Look closely and read between the lines, and you will notice a host of new regulations, all aimed at making F1 racing even more competitive. There has also been some small changes to make the race more streamlined, the traditional chequered flag is still shown as well, but the official end-of-race signal is now a chequered light panel at the finishing line. Overtaking on race restarts is not allowed until a driver has crossed the finishing line, rather than the earlier safety car.
New biometric gloves and stronger helmets are in to introduce further safety for the drivers.
The minimum weight of the car, without fuel, has gone up slightly from 733kg to 740kg. More importantly, at least 80kg of that must be made up of the driver, his seat and driving equipment. Furthermore, Drivers may use up to 110kg of fuel, rather the previously allocated 105kg in the race.
There are number of major updates, here’s my round-up of what you need to know about the new season’s regulations…
NEW FRONT WING
The first things you will notice, is a wider, higher and much simplified – front wing. The redesign was introduced to help chasing drivers follow the car in front more closely – and in turn increase the possibility of overtaking.
The wing’s width is increased by 200mm, its height by 20mm, and it’s moved forward by 25mm.
furthermore, the simplification of the endplates mean almost the full width of the wing is now fully utilised to generate downforce.
The height of the wings ups the power and reduces the possibility of stall – so drivers are less likely to suddenly lose front-end grip when they close up on another car.
The multiple under-wing strakes seen on 2018 cars are now limited to two each side, meaning more of the airflow is fed to the underbody.
NEW BARGE BOARDS
To make them less powerful and less aerodynamically disruptive, on the trailing cars, the barge boards are further reduced in height by 150mm, and moved forward by 100mm to better join up the airflow from the front wing. This ultimately helps make the flow coming off the rear of the car less problematic for following drivers, meaning they should be able to get closer to the car in front, and attempt to overtake.
NEW REAR WING
Like the front wing, to help promote even closer racing, the new rear wing Height is up by 20mm, taking the ‘rooster tail’ wake coming off the back car higher into the air. Combined with a width increase of 100mm, the larger wing assembly creates a bigger hole in the air – to the benefit of cars trying to slipstream behind.
Furthermore, the drag reduction system (DRS) opening is increased by 20mm, boosting its potential power by around 25 percent.
NEW BRAKE DUCTS
The design is Simplified to reduce the aerodynamic exploitation of brake ducts. Restrictions on complex designs mean less surface area for aerodynamicists to play with. The change also means less downforce reduction when that area of the car is in disturbed air – something else that, again, should help drivers when following another car closely.
All in all, the 2019 promises to be a even more exciting than the previous year, and with whole host of new updates to promote overtakes, the drivers will need to be even more on the ball.