Formula One's New Aero Package Didn't Slow Them Down At All

Screenshot: @F1 on Twitter

The 2019 Formula One aerodynamics package has been mandated simpler than that of the 2018 season, including a simpler front wing with low outwash, simpler front brake ducts without winglets, and a wider and deeper rear wing. F1's plan with the new aero rules was to allow drivers to tuck in behind the car in front without washing out their own aero thanks to turbulence. The idea here is to promote close racing and increase overtaking.

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The jury is still out as to whether the new aero will increase overtaking, but teams were concerned that by fettling with the carefully crafted aero upticks and tiny wings and complex flow dynamics that the cars would be slowed quite a bit. That has unequivocally been proven to be bullshit, as Sebastian Vettel knocked down a 1:16.221 lap of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in pre-season testing. That lap was within half a tenth of Lewis Hamilton’s pole position lap at the track ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix last May.

If the new aero rules do what they say they will and facilitate drivers being able to battle more, and they can do it without losing any of F1's crazy speeds, then I’m all for it. Ride around the circuit onboard Vettel’s car to get a sense of the speed involved with these new aero regs. It’s still mighty impressive. And they’re only going to get faster!

We’re just two weeks out from the first race at the Australian Grand Prix Bring on the 2019 season!

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Bradley Brownell

Jalopnik contributor with a love for everything sketchy and eclectic.