F1 shelves plans for 2013 'ground effects' cars

By on Monday, May 9, 2011

May 9 (GMM) F1 is set to steer clear of 1980-style 'tea tray' front wings for the 2013 chassis regulations.

We reported late last year that, to go with the four-cylinder turbo engines, the F1 cars of 2013 will generate the bulk of their downforce with the floor through 'ground effects', with that formula drawn up by veteran engineers Patrick Head and Rory Byrne.

Auto Motor und Sport said the teams will receive the draft regulations next week, but they have reportedly been revised to be less radical than originally proposed.

The teams had apparently hit back at the Head/Byrne plan by proposing a less extreme method to reduce downforce, on the basis of the current aerodynamic formula.

So, front wings will reduce in width from 1.8 to 1.5 metres in 2013, with the rear wings to be the same size but with smaller wing profiles.

Aerodynamic appendages, meanwhile, will be further restricted, and a 100 kilograms per hour fuel flow rate imposed for the engines.

The fuel flow limit will require teams to work to reduce the drag - and therefore the downforce and fuel consumption - of the cars from a drag coefficient of around 0.95 at present to about 0.5 to 0.7.

The FIA intends to present the chassis rules to the teams in London on Wednesday.

FIA president Jean Todt will then attend a meeting with the teams at the Spanish grand prix to discuss the 2013 engine formula, warning that only overwhelming opposition could sway his intention to push ahead with the rules.

"I will do my best to attend," the Frenchman told reporters in Turkey on Sunday.

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