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No Double-Diffusers from 2011 Onwards

January 22, 2010
I have always been a firm believer that there is scientific equation that should technically calculate the amount of aerodynamic downforce necessary when taking into account things like speed, mechanical downforce and so forth and for all intents and purposes, the answer to that equation should be “1“. In other words the aerodynamic grip required should not outstrip what is necessary for the cars to corner.
Considering the numbers of differing elements involved, regulating such a technical regulation may prove to be impossible. For example, every circuit would need specific calculations to determine highest straight line speed over downforce dependent low speed corners; then add the fact that every team has designed a different car and that multiple engine manufacturers occupy the series and you quickly end up with a situation where every single team would need individual downforce limitations. After all of that, you turn up on track and it’s raining – suddenly all the figures are completely useless. For all its worth, it is a set of aerodynamic regulations that might work in a spec series; however a circuit will always provide an unknown quantity.
It is also possible that what I just spewed is total bollocks. 

One thing is absolutely certain though and that is the Formula 1 cars have far, far too much aerodynamic downforce on their cars right now, but thankfully they will lose at least some of that for next season. Although proposed some weeks ago, the banning of the controversial double-diffuser by the FIA for 2011 onwards was officially passed today and while that is excellent news, it is – of course – far too late for the cars to be redesigned to accommodate the restructured rules; all of which begs the question, why wasn’t this decided upon months ago?
When one considers that original set of regulations suggested by the Overtaking Working Group in 2008, nothing referenced the possibility of the double-diffuser. After all, it was all just a known loop hole that Brawn, Williams and Toyota exploited and as such the original technical regulations minus the double-diffuser already existed. Of course, all of this has been complicated with the banning of mid-race refuelling and the introduction of narrow tyres; however these are also factors that were decided upon a very long time ago.

The moment the double-diffuser was deemed legal by the FIA, all the other teams started bolting it on – some with better results than others – and the status quo was once again reached whereby cars could not get close to eachother in turbulent air and also had so much downforce that they rarely veered off of the clean racing line – they simply had too much grip for the speed they were travelling.
Sadly what this does mean is that fans of the sport must now endure another season whether overtaking is at a minimum, which is an absolute shame considering the 2011 contains possibly the strongest driving and team field in the history of Grand Prix racing.
On the other hand, it’s not like fans actually matter, now is it?

From → F1

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