Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Hungaroring, 2012

FIA drops plan to reduce downforce in 2014

2014 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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”

  1. Genuinely disappointed ,so what’s the point to put a V6 engine into the same 2012 car I wonder what Luca will think of this change since we know that he has been complaining from the so “Aero Dependent rules”

    1. Maybe that complaint came knowing that the FIA were going to announce this.

      1. @matt90
        Or maybe, FIA was fed up with Luca criticizing them, and therefore decided NOT to change the rules, just to annoy him! ; )

  2. I’m very disappointed because of this. The 2014 rule changes were supposed to shake up F1 to make it more competitive again and put the car more and more back in control of the drivers. I was looking forward to lowering to front nose again. I don’t dislike the current design but i think lower is better looking. So now DRS is becoming a permanent factor. I was never against DRS but because i knew it was only temporary. This makes me think i perhaps should have been more critical in the past about it.

    Stupid question: Wasn’t there also a change in KERS for next year of 2014?

  3. Hamilton will be frustrated…

    The idea that DRS will be relied upon is a bit sickening- the one good thing about it was that it was meant to be temporary. But I knew that it would stick around. Also, I wonder how much money teams have already spent on 2014 aero regs- probably not much, but I’m sure there will have been some R&D to look at some areas, particularly at Mercedes.

  4. The cream will rise to the top, both in cars and in drivers. Loss of downforce and grip plays right in to the hands of an Alonso and even though his car will stink, Hamilton will let it hang out. Button has good car control also. Others will suffer. I doubt that Vettel will repeat as champion although I think he has great talent, but he hasn’t had to work as hard to control his car as Alonso did. Maybe I’ll be proven wrong.

    1. I doubt it. Whether you can throw a car into a corner at 300km/h, or at 60km/h doesn’t make a great deal of difference, to a racing driver on their level, although the latter will give you more time to react. As long as the cars are balanced properly, which is down to the designers, then I don’t think that it would make a great deal of difference.
      Its not like a lack of downforce equals a car that is hard to drive. A lack of balance on the other hand, does. But that can happen at any downforce level, and at any speeds.

  5. I’m upset by this. I really wanted to see the teams juggle new engines and new aero design.

  6. Would the cars have been faster or slower with the new aero? Not counting the new engines.

    1. The idea was to make them more or less the same speed, but less reliant on air over the top (wings) which is disrupted in traffic, and more from using the underbottom, so cars have less trouble following eachother, as well as having less drag (to compensate a bit for the somewhat less powerfull drivetrain)

  7. Ah, DRS apparently fixes everything, so no need to address the real issue.

    1. Yes, that is a great point. I don’t have a problem with DRS as a stop-gap temporary solution, but I don’t believe it should be seen as a end-all fix to the problems.

      At least DRS will be less effective in 2013 with teams having less incentive to invest on improving their DRS without qualifying benefits.

  8. Michael Brown (@)
    5th December 2012, 20:59

    What they can also get rid of are the fixed gear ratios.

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

    I think that’s a mistake. The sport is far too aero-dependent these days, and abandoning the plan to cut aerodynamic grip will do nothing to cut costs.

  10. Again? We’re all sick of them playing with the rules. To be honnest,they are just trying to direct the whole thing and that is not good at all. This new aero rules at the start of 2009 and then the DRS,it’s just realy ridiculus. Once upon a time there was a developing sport with a freedoom to develop and compete in all the areas of the sport,now it’s just rules,no creativity at all.

  11. Red Bull will be very happy, this seems to pave the way for their domination over the next few years. A continuation of the current aero and a reduction in the changes to energy recovery – one of their main weaknesses. As long as Renault build a half-decent engine it is hard to see them falling off the perch.

    1. Agree. That’s just what they needed ,just to mentain the moment. And the current design rules are their jackpot with Newey developing the car. As he has said in last few years,that his cars are an evolution from the previous one. Fingers crossed somebody will think of something to be up there. At least 3 competitive teams fighting for wins.

  12. Fernando Cruz
    6th December 2012, 15:12

    What about giving reserve drivers time to run before FP1, so that main drivers don’t lose track time? I think FIA talked about this a year ago but unfortunately has done absolutely nothing to change things!

    It shouldn’t be allowed the sort of situation we have seen this year, with a driver losing 15 FP1s while his team mate was always in the car. F1 is supposed to be a sport and all competitors should be given equal chances to perform. I think FIA should think more about equity between drivers and not only among teams.

    1. Adding extra F1 sessions would be tricky because of the support series. They do there practice/qualifying on Friday in between the 2 F1 sessions.

      You can see how full the weekend schedule for Silverstone was:

      Also consider that it would be extra work for the mechanics & it could still affect the race drivers should the test driver crash the car.

      1. And before someone says they could hold it on Thursday.

        All the track setup is done on Thursdays with the TV/Timing equipment, Its also when teams/drivers do there track walk/inspections. The Systems check is also done Thursdays with the safety cars to check all the TV/timing systems.

  13. I’m for this. I think changing aero and engines in the same season was always going to be a bit too much. Surely the teams would be better trying to extract the most from the engines before they’re locked down? I love aero development, but a bit more focus on the engine for a year or two would be a welcome reprieve.

    1. I much disagree. Now they have to redesign the current layout to fit the new drive train before totally redesigning everything yet again.

      How is that going to lower costs?

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