

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 5th December 2012, 18:38

            Skirts that could fall off wouldn’t be used though. And what were considered dangerous cornering speeds back then are certainly not the same now.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 5th December 2012, 20:05

            the laws of physics might not have changed @ilanin, but there would still be rules about the plank and minimum ride height. But most importantly, by now teams are miles ahead in understanding aero flow and simulation what it does, so instead of making a pretty crude suck to the ground wing they would still come up with intricate solutions inside the scope of the rules (or more likely right at the edge of what the rules allow.)

    • TPA8580 said on 6th December 2012, 11:31

      I don’t like Luca D. but he has, although slightly biased due to the Ferrari aero department not working properly, a point when concerning aero being a to big a deal on current F1 cars.
      I truly believe that F1 would benefit greatly if the aero package would be curtailed to how they were in the beginning of the nineties. More mechanical grip less aero grip.
      I think that DRS is making a mockery of F1 it’s becoming to easy to overtake but only on certain parts, set by the FIA.

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