The new 2019 aerodynamic regulations will improve the show but will not be "transformational" according to former Williams technical chief Pat Symonds. The latest adjustments include simpler front wings and bargeboards, as well as steeper and higher rear wings.
The rules were introduced in order to improve the quality of racing, as the current cars struggle to follow each other through corners. However, some teams have reported that the reforms will have little impact, due to the discovery of new ways of producing the same levels of downforce.
Symonds admits that the F1 will not see a major change, but does expect some sort of positive impact: “It became obvious that we could do something for 2019 in simplifying the front wings,” Symonds said.
"That is purely to improve the wake and allow cars behind the leading car to have good performance. It’s never going to be perfect, and you can’t change the laws of physics, but we’ve made massive improvements from where we’ve been.
“Relative to what we are doing for 2021 it’s quite small but what you’ve got to remember is we’re not just looking at the status quo.”
In late 2018, F1's managing director Ross Brawn claimed that early data suggested that there would be a 20% increase in racing for the upcoming season. Symonds stated that it was important that F1 reacted to the growing difficulties of wheel-to-wheel racing.
“Formula 1 develops at an alarming rate, it’s relentless,” Symonds said. “So if we had not done anything then the 2019 cars would have been even harder to follow than the 2018 cars were.
"What we’ve done is we’ve pegged it back a bit, we’ve improved on where we were in 2018. We will have to see when we get the results out. Don’t expect a transformational change but believe me it would have only got worse. At least what we’ve done is maintained the status quo and I suspect actually improved things a little bit.”