Formula 1 has tweaked its rules for the 2021 season with much of the teams’ car designs required to be carried over from 2020 – a move made as a cost-saving measure following the Covid-19-related disruption to the season and the postponement of all-new regulations until 2022.
However, changes have been made which necessitate development from teams, specifically around the cars’ aero packages, with the intent of pegging back performance. Most significant among these is a reduction in allowable floor area via a rule specifying that from a point 1,800mm rearward of the front wheel center, the floor must taper to a point 175mm inboard of the outside face of the rear wheel. Coupled with this change, the use of any slots or holes in the outside edge of the floor has also been banned.
Further adjustments have also been made to the rules governing the rear brake ducts and the height of the strakes within diffusers. Here, Mercedes technical director James Allison talks through the impact of these changes and the pressures they place on team’s design teams.