I’m sure Keith or even John Beamer will do an article on this but I thought I’d get the ball rolling.
Next year the infamous double diffuser will be gone as well as the F-Duct (possibly to be replaced by the adjustable wings, we’ll see). The problem I see with this (more with the former) is that both are parts of the cars that give performance that is relatively unaffected by following another car (and if you believe Adrian Newey – which I do – the DDD does little to increase aerodynamic wake).
We’ve had a wonderful season with a lot more overtaking than usual, but overtaking is still hampered too much by the fundamental design of the cars. I’m not sure what removing the F-Duct is going to do, but with the DDD going the cars will be more reliant on wake-sensitive aerodynamic components and we could be going back to the days when large advantages are needed to pass.
Perhaps making overtaking difficult is a good thing, that faster cars can’t simply breeze past and instead the drivers need to be clever and set their moves up. I agree – but things are already too skewed for skewing them even further. Adjustable wings are all well and good but too much of an artificial gimmick.
The diffuser is actually, as I understand and Itchyes appearently did too, the device that creates most downforce combined with the lowest induction of drag. Less drag = less turbulent air behind the car = cleaner air for other cars to drive in. So removing the DDD will make cars slower, and close combat harder.
One of the problems F1 have is that the cars cannot really set up their moves because the engines run hot when the air it drives in is contaminated by the car in front.
Moveable wings? KERS? Does not really do it for me.
Generally though I like the regulation changes that comes every year, because it really pushes engineers and constructor to be innovative and to push the boundaries of mechanical engineering.