Sunday, June 23, 2024

More Difficult to Follow on Low Downforce Circuits with Current Aero Regulations – Stella

Andrea Stella believes the current aerodynamic regulations within the FIA Formula 1 World Championship have generally had a positive effect on racing, particularly around corners, but they have had a negative effect at low-downforce circuits.

The regulations were changed ahead of the 2022 season in a bid to help drivers follow others more closely through corners and offer more opportunities to overtake, and where this has helped at tracks such as the Hungaroring, those that require low downforce set-ups, such as the Jeddah Corniche Circuit in Saudi Arabia and Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium have not had the same benefits.

Stella, the Team Principal at the McLaren F1 Team, says the return to ground effect aerodynamics works at some circuits more than others, but he acknowledges something needs to be done in order to have the same effects at low-downforce circuits.

This is a problem he is foreseeing in the Italian Grand Prix at the beginning of September, with the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, the circuit that requires the least amount of downforce of any other track on the calendar.

“I wouldn’t talk about limitations of the regulations,” Stella is quoted as saying by  “I think what we have observed already last year with this new generation of cars is it’s definitely easier to follow in the corners.

“So, some tracks where it was very difficult to overtake, like Hungary for instance, they are now tracks in which you can follow.

“Then in the [corner] complex where you have the corners and then once you can go out of the last corner, you are actually close to the car ahead and then you can attack thanks to the DRS.

“So, I would say this aspect of racing has been helped very much by the new generation of cars.

“When it comes instead to configurations like [Spa] or Monza where you need to have a lot of towing effect to overtake, I think with this generation of cars you have less, let me call it, suction from the car ahead.

“So, in this kind of circuit, it has actually become slightly more difficult possibly.

“So, if you want, this is the two faces of the same medal. But I would welcome the fact that we now can follow cars more easily than it was possible with the previous generation of cars.”