18 May 2011

F1 teams don't want to make radical changes

12:45 pm on 18 May 2011

Formula One teams have agreed to abandon plans to make radical changes to cars for the 2013 season.

Technical chiefs voted to reject a move by governing body the FIA to bring back ground breaking underbody aerodynamics.

The teams want to pursue a less radical package of changes that will keep cars similar to current ones but still reduce drag and cut fuel consumption.

The FIA has until the end of June to decide whether to force through its plans against the teams' wishes.

The FIA commissioned respected engineers Patrick Head, director of engineering at Williams, and Rory Byrne, former chief designer of Ferrari, to come up with a new set of car regulations.

The aims were to help reduce fuel consumption by 35% in tandem with a switch from the current 2.4-litre V8s to 1.6-litre turbo engines with 'green' technology and for the cars to be more challenging to drive while being no more than five seconds slower per lap.

The initial plan was to reintroduce shaped underfloors as a more efficient way of reducing drag while retaining high levels of aerodynamic downforce.

But the teams, through their umbrella organisation Fota, felt this would require a lot of work and expense and that the aims of the FIA could be achieved in a way that, as one insider put it, required "less pain".

Instead, a number of detailed aerodynamic restrictions will be introduced to reduce drag, but the current design of the underside of the car, with a stepped but flat floor, would be retained.

These changes, it is felt, will achieve the same targets as those set by the FIA, but the cars will not be as aerodynamically efficient as had initially been hoped.