History will be made next season, when Formula 1 introduces a radical new sliding scale for aerodynamic testing based on a team’s success on track.
As part of a package of changes to the regulations, which includes the introduction of a cost cap from 2021 that has been revised to reflect the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, teams will be restricted to the number of wind tunnel testing runs and computer aided design (CAD) hours they can do to develop their racing car.
It is hoped that as well as reducing costs and making both individual teams and the championship more sustainable, it will also create a more level-playing field that should lead to more competitive and unpredictable racing.
So what has changed?
In years gone by, the amount of aerodynamic development was unrestricted. It meant some teams ran their wind tunnels 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Some teams even ran more than wind tunnel.
That kind of development helped teams gain crucial tenths of seconds, but was hugely expensive.
In recent times, restrictions have been introduced, to the point that up until this year, teams were limited to 65 runs in the wind tunnel per week.
But next season, in conjunction with the introduction of the cost cap, the default allowance will be reduced by more than 30% to just 40 runs per week.
Furthermore, for the very first time, each team’s allowance of wind tunnel and CFD testing time will be defined by on-track performance. ———————————————————
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