Formula 1 should slash downforce by "40-50%"

Formula 1 bosses should slash downforce levels by a "minimum of 40-50%" to improve the spectacle of grand prix racing, reckons Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost.

Formula 1 should slash downforce by "40-50%"

F1 cars will have simplified front wings and bargeboards, and other small changes, this year in a bid to reduce their sensitivity in dirty air and make the quality of racing better.

The changes are a precursor to a much bigger car design revamp that is planned for 2021 as part of a wider overhaul of F1.

Tost told Motorsport.com that F1, which introduced an upgraded set of higher-downforce rules in 2017 to create the fastest grand prix cars ever, needs to take the opportunity to eliminate the dependence on downforce.

"We have so much downforce, which means high corner speeds, no one can follow because of the dirty air behind and we have hardly braking zones," said Tost. "How should you overtake?

"That means the FIA, FOM – and there are the experienced people over there, like Ross Brawn, like Pat Symonds – they know exactly what you should do: to come down with aero side, with the downforce.

"I would cut minimum 40-50% of the current downforce, to make the car much more unstable in the corners.

"Then people see that drivers have to fight with the car.

"Cars will be much faster on the straight, you have chances to overtake someone – because of [increased] braking – and you can follow in the corners.

"This regulation could be easy to be realised. They just have to want it."

Tost said the drivers are the only people who "feel and recognise" the performance of the current cars.

He argued that this renders the high cornering speeds redundant in terms of what fans experience and only contributes to a negative spectacle.

However, Tost fears that much like a mooted cost cap – which he is in favour of, but bigger teams are showing signs of resistance towards – lowering downforce levels significantly would be blocked.

Asked who is against his proposal, Tost said: "The teams! Never ask the teams.

"[The rulemakers need to] come with the regulations, [say] 'accept or go'. But they ask the teams.

"They come to the Technical Working Group. Who is in the Technical Working Group? Engineers. Never ask the engineers!"

shares
comments
Brawn: McLaren, Williams declines show F1 has "no mercy"

Previous article

Brawn: McLaren, Williams declines show F1 has "no mercy"

Next article

The pitfalls that can end a young driver's F1 career

The pitfalls that can end a young driver's F1 career
Load comments
Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Prime

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looks back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Prime

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Prime

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Prime

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Tim Wright.

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Prime

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? Stuart Codling talks to the man in charge.

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Prime

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Prime

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers Prime

How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021