The target for the FIA with the aerodynamic rethink after 2016 meant the cars grew wider, more aero ‘appendages’ and therefore faster lap times – ergo happier fans, right?
The sacrifice was always going to be a complete lack of overtaking action and indeed this proved to be the case starting from 2017 to now. The cars grew in weight also, but more importantly the dependancy of clean airflow over the front wings of the cars meant that following a car ahead was even tricker than before.
Over to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen who’s had a torrid time in 2018 with multiple unforced errors of judgement, resulting in spins and crashes – not unlike his predecessor Daniil Kyvatt, who incidentally was on the Red Bull chopping block around this time 2015. It’s unlikely the golden child of the Netherlands will meet a similar fate to his Russian peer.
According to Max, faster doesn’t mean better:
“Two years ago, overtaking was a lot more fun,” says Max on his website
“Because it was not that difficult to stay close to the front man at the time. Since the cars have widened in 2017, that is less satisfying. The braking distances have become even shorter. The cars are more nervous and prone to a sudden break”
“For Formula One, it would be good if the field went together. So you have to do something about the engine. The differences between the engines are still too big. ”
With regard to tyres, Verstappen echoes a lot of what both fans and pundits say. Why are there so many compounds? And if there needs to be that many grades, why not just name them ‘hard’ or ‘soft’, its up to Pirelli to bring the actual compound type to whichever circuit they think it’s required for.
“If it were up to me, we would only have two types of tyres, a soft and a hard Pirelli.” says Verstappen.
“Ultimately, it does not matter to Formula 1 friends whether a tire is called ultra soft or super soft. I do not think they are really interested in tyre compounds. “