2021 Formula 1: The car, the rules and the future

2021 Formula 1: The car, the rules and the future

<i>FIA and Formula 1 have cooked up new set of regulations for the 2021 season along with a new look car</i>

Ever since the inaugural season in 1950, Formula 1 has gone through a plethora of changes with both the cars and the rules. The Federation and Formula 1 have made big changes in the rulebook for the 2021 season for the world’s premiere circuit racing event. The changes in the rules and regulations aim for a more sustainable future of the sport while also keeping it interesting with better looking cars, closer and more competitive racing, and a more compact race weekend. What else? The Formula 1 fans will get the best experience out of these changes.

Better, hotter cars

Over the decades, Formula 1 cars have gone through radical changes with bodywork, engines and most importantly the aerodynamics – All these changes are made after never ending development, season after season. From the pre-war supercharged engines in the 1950s to today’s tiny hybrid V6 powerplants and complex aero upgrades, the cars have only gotten faster.

The 2021 Formula 1 car render looks stunning with its sleek, sweeping aesthetics and larger 18-inch wheels. The changes however are not just for eye candy. The chassis and aero have been updated to make the cars even faster and capable of closer wing-to-wing dogfights. How?

Wing-to-wing racing

Constant development is what makes the Formula 1 cars grippier, quicker, and capable of closer battles. Even as of 2019, the cars with their set of complicated wings and fins would lose close to 40 per cent of downforce when slipstreaming behind another car, due to the amount of dirty (hot) air from the car ahead. This has been addressed with the new 2021, which reduces downforce loss to only 10 per cent, as the airflow from the car in front will be cleaner (cooloer) and will be directed higher above the car in tether. This upgrade means the drivers can follow closer, thus increasing competition.

Major aero changes:

  • New shape front wing
  • New rear-end layout (Diffuser)
  • Redesigned underfloor tunnels
  • Wheel wake control wings

Limited upgrades during weekends

Big budget teams always end up ruling the circuit with minor upgrades during the race weekends that help them shed time. The new rules state that car upgrades mid-weekend will now be limited, while the teams will have to use certain standardised parts. There is also a restriction on how many times a component can be changed during a race. The remodelling is not to make the cars faster but to close the gap between the front runners and the back of the grid.

Cost cap

In an effort to make the sport fairer, the new rules include a ‘Cost Cap’ on performance and non-performance budgets for racing teams. The cap on performance budget has been set to $175million per team, per year. This cap is on money spent on the on-track performance upgrades of the car. The marketing costs, driver salaries and the salaries of the top-three personnel of the team are excluded. Again, the cap is an attempt to reduce the gap between big-budget teams and smaller teams; making the sport fair. On infringement of the cap, the teams can be fined or even disqualified from the championship.

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Evo India