Formula 1 team bosses have described the new aerodynamic regulations that will come into play in 2019 as a significant "step backwards". The changes include simpler front wings, lowered bargeboards and steeper rear wings, all with the aim of reducing dirty air.
The current high downforce cars make it very difficult for following cars to stay close through corners due to the dirty air they are producing. The 2019 regulations were confirmed earlier this year, and with teams now heavily focused on next year's cars, some senior staff say the changes are a backwards step.
"It’s difficult to have a clear picture today [how 2019 will turn out] but for sure I think we will improve on the engine. We have still some doubts about the tyres and on the aero package," said Sauber's Frederic Vasseur.
"If you are speaking about the aero regulations, it’s a huge step back. I think everyone is focused on recovering [the lost performance]. I don’t know when we will recover and if we will be able to overshoot but it looks tricky," he added.
Force India's Otmar Szafanuer said: "We did [a test] and it was a significant step backwards. We’ve got aggressive targets, I don’t know if we will be able to hit them. We’re trying to predict the future as to what we can find, but yeah, it was a massive step back for us."
However, with the changes aimed at improving overtaking, Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost says that he has held discussions with aerodynamic personnel within the team, who do not believe the changes will make a difference to overtaking.
"I discussed it with the people in the wind tunnel and as it currently looks, they do not believe that overtaking will become much easier. Therefore I’m not sure that this regulation change will end up where we expect – that overtaking will become much easier. I think that at the beginning of next season the teams will have reached a similar level on downforce as nowadays."