This year’s aerodynamic regulations implemented to boost overtaking figures could see an increase of up to 50% at some Formula 1 races this season.
A refinement of the front wings, bargeboards and brake ducts, as well as a bigger rear wing, has been designed to make following another car easier.
The changes have been met with positive reaction after the opening two rounds in 2019, and the FIA’s head of single-seaters Nikolas Tombazis says simulations carried out with this year’s aero rules could see bigger improvements at specific race tracks.
“We were not expecting a huge delta in Australia, which is a difficult track at which to overtake in any case,” Tombazis said in an interview published in the FIA’s publication AUTO magazine.
“Some simulations were showing a 10% increase of overtaking, assuming a similar evolution of a race, of course.
“In other races the same simulations expect a more sizeable increase, possibly to the tune of 50%.
“That’s the feedback we’ve had so far, but it will really only become clear as we progress through the season.
“We weren’t expecting miracles in round one at Australia, but generally we are expecting a step in the right direction as far as aerodynamics are concerned.”
Experts suggested that had there been no reaction to the aerodynamic issues surrounding the 2018 cars, the problem could have worsened this year.
Tombazis believes F1 will now avoid being in a “weaker position” that it would have found itself in ahead of the sport’s overhaul in 2021.
“Overall, I’m pleased with the direction of the aerodynamic characteristics,” he said.
“I certainly don’t think we have arrived at the final destination point and we can never sit back and say, ‘OK, it’s all fine’.
“However, I think that if we hadn’t gone through this process and we were sitting here writing the 2021 rules, we would be in a much weaker position.
“For what we are trying to achieve, 2019 has been a very useful exercise and has lessened the wake effect.
“Whether this season proves to be an exciting championship depends on how closely matched the teams are. And like everyone else, that’s something I’m very anxious to see.”