Recent races show importance of 2019 changes, Fernley says

Image by Glenn Dunbar/LAT

Recent races show importance of 2019 changes, Fernley says

Formula 1

Recent races show importance of 2019 changes, Fernley says


A lack of overtaking in the past three races shows the importance of the technical regulation changes being introduced in 2019, according to Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley.

The FIA and Formula 1 conducted research into overtaking and asked the teams to carry out their own case studies before voting on aerodynamic changes designed to encourage closer racing. Although the vote was not unanimous, the proposals for next season were approved.

While the tweaks for 2019 — including modifications to the front and rear wing, brake ducts and bargeboards — are the prelude bigger changes being planned for 2021, Fernley says a recent difficulty to make on-track passes shows it was right to push ahead to try and improve the spectacle.

Bob Fernley (Image by Zak Mauger/LAT)

“I think it’s very important to get [a budget cap], and I think it’s also important that the step we took in voting in the regulation change for next year has proven to be correct as that steppingstone to 2021,” Fernley told RACER.

“To try and do it all in one go is difficult. We make mistakes — even next year there will be mistakes, but it’s much better to make a few smaller ones and then get the package right from 2021 and learn from it.”

2021 will see new power unit regulations as well as fresh bilateral agreements between F1 and the teams, with Liberty Media targeting more equitable revenue distribution. Fernley says he is still confident there will be significant changes after recent meetings, but is keen to see evidence in the form of the first finalized regulations.

“I think the first thing they have to do is to draw a line in the sand with the engine regulations. So they need to issue the sporting and technical regulations for the engines; once that’s done then that’s giving us a clear direction that they’re actually going in the direction that we want them to go in — or that they’re saying they are going to go in, more to the point.

“I see no reason why they won’t be, so I think it’s just a case of them delivering now.

“I think by the end of July they’re looking to get that done. And it would need to be done by then anyway in order for the manufacturers to be able to take that forward.

“I think everybody seems to be on board. There was nothing in the meetings that we had in Monaco that was showing any difference from that point of view, so I think we’re OK.”

-Chris Medland

IndyCar Debrief