With newer seasons in Formula 1 racing comes newer regulations regarding the cars’ technical standards. These are not only for improved performance by the vehicles themselves, but also, and more importantly, for the drivers’ safety.
The first and, perhaps, biggest change going into 2019 models is a thinner tire tread. This is actually to prevent drivers from being able to finish the entire race without having to make more than one or two pit stops, as these races had become fairly predictable. With thinner tire treads, cars will have to stop more often, but not at the risk of their own safety. They also come with decreased heat held within them, reducing the risk of blistering.
The amount of fuel allowed per race is another big change as well, with drivers now receiving an additional 5 kilograms, totaling 110kg. This gives drivers the freedom to worry less about the amount of fuel being burned per race, but also gives them the option of intentionally short-fueling their cars to then rely on coasting, lift, or safety cars to reach the finish line.
The design of the mirrors has been adjusted to improve aerodynamics after an increase in drivers modifying their own rear-views, too. Many teams bent the rules to increase their cars’ top speeds, leading to this fairly significant tech change. The mirrors are now positioned in smaller areas which improves both vision and drag.
Another change with the goal of increasing aerodynamics is a small adjustment of the sidepods. The area where the barge boards are located and the free space behind them should now be utilized more by most teams, though some restrictions still exist in accordance with older regulations.
For Formula 1 racing to remain an exciting, safe sport for all to enjoy, these technological adjustments are absolutely necessary. If you’re looking to prepare for the upcoming 2019 F1 season, check out the latest schedule here.