Formula 1 teams will be able to run unrestricted simulations when it comes to developing their 2021 cars during the next year.
Previously, the sporting regulations had limited computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation time alongside wind tunnel testing in an attempt to control costs and keep the field closely matched. However, a tweak to the 2019 sporting regulations will see the FIA “allow unrestricted CFD simulations to be carried out for the development of cars in accordance with the 2021 regulations.”
F1 has been targeting a major aerodynamic rule change in 2021, with significantly different cars being introduced. The final regulations have yet to be confirmed, although some aerodynamic changes have been made for next season in order to gauge their impact on a car’s ability to follow closely, something the sport wants to improve with the 2021 designs.
As teams want to be able to start work on a major regulation change long in advance of its implementation, the CFD restrictions will be lifted only for work on the next generation of car.
The change was approved during a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in St. Petersburg, Russia, where the 2019 calendar was also ratified and a number of other minor amendments to next year’s sporting regulations were approved.
These included a change to safety car restart procedures, where cars will be kept under yellow flag conditions — and therefore not able to overtake — until they have crossed the start line when the safety car returns to the pits. Also approved was a move to ensure the way the grid is formed is clear when multiple penalties have been applied, and also the requirement for fuel handling procedures to be the same during testing as they are during race events.