2019 Aero – Wolff confesses: “Not seen him that livid before”

Christian Horner is critical of the aerodynamic changes approved for 2019 season, Ferrari and Mercedes are in favour.

While current Formula One cars are faster pushing drivers’ limit, but there is no denying the fact that overtaking other cars has become increasingly difficult. Just in the last race Sebastian Vettel couldn’t get past Max Verstappen despite the fact that he was on fresher tyres and Verstappen was driving an injured car.

To correct the situation there are some changes that have been approved for 2019 season. The changes are as follows:

  • Simplified front wing, with a larger span, and low outwash potential
  • Simplified front brake duct with no winglets
  • A wider and deeper rear wing

It is learnt that teams are divided on these changes and there are some drivers also who expressed their displeasure towards these changes.

Christian Horner, Red Bull team principal, whom we all know that he doesn’t mince his words has slammed these changes. He termed the decision to bring the aerodynamic changes in the 2019 cars as ‘rushed’ and said that teams will have to endure huge costs to bring about these changes.

In a conversation with Sky Sports F1 he said, “Sometimes this sport has the ability to shoot itself in the foot.”

He added further, “The work that’s being done for 2021 is all good stuff. The problem is a snapshot of that has been taken, it hasn’t been fully analysed – there are no proven conclusions from it. It’s then been rushed into a set of regulations which completely conflict existing regulations so now they’re scrapping around trying to tidy that up.

“I just find it frustrating that decisions are made on zero evidence or zero conclusions, on theories and the burden of costs is passed onto the teams. Is it going to guarantee that the cars can follow closer next year? Probably not.

“We talk about costs and being responsible, what’s just been introduced is a completely new concept, a completely new car that will cost millions and millions of pounds.”

As these changes are going to slow down the car by about 1.5 seconds, some drivers expressed their displeasure and criticised the decision. Both Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel were critical of the decision while later termed the decision as ‘comical’.

But Ferrari chief technical officer Mattia Binotto said the team felt the changes were the “right choice” and could prove to be a “game changer”.

“It is a big change, a drastic change to the rules, to the aero. I think each team will be focused in trying to develop what are the new regulations, it’s quite a game changer,” Binotto said.

“Overall I think from an egoistic point of view we could have stuck with what we had at the moment but I think that looking at the show and the good for the sport, it was the right choice,” he added further.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff was also supportive of the decision and was of the view that it could have a big impact on 2018 Championship battle.

“I haven’t seen [Horner] that livid,” Wolff told Sky Sports F1.

“It seems to be upsetting them massively. I don’t know why, for us it was a 50-50 decision. We wanted to be supportive of the work that’s been done and the direction looks correct.”

Horner suggested that instead of rushing to change the car, FIA should look at improving the track to encourage better racing.

While the decision has been approved it should be interesting to know how teams are coping with those changes. Bigger teams will find is easier to bring about these changes but smaller teams will struggle and we may see much wider gap between bigger and smaller teams in 2019.

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2 responses to “2019 Aero – Wolff confesses: “Not seen him that livid before”

  1. I think that these rule changes are pretty meaningless as the top two teams enjoy such a superior power advantage that the other teams won’t be able to catch them, never mind overtake them. The only thing that we might see is red cars overtaking silver cars or vice versa.

  2. Rather amusing Horner is so upset with the change of the aero regs, where Red Bull likely have some advantage, yet is keen to get Liberty’s new engine spec adopted, without knowing what the costs or consequences are.

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