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Rules 'freeze' to benefit Mercedes?

NEWS STORY
09/06/2020

In some respects, some of Formula One's decisions in recent months have echoed those of the UK government, at times appearing to have been made on the hop, either too early or too late.

While the much-anticipated raft of new regulations have been held off until 2022 and 2021 will see teams run what are essentially their 2020 cars, the budget cap will be introduced next year as will restrictions on aerodynamic testing ahead of the introduction of the system which will see teams limited on aero testing in relation to their final standing the previous season.

While the new system, which will see the most successful teams allowed the least aero testing - and the least successful teams the most - should affect Mercedes the most when it is introduced, James Allison believes the 2021 rule 'freeze' will benefit the German team.

"This regulation is being introduced next year," he told the official F1 website, "so it will start in 2021... but actually consider what that means: in 2021, we're all going to be running cars that are largely frozen, carried over cars from 2020.

"Our significant axis of work in 2021 is going to be on preparing this new generation car for 2022," he continues, "and so the large majority of the aerodynamics that you can afford to invest in 2021 are going to be on the following season, 2022.

"So the amount of aerodynamics you can bring to bear for 2022 – 2022 remember – is going to be determined by how good you were in 2020.

"So this entirely new, 'blank sheet of paper' car, which has got nothing to do whatsoever with the current generation of cars, your fortune in that championship is to some extent influenced by just how strong you were in 2020, two seasons previously. That's a really laggy feedback system.

"I guess that's the nature of the challenge," he adds, "but it's maybe not as obvious on first reading of those regulations just how long the shadow is that they cast."

Asked if he fears the new regulations will compromise designers creativity, he says: "I'm not sure that it's anti-innovation, because whatever level of aerodynamic test restriction you're granted… however many runs you've got, however much CFD you're permitted to bring to bear, the incentive to be innovative is going to be ever-present. So it's not anti-innovation.

"What it does is just brings more... opportunity to a team that has more overall aerodynamic testing granted to them than to one who is more restricted, and the one who is more restricted is going to have to work super smart in order to keep up performance relative to the ones who are less restricted."

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1. Posted by sagosac, 18/06/2020 12:16

"without reading the article, I can hardly imagine a scenario, where the establishment would benefit from the status-quo..."

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